My Favorite Pullover Sweater Patterns

 

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Lately, I have been decided to make more sweaters . When I have been stressed out, I have been looking at sweater patterns on Ravelry to relax. This is a list of some of my favorite pullover sweater patterns. It is a sort of wish list; all of these are either in my favorites or in my queue. If I have time, I really want to make the Margot pullover this winter. The rest may have to wait at least a few months but I still enjoy looking at the patterns.

 The For Irene sweater is one o f my favorites. I just love the lace detail on the sleeves and yoke.

 I love the bold stripes and how this designer used color in the Camaro sweater.

 The Margo sweater has been in my Ravelry queue for ages. If I have time, I mat try to make it later this winter. I like the split him and garter stitch edging.

 The Pixilated Pullover uses stranded color work in a very innovative way and I love the effect.

 The Breathing Space pullover has a unique design with an asymetrical hem. It uses short rows to a good effect.

 I love the garter stitch detail on the sleeves on the Flax Light sweater. Plus if you made this sweater, it would be a solid addition to a handmade wardrobe.

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Learning from Failure

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to unravel the Herbivore shawl I was working on. This experience made me think about what I have learned from other failed projects. Failure is inevitable in any creative endeavor. If you try a new technique you risk failure. I thought I would write about what I have learned from a couple of my past craft failures. Every time, I had to unravel project, it was upsetting at the time but I always learned something.

 My  most recent failure, I had cast off the shawl and the first thing I noticed is that it came out much smaller than I thought it would and I didn’t like that. I was disappointed about that so I put the scarf aside. An hour or so later, I picked up the scarf again and noticed that several stitches had come loose on the cast off edge. I tried to repair it but the stitches would have been much looser than the other stitches around it . It wouldn’t have looked right so I decided to unravel it. I was heartbroken, I had been working on the shawl for at last 6 months and that was 6 months of work down the drain. My immediate reaction was to remove most of the shawls from my Ravelry queue and put the project where I din’t have to look at it. When I thought about it a little later, I realized that I used a cast on I hadn’t done before and probably didn’t do it correctly. I also realized that when I make shawls using fingering weight yarn, I need to use two skeins of yarn. Otherwise, I have to play a guessing game over how much yarn I have left and the shawl comes out too small for me.

Several years ago,I crocheted a sweater and it was one of the first sweaters I had made. At the time, I didn’t take the concept of garment ease* into account and made it to my exact chest measurement. I also made the whole sweater without trying it on or checking if it would fit. I had nearly finished it and when I tried it on and it was skin tight and looked terrible on me. I had to unravel it and was so upset at the time. Years later I used the yarn from that failed project to make another sweater and it came out very well. It fits well and it made me happy that I was able to reuse that yarn from a failed project. So the lesson here? make sure you understand garment ease when you make a sweater. Also, make sure you know how much ease you like in your sweaters. I would recommend measuring your chest and waist and then measuring your favorite sweaters to find that out. 

 Another project that I had to unravel was a beret, I was excited to start this project. It used up some yarn I had leftover from a sweater I made and I thought the hat was cute. I was having trouble figuring out how to make the brim and made a mistake. It then looked terrible and I unraveled it. Looking back I didn’t have a clear idea of how I was supposed to knit the brim but I soldiered forward anyway. If I had to do it over, I would have asked for help on how to do the brim and made sure I knew how to do it before I started it. In summery Failure is inevitable but you always learn something.

*Garment ease is how loose or tight you make a garment

I Want to Make a Log Cabin Blanket

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I had originally planned on making a ripple blanket once I finished the blanket I am working on right now. However I am getting a huge urge to make a log cabin blanket. One night I was looking at my Ravelry queue and I found this tutorial for a log cabin blanket. I watched the video and I immediately loved the idea. I love that it is rows of garter stitch with a striking result. Plus I love to play with color and this would be a good project to do that. 

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A short time after I was thinking about this, I found out that Karen Templer of Fringe Association is hosting a knit a long that starts in January with a log cabin theme. The timing is perfect, I found out about it right after I watched  the tutorial that made me want to make something with a log cabin theme. I want to do this knit a long and I have been thinking about what I could do for it. I was originally going to make a blanket using a pink, purple and blue color scheme using the yarn pictured above. I also have a lot of red yarn and odd bits of orange, grey, white and black yarn. Or I could use some odd skeins of worsted weight wool in teal and blue colors. I was thinking of making a wrap with the teal and blue yarn. I am not sure about the black, red, orange and grey yarn. I am not sure I have enough for a blanket. I haven’t made up my mind what I want to do yet but I have time to think about it since the knit a long doesn’t start until January. .

Knitting as Stress Relief

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I have realized when I get stressed out, I like to start new knitting projects. About two weeks ago, a project I was doing didn’t work out. I had to unravel a shawl I had been working on for months. I was very upset and I ended up casting on 2 easy short projects to make myself feel better. I had just finished casting off the Herbivore shawl. The first thing I noticed  after I cast off was that it came out a lot smaller than I wanted it to. At that moment, I put it on a shelf, tried not to think about it and hoped that blocking would help. I went to look at it again an hour later and realized that several stitches on the cast off edge has came loose. I tried to fix it but I couldn’t see how I could fix it without the stitches being much looser than the rest of the shawl. I decided to unravel it. At that time, I was heartbroken. I stuffed the shawl somewhere I wouldn’t see it because I didn’t even want to look at it.

