Some Thoughts on Sweater Knitting and Finances

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Some of the Yarn I bought when it was on sale

 In the past I had hesitated to make sweater because of the cost of buying a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. However, I am realizing that you can make a sweater that you couldn’t buy for the price of the yarn. I showed my mom a sweater I made and she would tell me that you can’t buy a sweater like that. When you think about it, she is right, I don’t know where anyone would be able to buy a handmade sweater that is made to your measurements. I looked around and realized that a nice wool sweater can very, expensive and hard to find. For example, I looked at my dad’s LL Bean catalog and a wool sweater from LL Bean is anywhere from 70 dollars on up.

I recently went to the mall and I saw a sweater at a chain store. It was acrylic, made in China and it cost 60 dollars. For 60 dollars you can buy the yarn to make one that is much nicer and that is made with natural fibers. For 50 dollars I bought yarn for 2 sweaters from Knitpicks when they had a sale. I also looked at the sweaters I had bought and they are all cotton. I looked around the stores at the mall and I didn’t see any wool sweaters for sale. Mind you this is in the fall in a cold climate. All this made me realize that  a lot of stores don’t sell wool sweaters for a reasonable price.  

If you know where to look, wool to make sweaters doesn’t have to be expensive. The sweater I recently made was made from yarn I got on clearance at JoAnnes for about 3 dollars each. I used 5 skeins of yarn to make the sweater so the yarn cost me 15 dollars. On the other side of this,  I think that if you can reasonably afford it don’t be afraid to spend a little extra to make the sweater you want out o f the yarn you really want to use. If you live on a tight budget, you can also find yarn that is affordable and with some work end up with a sweater that is nicer than a lot of the sweaters you could find at the mall.


My Knitting and Crochet Goals for 2018


I am a little late with this but I thought I would post some of my goals for my 2018 projects.

 1: Stash bust

I have a lot of odd bits of yarn I have collected over the years. Some of it is leftovver from other projects. Some of it is yarn I bought on impulse and some of it friends gave me. I would like to use up some of the odd bits of yarn I have. I did some stash busting projects in 2017 and want to continue this year.

 2: Keep making garments

I want to continue to make garments I can use in my wardrobe and be more thoughtful about what I decide to make. 

 3 Learn to make socks.

I  went through my wardrobe and could use some new socks at some point. I have realized that making socks could be a way for me to make things I can really use that may be fun. Before I started looking into handmade wardrobe stuff, I mainly thought of sock knitting as a knitting technique to learn instead of making socks to wear. I am not sure why I thought this. I have already bookmarked some sock patterns that people recommended that are supposed to be good for beginners.

 5: Get my crochet mojo back

I feel like I have been knitting more than I have been crocheting lately. I have been more inspired by knitting projects lately. I would like to get some of my crochet mojo back. I have been thinking about making another blanket. After that, I am not sure what crochet projects excite me. I need to read more about crochet and see what would be fun to learn and make.

Interesting Links


Here is a roundup of some interesting thing that I saw on the Internet lately.

 I have really enjoyed the my first sweater hashtag that is going around Instagram.

This site will calculate what colors you used on your Instagram feed and give you a picture that you can post with those colors.

 The yarn company Quince and Company collaborated with author and avid knitter Chloe Benjamin to create a colorway that is based on the cover of her most recent book.

 This article goes over five Ways to support a yarn shop without spending money if you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to buy yarn there. 

 This article that was published in the New York Times was fascinating and depressing. It talks about how people will buy fake followers on Twitter and the company that sells people these fake followers. Before I read this article, I had no idea that many public figures bought followers

 Right after the New York Times published the article listed above,  Twitter followers  vanished on several high profile accounts. 

My Finished Sweater

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This past weekend I finished this sweater. I put my log cabin project aside to finish it. I wanted to finish by the end of January so I would have time to wear it before the weather got warmer. I was nervous about doing the sleeves and neckline. I had to pick up stitches to do both and I hadn’t done either technique before. I was especially nervous about the neckline. It was 88 stitches on double pointed needles and I was nervous I would have a bunch of dropped stitches. Thanks to some YouTube tutorial they turned out fine. I am so happy with how it turned out. I have already worn it even though I still need to block it. It is a much needed addition to my wardrobe.

Handmade Wardrobe Update


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The sweater I am currently making

In the past year or so, I have written about my growing interest in slow fashion and making my own clothes. I wanted to give you an update. This past fall, I had gone over my wardrobe and made a list of sweaters I could use for my wardrobe. I had made a list of sweaters I wanted to make over the next several months. I am thinking I may change my mind on what I want to do next. At this point, I am realizing I need to make sure my plans have some flexibility.


My stash buster and stress relief project

 I still want to make sure I am making items I can wear and use. However, I am realizing that I also like to make smaller items to try new techniques and make things for fun. A few times I knitted hats to use up odd bits of yarn and because I was stressed out and I wanted something smaller to knit for stress relief. I also started a log cabin project because I really wanted to play with the technique. I am also realizing that if I want to make items to wear for a specific season, I may need to start making the items before I need to wear them. It took longer than I thought to make this pullover. Partly because I got distracted by Christmas knitting and log cabin. 


