Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

Four Score and Seven Years ago, The Husband and I were watching Wedding Daze starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher. During a scene featuring Isla in a cozy green seater, the man that rarely admires knitwear said, “That’s a nice sweater.” So, we rewound, I got a good look at it and said, “I could totally knit that. It’s a little plain so I’d want some cables or something.” a pause and I added with a smile, “You do realize the sweater will not turn me into Isla Fisher, yes?” He responded with a laughing, “Yes.”


I selected several less boring shawl neck sweater patterns and The Husband voted for his favorite. We had a winner, Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman. I immediately started yarn shopping and discovered Valley Yarns Northampton. I wasn’t sure which green I liked best, so The Husband picked Dark Green Heather. I wasn’t 100% sure of the shade; online it looked like it had a bit of an orange haze, but when it arrived in the mail, I dug it. The Husband’s most convincing argument was that he looks at me more frequently than I look at me, so he is a better judge of what color will look good on me. He wasn’t wrong.

I knit a gauge, washed it (It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.) and cast on. It was too tight. So, I cast on again, knit a few rows, and stopped. To give you an idea of my headspace, I was a little gun-shy. After knitting my Owls sweater and not loving the fit – the cast on edge is too tight and it’s just a little too form fitting for my liking. So, I sat on this barely started sweater for a year.

Finally, the Iknitarod gave me the motivation I needed. I resolved that the worst that could happen is I end up with 6 balls of yarn. Ok, the WORST thing that could happen is that I end up crying on a pile of sweater bits with scissors in hand, but that’s probably not how this will go down. probably.

The odds of me ending up with 6 balls of yarn increased when a week into the sweater, i read a comment on ravelry, “This is not a great pattern for your first cardigan.” Um….. I kept going. As long as I read the pattern and trusted Thea and the 1500+ knitters that have gone before me, things seemed to go according to plan.

I made mine a little roomier than designed because I was looking for a cozy house sweater. The only issue I had was one arm being slightly longer than the other prior to blocking. Analysis has revealed that switching from magic loop to DPN’s halfway down the first sleeve will lead to a change in gauge. This did, in fact, block right out.

Pattern: Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman (I will absolutely be knitting another Thea pattern.)
Needles: Addi Clicks – size US 7
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton
Colorway: Dark Green Heather
Size: 38
Yarn Used: 529g
Mods:
Cast on 6 for underarms (I’ve got biceps like a Viking shieldmaiden and don’t like tight sleeves.)
.
Picked up 8 to start sleeves to avoid holes.
Knit a round.
Decreased 2 stitches
Knit a round.
Decreased 2 stitches
then followed pattern.
My sleeves ended up just a tad long, and i like it.

I spent an entire Saturday night looking at buttons online and settled on these 1 inch beauties.

Overall: This was quite the enjoyable knit and I LOVE my sweater! Beautiful readers, I may be a sweater knitter after all.


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The end of April feels like a good time to check in with my knitting intentions for the year.

I find that if I don’t focus, I’ll just knit the latest eye-catching pair of socks and be perfectly happy until the end of time. The year will pass and I’ll have made zero progress on my journey to knit 50 pairs of socks for knit-worthy people in my life AND use up some stash. To be clear, I have zero regrets about my 2016 knitting. It was everything I needed it to be and now I’m looking at 2017 so regret doesn’t sneak up behind me and pounce.

That’s not the whole truth, if I’m being 100% honest, I just really really like to make lists.

My 2017 Knitting Goals:

1. Knit or destash* every hank purchased at Vogue Knitting in 2012 (As of Jan. 1, 2017, I’d knit 0% of this yarn)

Blue Heron Bamboo in Plum – I just do NOT love this yarn. Out it goes.
Holiday Yarns sock yarn in Orchid is going out too – who am I kidding? I’m not going to knit pastel socks. This yarn is beautiful, but…Know Thyself.
– Hunt Valley Cashmere 4 Ply Sport in Red – socks? or do I obtain a contrast color (gray) and go for (unlined) Fiddlehead mittens?
– Shi Bui Staccato in ivory – I’m going to incorporate cream stripes into my next frankensocks. I have quite a bit of scrap sock yarn.
– Tosh Merino Light in Fathom (Constellate Hat in progress)



– Tosh Merino Light (TML) in Winter Wheat (There are 70k TML projects in ravelry. I was overwhelmed.)
Lucky for me, the perfect project presented itself (test knit for Hunter Hammersen)


2. Knit or rehome my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in Silver – I want to love it. Sadly, I do not. Good day, yarn!

3. Socks:
Green Stripey socks for one of the little people in my life that still needs his first pair of hand knit socks.
Lime Green socks for my rocket scientist. (started in Feb. 2015)
Red socks for my favorite fellow self help addict.
Pink/White/Green socks because I dyed the yarn at Meghan’s birthday celebration…5+ years ago.
Madelinetosh Cosmic Wonder Dust socks – because I need to try speckled yarn.
Plymouth Yarn – because I need a backup plan in case the first speckled yarn experiment doesn’t pan out.
Little Green Finch Pink socks for me because this is the only pink I’ve ever loved.
Undead Yarn Gray socks because my love for gray is pure.
Electric blue socks because well, I’m addicted to blue.

Green and Rainbow Socks!

Ensnared Socks!

Note: As with all things, I like to stack the deck in my favor. So, any socks for me are optional.

4. Mend Pink Socks for SIL – aka Try Needle Felting.

5. oh, and I seriously almost forgot….knit my Dark and Stormy sweater. – DONE (I keep wanting to call this my Top Draw sweater. i have no explanation for this. If you do, I’d love to hear it!)



*If you read my blog and shop my destash, I’m giving blog readers 10% off until midnight April 30 Central Time, so when you message me, just mention that you’re a reader for the discount.


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Apr
01.
Comments Off on Sweaty.
Category: knitting & crocheting

I busted arse on this sweater for a couple of weeks. And I had loads of time to finish it before DFW Fiber Fest. As I didn’t know how to start the collar and had worked on it for weeks and had so much time, I took a little break (i knit a sock, don’t judge me). Procrastination has never led to more clarity, so I gamely started picking up and knitting stitches. Ten stitches in, I realized this was going to be quite the effort so I probably needed to make sure I was on the right path. I texted Bonnie and she confirmed that I was doing it wrong. She sent a couple of helpful links and got me sorted. I started again (from the correct corner this time) and picked up eight million stitches. Then it was time to place markers for the short rows and I wasn’t 100% sure how to measure. Along the edge? Straight down from the shoulder? Is 3 inches enough? A couple of days pass. Things might still have been fine, or at least not as far off the rails, but i came down with a virus. Which means I didn’t feel up to knitting. for two solid days. I find myself with a vest that has 1 inch of a 3 inch button band knit and I’m forced to wonder…am I the kind of person that will wear a sleeveless Dark and Stormy sweater around DFW Fiber Fest with the needles still in it?

I’m knitting as fast as I can so we don’t have to find out, but I’m not going to lie, my palms are a little sweaty.


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