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Right after I cast off the shawl , I cast on a washcloth I had been planning for to make for my mom. I had been planning for this to be my next project for a while. The plan had been to start holiday knitting as soon as I finished a project. Then I was so upset over having to unravel that shawl I also found myself casting on a hat to make myself feel better. Hats for me are a comfort zone. I have wanted to make myself a hat out of my odd bits of wool scrap yarn. The idea of a hat out of bright colors appealed to me and I wanted a short easy project to make me feel better. I worked on both projects for most of the weekend after my shawl disaster and they have been a good stress reliever. I still don’t want to look at that shawl or much less finish unraveling it yet. However the hat I am making out of bright colors cheers me up. Also, having a short easy project on hand to knit a few rows to relax made me feel better. I have finished the washcloth and am almost done with the hat.

Rethinking my Yarn Stash

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One thing I recently realized is that if I want to make more sweaters, I will have to re think how I buy yarn. I looked at my stash and I didn’t have that much yarn In quantities large enough to make a sweater. I have a lot of smaller amounts of yarn. I also realized that I haven’t made more sweaters in the past because of the cost to buy a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. The sweater I am making now is yarn I bought at Michaels on clearance and the Green Gable I made was a stash buster. Moving forward, I am thinking I may need to be more deliberate about what yarn I buy. In other words, buy enough for a sweater I really want to make instead of several smaller impulse purchases. Earlier this fall I went through my wardrobe to see what sweaters I could use for this fall and winter. The 2 sweater patterns I want to make next will fill the gaps I found in my wardrobe. I need a light weight dark neutral cardigan and lighter colored casual cardigan that is warmer.

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It made me nervous to use up the sweaters amounts of yarn I already had and not be able to make anymore garments for a while. Plus, for the sweaters I really want to make next, I didn’t have the yarn for them. Knit Picks was having a sale and I found out I could buy the yarn I wanted at an affordable price so I went ahead and bought 2 sweaters worth of yarn. I bought Knit Picks Palette in dark grey to make the Featherweight Cardigan and I also bought some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport in a lighter grey to make the Belcarra Cardigan. I want to start these projects. I am excited about both of them. I just need to finish up a couple projects I am currently doing. 

My Stash Busting, Theory Vs Practice

 

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In the past, I published several blog posts on stash busting. For 2 of the posts, I posted links to patterns I liked that I found through a few Ravelry searches. I still really like the patterns I found but I realized that when I set out to stash bust; I didn’t think to look back those posts I wrote or use the patterns I looked up. I decided to look back at the posts I wrote and review how many of the pattern links I posted I actually used. I found out that I didn’t use that many of the patterns from those posts. In one of those posts, I did publish a link to a log cabin blanket pattern that I am seriously thinking of doing next and instructions for the mitered squares technique that I used for the scarf in the above picture. But for the most part, I either improvised or used a pattern in my queue.

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Recently, to stash bust, I made 2 hats, a scarf, and a sweater. I didn’t use a pattern for the hats and used  patterns in my Ravelry queue for the bag and sweater. I made a hat out of small bits of acrylic yarn from my stash for a knit a a long. I am currently making this bag to use up some yarn I got on clearance and never knew what to do with and some other yarn I wanted to use up. I crocheted a hat to use up small bits of cotton yarn in my stash and didn’t use a pattern.I made the lace scarf pictures below for a knit design challenge, That was also a stash buster. I used some cotton wool leftover from a sweater I made. Finally, the Green Gable was a stash buster, I used yarn I had bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really liked the pattern and it was a good use for yarn I had for ages and wanted to use up.

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 Moving forward I really want to do more stash busting. I have realized I have a lot of odd skeins of yarn in my stash. I am itching to make a log cabin blanket ever since I watched a tutorial about a week ago. I have a lot of acrylic yarn I want to use up and this seems like a good way to use it. Plus, it is rows of garter stitch and a visually exciting result. I have seen some people on Instagram knit sweaters out of odd skeins of scarp yarn that are the same weight. However, I am not sure how gauge would work for if it would fit when I was finished. I also am eyeing this lace scarf. For that scarf, I want to use some knit picks yarn I have that is leftover from a sweater I knitted years ago. Right now, I want to finish my sweater and have some holiday knitting to do so I don’t think I will start these projects right away. How about you? How do you like to stash bust? Let me know in the comments. 

