Inspired by Sweaters

DSC_0011 (1)-1 

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.

DSC_0007 (1)-1

 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.

Advertisements

Slow Fashion October

 

DSC_0053-1

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. 

My Fall Project Update

DSC_0007 (1)-1

I wrote a post about the fall projects I wanted to do but since I wrote that, I changed my mind on what I want to make. I  listed some patterns I wanted to do but decided to do other projects first. I finished the Green Gable pullover and enjoyed working on it. Since then, I have started I have started making the Ladies Classic Pullover by Jane Richmond. I had wanted to make it in stripes in 4 different colors but it was harder than I thought to get gauge with 4 different colors. When I did gauge swatches, each color had a slightly different gauge. I realized that I wanted a project that would be a stress reliever and this sweater would be harder to make than I thought and using stripes would make it even harder. So I decided to use some light blue yarn that I bought a clearance a few years ago. I had planned to make a cardigan with that blue yarn but I was never convinced that light blue was a good color for a cardigan for my wardrobe. However, I think this blue would make a very pretty pullover.

 DSC_0004 (1)-1

I am also thinking about making this cardigan. I found out that my favorite black cardigan has a hole in it and I am seriously thinking about making one to replace it. I looked through my Ravelry queue and am thinking about making this sweater in black. I was nervous that knitting a sweater using fingering weight black yarn may drive me crazy so I asked for advice on a Ravelry forum. Most people said that the pattern shouldn’t be too difficult if you can do stockinette stitch by touch. I can do stockinette by touch so I decided I really want to do this sweater.

 DSC_0010-1

I am also eyeing this crocheted cardigan. I found this pattern when I was going through old crochet magazines looking for inspiration. I saw this sweater and immediately loved it. It would also fill a gap in my wardrobe. I really want to make this pattern but I would need to order yarn to do this sweater and it would use a lot of yarn. I haven’t decided if I want to go ahead and order yarn and do it or make something using yarn in my stash. In the spirit of using what I have, I am thinking with making this top instead using some Patons Grace that has been in my stash for years.

 

An Update and Current Projects

 DSC_0003-1

I fell out of posting for the last few weeks because I was stressed out and wasn’t feeling well so I wanted to give an update what I have been working on since I published my last blog post. I will start with my knitting and crochet projects. I finished my Green Gable pullover, I just need to block it. I am very happy with how it turned out. The success from this project inspires me to work on more garments. I have already started knitting another sweater. 

DSC_0003 (2)-1

  I am still plugging away on the Herbivore Shawl.I haven’t been working on it that much because I have mainly been working on the sweater I just finished.

 DSC_0017-1

As far as crochet projects, I am still working on my blanket. I am hoping to finish it soon. I am almost done crocheting the squares. This blanket design is a series of diamond shapes within a square. It is pictured above and is achieved by sewing together 4 squares with the same color scheme. I have been making the squares in groups of 4 and then sewing them together as I go. When I finish crocheting the last few squares and sew them together I will need to sew the sets of 4 squares together into one blanket.

 DSC_0005 (1)-1

I am also crocheting a tote bag using a pattern called the Lacy V Shopping Bag. I am using a lilac cotton blend yarn I got on clearance and some light blue cotton polyester yarn that is leftover from another project. I may add a section of white using either a dk acrylic or a worsted weight cotton because I am not sure I will have enough of the lilac and blue yarns to finish the bag but I haven’t decided which one I will use yet. 

Fall Knitting and Crochet

DSC_0004 (4)-1

Lately, I have been thinking about what I have been making this summer and what I want to make this fall. As I wrote earlier, it is summer here and the weather has been hot and dry. However in a month and a half it will be fall. Lately I have been inspired to make more garments. I am really enjoying working on the Green Gable. I have realized that for my next project, I need to take into account how long it takes me to make a sweater. I had initially wanted to make a couple of summer tops but I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would. I am thinking I should finish the Green Gable in early fall. I have already been thinking about my next sweater project. Because of time constraints my next sweater will be a fall/ winter weight project. 

