A roundup of sweaters (plus one accessory) I hope to one day have the skills for.
There’s a new indie pattern designer to check out — Daughter Judy. Chelsea launched recently with four patterns and I immediately bought three of them!
I’m not in the brain space for pants fitting right now – even though I really need pants – so I decided to make the Barons Dress before diving into the Adams Pants. I really love the red photo sample and wanted to create something similar. I chose a 10oz bleached denim from my stash that even had some of the sun bleaching the red canvas sample has.
This top has lots of fun topstitching, a high collar, center back button closure, and 3/4 length sleeves that are more like full length sleeves on me.
Because I love pockets, I added some side seam friends. Here is a lackluster photo collage of how I did this.
Things I would do differently next time.
- Make the buttonholes on the placket before installing. I used a 10oz denim so the seams were THICK. I can’t quite remember which two I made first but ultimately I had to change the direction of one set, so the top two are vertical and the bottom two are horizontal. Even with my compensation plate, my machine was struggling.
- Use lining fabric for both sides of the pocket to reduce bulk.
- I’d serge the side and underarm seams separately, then stitch, and then press open if I plan to use a heavyweight fabric again. I had a little woopsies with my serger on one side seam. It was a case of not paying attention and rushing, so please don’t give me serger tips – I know exactly what happened. The patch is pictured below.
I’d recommend this pattern for advanced beginner to intermediate folks who have a good understanding of garment construction. The instructions do kind leave some things up to the maker, which I’m fine with but might be a little frustrating for some.
Ooof this sweater. I had 3, or 4 false starts with this one and ironically the first try was when I was feeling super confident. Things were clicking – I’d memorized how to do M1Rs and Ls, I was getting faster, I was feeling accomplished… and then when it was time to try it on, I’d produced a sweater for ants. It was so small. My tight knitting was no match for this stable yarn.
After unraveling it again and starting another project, I learned how to loosen up and make a less dense fabric. I took a little break from it too.
Once I had my tension down, it knit up as quickly as other projects, but this was the first time I was forced to play yarn chicken.
After completing the body, I only had two skeins left. I didn’t love the instructed waistline, but I also didn’t hate it, so I decided to knit up the sleeves and if I had enough leftover, I planned to rip out the purlwise bind off and redo it with a couple rows of ribbing.
I did not have enough leftover and I had to shorten the sleeves by an inch too. So the waistline is what it is. I really love the texture on the yokes and upper sleeves and this yarn is super soft and somehow not as insulating as the other bulky yarns I’ve been using. I can wear it without overheating! Another thing I learned with this yarn is that its core is pretty untouched by the dye, so joining/felting ends together didn’t work out great. Because of this, there are some light stitches on the back (thankfully). The joins didn’t look that bad in nighttime lighting but they sure are focal points in daylight. Next time I use a yarn that doesn’t felt together nicely, I’ll add new yarn and weave in an end.
PATTERN: Trefann Sweater by Good Night, Day
I had a little bit of this heathered gray french terry leftover from making my husband a hoodie last fall. There was enough to make myself either a pair of shorts or a sweatshirt, but I rarely feel super inspired to sew loungewear.
Then Daisy Chain Patterns released the Dale sweatshirt. I really like its high neckline with a beefy neckband and the short sleeve option. I took inspiration from the photo samples to have some fun with the bands.
Although I had enough light gray ribbing for all of the bands, I opted to use every color of rib knit in my stash. I think this look is fun an a little weird.
To color block the bands, I divided the lengths by 5, added seam allowance, stitched them together with a lightning stitch, and pressed the seams open. This rib knit is very stretchy, so I wasn’t too worried that the extra seams would impact the stretch.
My measurements put me at a size 10/M. I think I could have shortened the length by an inch or two for a more cropped look. The hem band is kinda hidden by the length folding over it.
I might make another color blocked one with leftover black sweatshirt fleece. It’s a good way to use up those tiny rib knit scraps.
I feel like this sweater really flew off my needles; it took a little over a week to complete. I’m more confidently fixing mistakes and I’ve got the magic loop technique down now too.
This yarn is so pretty, but holy hell does it shed. It’s on everything I own and it’s made its way into my mouth on more than one occasion. But it’s significantly thinner than the other bulky yarns I’ve been using and I really appreciate the drape of the final fabric.
The yarn is Loopy Mango’s Mohair So Soft in tiramisu, purchased from Close Knit. I made the size XS/S and used a little over 6 skeins. My current bust measurement is 38″ and the finished measurement for this size is 42″.
I followed the directions for the purling rows, but I’m a little unsure about the first row being so much closer than the others. If I make another, I’d probably space them out the same number of rows, or omit the fist one all together. The instructions say to hold two strands together for the neckline, but I totally didn’t read that part. Hoping it doesn’t stretch out too much with wear. Whoops.