The project that inspired me to make more garments

As I get closer to finishing the sweater I am currently working on, I am having second thoughts on what I want to make next. I had planned to make a dark grey cardigan but I may make another pullover instead. I have enjoyed working on the pullover I am making. I have learned new techniques and realized that I would like to make more pullovers in different styles so I can learn how they are made. I could also use another pullover . I also tell myself that I already bought the yarn to make this cardigan and could really use this cardigan in my wardrobe. I may end up making the cardigan because I think I will be making it well into spring when the weather gets warmer and it will be a lighter weight cardigan. Plus I think I could get a lot of wear out of this once I finish it. How about you? Do you have any plans for garments you want to make? Let me know in the comments

Log Cabin Knitting Resources


If you ever wanted to try log cabin knitting, this is a good time to start. Both Fringe Association and Mason Dixon Knitting have posted a lot of resources about the technique for the Fringe and Friends Knitalong. Even if you decide to not participate in this, the articles listed here have a lot of valuable information. I have enjoyed working on a log cabin project and have already started planning other log cabin projects to do in the future. Here is a list of the resources I have found on log cabin knitting.

 1: Very Pink Knits log cabin tutorial 

I have posted this tutorial a couple of times already but it is worth posting again. I watched this tutorial months ago and several times since and I have found it so helpful

 2: Links on the Fringe associations website

Karen Templer has posted a series of articles on log cabin. Here is a list of the articles she wrote. In this list are articles on inspiration, planning, how to crochet log cabin and weaving in ends.

3: Mason Dixon Knitting

Mason Dixon knitting has also posted some useful links here and here are articles they wrote on how to log cabin. Plus they published this book on the technique.



My Current Projects

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Since I recently wrote about the log cabin project I am doing, I thought I would give you an update on my other knitting and crochet projects. With the pullover pictured above, I am done with the body and the first sleeve. I just need to finish the 2nd sleeve and neckline. I have tried it on a few times and it fits well. I want to finish this soon because I want to wear it. I got distracted by making Christmas presents and log cabin knitting but I am back to working on it. 

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I haven’t made much progress on this cardigan. I  had also put this aside to work on Christmas presents. I had a hard time getting a good start on this sweater. I kept getting the stitch pattern off and had to rip it back several times. I have been frustrated with this. I would have given up already if I didn’t want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly. I finally got to a point where I was able to get a good start on it. I am hoping I can start making more progress.


I also started knitting a cable scarf. I looked my scarves and and realized that I could use a textured grey scarf. I saw some patterns on Ravelry I really liked but ended up making up my own pattern. I had to swatch 4 times but I finally found a stitch pattern I like.

Stranded Colorwork Hat

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Right after I finished knitting Christmas presents, I made myself a stranded colorwork hat. I wanted a hat that had a lot of grey in it. I also wanted to use up small amounts of blue and grey wool yarn in my stash. I had done a little stranded colorwork in the past and thought it would be fun to experiment with the technique again. I enjoyed making the hat and I am very happy with how it turned out. 

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I learned to do stranded colorwork when I read the book Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I knit English style and I learned continental so I could knit stranded colorwork with both hands. My first colorwork project was this grey and red hat. Later, I made another hat to play with the technique. I definitely want to do more colorwork. I enjoy doing it and it isn’t as hard as I thought to do the technique. I also see a lot of beautiful stranded colorwork on Ravelry and social media. At some point in the future I want to make a yoked color work sweater like this one. I also love this sweater by Tanis Lavallee.

Log Cabin Knit Along

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This month, Karen Templer of Fringe Association and the women behind Mason Dixon Knitting are hosting a KAL* with a log cabin theme. Here is a post that details the KAL and how it works. This is the hashtag for it on Instagram. They announced it back in the fall. When I heard about it, I was very excited about it. I had recently found a tutorial for log cabin knitting by Very Pink Knits and I immediately really liked the idea. I loved that it creates a visually striking result from rows of garter stitch and scrap yarn. I really wanted to do this KAL.

 When it got closer to it actually starting, I was having second thoughts. I had just finished holiday knitting. I was working on 2 sweaters and had just started designing and making a cable scarf. I have been feeling tired and stressed out and wasn’t sure I had the energy to start another project I would be designing, swatching and sketching. I kept thinking that I should work on the projects I was already doing. I also was concerned that adding one more project to the mix would make me feel scattered and distract me from finishing the sweaters I want to finish.

 However I also have a lot of odd scraps of acrylic yarn I wanted to use up. I kept thinking that it would be the a great way to use up the yarn. I couldn’t let go of the idea and decided to try making a square. The first attempt didn’t work at all and I unraveled it. One night, I looked at the instructions again. I realized that it wouldn’t be as hard as I thought to make it. I started another square and this time I love how it is turning out and I can see why people say that this technique is addicting. I had wanted to make a wrap or blanket scarf but after I weighed my yarn and the first square I made, I realized I would only have enough yarn to make a scarf. I am using black, grey, white, beige, red and orange yarn. I am enjoying working on this project a lot.

*stands for knit along

My Finished Blanket


In an earlier post, I wrote about 2 projects I finished that were stash busters. I finished this blanket back in November. I am incredibly happy with how it turned out. When I was planning it out, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out at all because I didn’t use a pattern for this. When I started to plan this blanket, it felt like a big project for me. I can’t remember when I have been so excited about how a project turned out. It was so exiting to me to finish a bit project and have it turn out well. It really boosted my confidence and makes me want to try other ideas I have been thinking abut doing.

 I finished in time for the weather here to get very cold and it came in handy. I found out one of my other blankets had holes that I was’t able to easily repair so I ended up sending it a recycling center. I found this out as I was almost done making this blanket. By time I finished it, I really needed a new blanket. It goes well with my bedspread and has been very cozy. The day I finished it I used it to take a nap and it was nice. The other blanket I made a few years ago was a little too short. I made this one wider and longer and it works out much better. I am thinking about making another blanket but I feel like I need a break from making such a large project.