DSC_0005-1

 I saw a post on Instagram where someone made a sweater out of  scrap yarn. It made me realize that I have almost enough skeins of Patons Classic Wool in maroon, grey and beige to make a sweater. I have had this sweater in my Ravelry queue for a while and it recommends the same yarn. For once I have the yarn the pattern recommends. I want to make this sweater with stripes. I may add another color but I haven’t decided yet. I am also thinking about making this cardigan. These two projects will get me to the end of the year at the rate I knit. How about you? are you thinking about fall projects yet? Let me know in the comments. 

The De-Stress Sweater

DSC_0004 (4)-1 

” I knit so I don’t kill people.” This is a common humorous saying among knitters. This week, this saying could be revised to say, “I knit so I don’t completely stress out.” I have have been working on the Green Gable Pullover and it has really helped my stress levels. It is a top down sweater. The pattern has a simple lace panel at the top.Once you get past the lace panel , it is row after row of knit stitch. It has been a long week and I am finding working on knit stitch very soothing.

DSC_0011 (1)-1

 I am enjoying seeing the top take shape. I love seeing a ball of string and some sticks turn into an item.  The picture on the top show my  progress so far. Lately, I have been working on this sweater to the exclusion of other projects. I am thinking it may not take as long as I thought to finish it. I am already thinking about what sweater I want to make next. What about you? What is your favorite pattern to knit to relax or de-stress? Do you prefer simple patterns or more complicated patterns?

My Finished Lace Scarf

DSC_0004-1

On Monday July 3, I finished knitting this lace scarf; I just need to block it. I started it when I was participating in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge hosted by Aroha Knits.  The challenge walks people through the process of designing a knitting pattern. I didn’t finish it in time for the challenge but I continued to work on it once the challenge ended. I wanted to to use up some yarn I had leftover from a sweater I had knitted earlier. I had a little less than 100 grams of yarn to work with.

DSC_0011-1

I wanted to design a narrow lace scarf and I really struggled to find a stitch pattern that would work for a narrow scarf. I looked at several stitches but I ended up using a stitch I found in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Once I found a stitch I liked I really enjoyed working on it. In retrospect, it was not an ideal project for the challenge because I didn’t have much of the yarn. I struggled to find enough yarn to do a swatches. I ended up swatching in another yarn. I ended up finishing it with less than a foot of yarn to spare.  I was pretty nervous near the end of the project but I am very happy with how it turned out.

My Handmade Wardrobe Goals

DSC_0011 (1)-1Right now, I am making a lace scarf, a shawl, a tank top and a blanket. After I finish some of these projects, I want to make more garments. I have  recently realized that I make a lot of accessories but not that many garments. The tank top I am experimenting with is the first garment I have made in 2 years. I feel like that is a long time to go without making garments. I also want to make sure I am making pieces I could use in my wardrobe. Here is a list of some of the items I want to make to round out my wardrobe. 

First up, I want to make some summer tops. Once I finish one of my knitting projects. I want to make this top. It uses yarn I bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really like how this top looks and I am looking forward to making this. The style of this top and the color should work well with other pieces in my wardrobe. I have had this yarn for years and I am happy that I found a use for it. I already did gauge swatches and made gauge. The above photo shows the yarn I am going to use and a picture o f the pattern. 

I also want to make this top by Andi Satterlund. I love the lace paneling on the top and I have some cotton/linen yarn that should work well with this pattern. 

After summer tops, I want to make a cardigan to wear over skirts. and dresses. I don’t really have a cardigan that looks nice with my skirts and dresses. I think it would be nice to have a sweater I can wear over my dresses and skirts for when it gets colder at night. I am eyeing 2 more of Andi Satturlund’s patterns, either the Miette or Mary Mead. She makes a lot of cardigans that would look nice to wear with skirts and dresses.