My Growing Interest in Slow Fashion

 

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This is the third post in a 3 part series. For the first post I wrote an intro to Slow Fashion October. The second post  was about how my focus on what I want to make has shifted to making more garments. This post is about  slow fashion in general and what sparked my interest. I follow a lot of knitters who also sew. Through following  the knit designer Andi Satterlund, I found out about the Me Made May hashtag because she participates it and posts on Instagram about it. Me Made May is an event each May where people post pictures of themselves wearing clothes they made. From this I found out about the handmade wardrobe hashtag on Instagram. All the pictures of people wearing the clothes they made really inspired me. I also found the slow fashion hashtag and started to read about slow fashion. I was reading more and more posts of people who were being very thoughtful about what they made and added to their wardrobes and that made me think about my own choices in my wardrobe.

 At first I was skeptical of the slow fashion movement. When I first read about slow fashion my first thought was, “You mean the way I have been shopping for years because I never had much money?” At certain times in my life, most of my wardrobe was secondhand mostly because of economic necessity. Money was tight for me and it was the only way to have a decent wardrobe.But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the movement encompasses a lot of my values. I don’t like to waste things, I think it is important to use what you have. I like to reuse materials in creative ways. At 15 or 16 I had read advice saying to only buy a piece of clothing if it will fit with 2 other pieces in your wardrobe and I have been doing it ever since. I have always been pretty thoughtful about what clothes I buy mostly because I have a limited budget. I have been concerned about factory conditions for years but wasn’t sure what I could do about it. Years ago, there was a big scandal over conditions in Nike Factories. I don’t think I have worn Nike Since. At the time, it was very difficult to find concrete information on what fashion companies were doing. This was before the Internet was as big as it is now. It was harder find information. For this reason, I am glad to see a growing interest in slow fashion. It is easier now to track and find sustainable brands. While I read the slow fashion October posts, I find it comforting to read about others who have similar concerns. For now, I have been focusing on gradually making more sweaters I need, mending the clothes I have and checking out secondhand stores in the area.

Inspired by Sweaters

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I have been knitting and crocheting for years but lately my attitude about what I want to make has been shifting. I have decided that I want to focus on making to making more garments. I recently looked at my past projects on Ravelry and realized I hadn’t had a new sweater in over 2 years and that was a sweater I made myself. I also realized that I have been knitting for years but have only made a few sweaters. I had made mostly hats, scarves and shawls. I started to ask myself, “How many hats and scarves do I need?” It affected me to realize that I had made myself so few garments when I love to knit and crochet so much. Karen Templer wrote this blog post about doing a inventory of her fall wardrobe and it inspired me to do the same. I realized that I could use a few more sweaters in my wardrobe.

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 In the past, I have sometimes been pretty random about what I want to make. I would make something because I thougtht the project was cool or to to learn a new skill. I started realizing that I want to be more intentional about what I make. At the same time that I was thinking about this, I made the Green Gable Pullover and really enoyed making it. I am happy with how it turned out and the success of that project inspired me to make more garments. I also discovered the Me Made May and handmade wardrobe hashtags on Instagram. All the pictures of people showing the clothes they made themselves is inspiring to me. So all this has made me realize that I want to be more intentional about what I make and also what I add to my wardrobe.To be honest, I don’t see myself stopping making hats or scarves. I like making hats and they are a small project where I can try out a new skill. However, I also want to make sure I am also making items I can use in my wardrobe. Right now, I am making myself a wool sweater for colder weather. After I finish that sweater, I want to make a cardigan.

Slow Fashion October

 

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Lately I have been starting to get interested in slow fashion. I discovered Karen Templer’s blog  on her website and enjoy it. This month is Slow Fashion October. I am just starting to look into this so I decided to participate  in Slow Fashion October to see what I can learn from it. I will be posting a 3 part blog series on how I became more interested in this topic. With this first post, I want to introduce Slow Fashion October and include some links for further reading. The second post will be about how my attitude towards what I want to knit and crochet has been shifting and the third post will be more on how I become interested in slow fashion in general.

 Slow Fashion October is an online event that was started and hosted by Karen Templer of Fringe Association. It is a discussion on the different aspects of slow fashion and how to have a more ethical wardrobe. The discussions revolve around what it means for various people to practice slow fashion. In a nutshell, Slow Fashion is about being more thoughtful and deliberate with your wardrobe. Most clothing today is made in overseas factories that often have bad conditions. Also many clothes today wear out fairly quickly and are not made to last. Slow Fashion is about making choices to get away from that. Some ways to do that are: making your own clothes, buying clothes that are build to last, mending the clothes you have, buying secondhand, buying clothes from sustainable brands, and being more thoughtful about what you choose to buy for your wardrobe.

 You can read about Slow Fashion October on the Fringe Association blog. For this event, Katrina Rodabaugh will be posting an article each week on the blog. You can also follow Slow Fashion October   and Karen Templer on Instagram. Karen Templer will be posting weekly prompts on the Slow Fashion October Instaram account. The first prompt is “who” and asks people to introduce themselves. This weeks prompt is “what.” In other words, what form does slow fashion take in out closets, what actions do we plan to take towards this. There has been a lot of discussion on the slow fashion October hashtag on Instagram and on the Fringe Association blog. I have enjoyed reading the discussions and have already learned some things. I have found out about some book titles I want to read.