I also really want a cardigan to wear with jeans and pants in colder weather. My favorite cardigan is wearing out and I am thinking I want to make a sweater instead buying one. I am eyeing this pattern from Knitty  if I can find yarn that works. It calls for a heavy worsted and the yarns I looked at were either too light or too heavy. I am also eyeing this cardigan by Lion Brand. I am not sure I like the recommended yarn. I may have to substitute yarn if I decide to make it. 

My Crochet Goals

granny square2-0023

I recently wrote about my knitting goals. I want to give equal time to both knitting and crochet on this blog so I also wanted to write about my crochet goals. Lately, I have been more inspired by knitting than crochet. Until I started the blanket I am making right now, I have been knitting more than I crochet. However, when I thought abut it there are many things I want to crochet. Here are the crochet projects I want to do in the future. I look at this list I made and realize I could be busy for a long time.

Crochet more garments

In the past, I have struggled to find crochet garments I want to make. However, I have found a few  patterns I like. I really like this Convergence Top pattern. I found out about it when I asked for advice on crochet garment patterns on a Ravelry forum. I have been eyeing the Northern Dreams Pullover for a long time. When I first saw the pattern years ago, I thought it looked like a difficult pattern and never thought to attempt it. I recently looked at it again and realized it was a crochet version of a yoked sweater. Now I really want to make this sweater. However I am on a tight budget right now and would have to buy yarn to make both. I have also been eyeing this pullover by Dora Ohrenstein. 

Make a dress

A friend of mine designed this dress and I really want to make it at some point. I also love this dress by Lily Chin. Both would be a challenge for me and a big project I know I want to make these at some point but I am not sure when I will get around to it.

Make a ripple blanket

This past winter, I was reading about temperature blankets and came very close to making one. I decided to make the blanket I am working on now instead. A friend gave me some red heart yarn that should work well for a blanket. I like the way the rippled blanket looks and I like the idea of having a colorful blanket to use during the winter.

 Freeform crochet

I have been reading about freeform crochet for years and am intrigued by the idea. If you don’t know what freeform crochet is, this article describes freeform crochet pretty well. I really like the idea of being creative and freewheeling with crochet. I have read about the work of Prudence Mapstone, and Jenny Dowde and would love to explore freeform crochet further. I have thought that it would be a fun way to use some of my scrap yarn.

 Make some of the design ideas I have sketched

I keep a sketchbook and write ideas for projects that I could design.I want to get in the habit of working on some of these ideas on a regular basis.

My Knitting Goals

DSC_0005 (5)-1

I thought I would write a post about my knitting goals and what I want to make next. As we start a new month and go into a new season, it felt like a good time to think about how I want to build my skills and what I want to do differently with my craft projects. These are the knitting techniques and projects that have been on my mind lately.

Learn to knit socks

I have wanted to learn to knit socks for a long time. I even bought a couple of books on sock knitting and a few skeins of sock yarn. I am not sure when I will get around to it but I want to learn at some point.

 Knit a sweater using the percentage system

The percentage system is a way of making a sweater without a pattern that was devised by Elizabeth Zimmerman; it is described in her books. A couple of her books that describe it are Knitting Without Tears and Knitting Workshop. I have read couple of books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and I am a big fan. I love how she encourages her readers to be more creative and knit without a pattern. I am hoping to start this project this fall or winter.

 Make more garments

I have realized that I haven’t made a garment in 2 years and I really want to change that. I am thinking my next knitting pattern will be a summer top. I want to start it once I finish the scarf or shawl I am knitting right now.

 Make a cardigan

As I stated above, I want to make more garments.  I also want to make items for my wardrobe. I wear cardigans constantly and my favorite cardigan is wearing out. I am thinking I want to make a cardigan instead of buying one. I am eyeing a couple of patterns to make for this winter. 

 Use up some of my older yarn stash

I have had some of the yarn in my stash for years. Some of this yarn sits in my stash because I don’t know what to do with it. I started the lace scarf I am making to use up the yarn I had leftover from a sweater I made. I had a little over a skein left and I wanted to use up the yarn. I would like to do similar projects to use up odd bits of yarn in my stash.