This is the first project I actually knit a gauge swatch for, but I was too impatient to block said swatch. Whatever! It measured what it was supposed to and my knitting has loosened up! Have I blocked this garment yet? Nope. It went straight on my body. How am I supposed to wait?!
In the middle of making this sweater, I learned how to knit continental, which I thought I would hate, but I love it! The instructor in this Domestika class demoed continental in a way that my brain understood, so I thought I’d just try it. I can see how continental could speed up my knitting. Even though I think I prefer continental, I decided to finished knitting my Kelowna sweater English style to keep everything consistent and I need to finish the Trefann this way too (above).
I’m really proud of this make. It’s made me feel like I understand knitting. And because of that, I made a test swatch for the Louise Pullover!
On a rare trip to Joann Fabrics a couple years ago, I found this quilted fabric in the upholstery section. I really liked the grid pattern and it almost looked like some quilted denim jackets I’d been eyeing.
I thought it would make a really cool Ilford jacket, but I didn’t make a muslin and I didn’t really read through the instructions for the plackets and collar. Once I was able to try it on, it was far too big and I started to question how good those details would look in this bulky material.
No shame to the Ilford pattern at all, this was just a case of wrong size + weird fabric = mental pattern abandonment.
Another year or so later, the Seamwork Larkin was released and after passing by that abandoned Ilford in my closet, inspiration hit.
The pattern is not drafted for bulky material, so I knew it was a bit of a gamble. The poly batting is pretty lofty, so this time I thought I should do some tests before diving in.
I had enough scraps leftover from cutting out the Ilford to make a sample welt pocket and it was easier and nicer looking than I thought. On the final jacket, I deviated from the instructions a bit by hiding all of the edge stitching in the ditch and omitting the bar tacks. I think they look pretty sharp.
After the successful welt pocket, it was time to source more materials and cut up the Ilford. I wasn’t sure there would be enough fabric since the pattern pieces have very different shapes, especially the sleeves. I was barely able to get two sleeves, two fronts, and the back out of it. But I did, and pattern matched too!
For the Ilford, I had purchased a small amount matching Kona cotton for the under collar and button plackets, but didn’t have enough for the Larkin facings, welts, and zip guard. I bought more Kona cotton in the color I thought I had originally purchased, but it’s definitely different. Dang dye lots.
The new color, which didn’t match as well, was used for the facings inside the jacket, and the old, better matching cotton was used for the welts and zip guard.
Sourcing matching ribbing, lining, and a zip wasn’t the easiest, but I think the subtle color differences are kinda nice. I bought a lot of multiples trying to get the best match. WAWAK was out of the color zip that looked most similar, but once most of the tape was hidden, the one I bought ended up blending in pretty well. I found the ribbing and lining at Mill End. The ribbing I chose isn’t quite as robust as the other one and it collapses a little bit, but sometimes you gotta make those trade offs.
I made a straight size 8 with no modifications other than adding a little hang loop. Currently, my measurements are 38″ bust, 31-2″ waist, and 40″ hips.
Aside from the sleeves being a wee bit too long (what I get for rarely making a muslin), I’m super happy with this jacket! It was the perfect slow down project with some fun challenges from my funky fabric choice. I’ve worn it almost every day I leave the house and it’s a great mild winter layer.
After years of being mad at knitting, I’m feeling pretty great with these last few projects. And I might even try more complicated patterns soon. I’m looking at you, bobble sweater and fancy cardigan.
I’m still figuring out how to loosen up and “get gauge.” I knit very tightly because my brain tricks me into thinking that’s the “correct way” to do it and that there will be huge holes if I don’t. No clue where these ideas came from.
At this stage I did question the fit, but I had enough room at the underarms and decided to keep going. This sweater is probably smaller than it should be, but I actually like the way it ended up fitting.
The sleeves are a bit shorter than the pattern called for, but it’s so warm, I kind of appreciate some of my arms being exposed.
I don’t love the way the neckline collapses under my chin. I probably should have done fewer rows, but I think this is also just how it goes without any shaping. I’m intrigued by those German short rows I’ve read about. And looking at the sample photos, my neckline is definitely knit tighter so, whoops!
Up next, I’m casting on the Trefann sweater!
While working on my second Good Night, Day sweater, I decided to take a break to knit up this fun scarf.
I had a little bit of false start though with this too scratchy wool from my stash . Maybe I’ll finish it anyway and give it to someone who can tolerate itchy neck things.
Determined to make one I would wear, I dug into my yarn stash and found a fun speckled yellowy-brown color. This is all thrifted yarn that will soon return to the thrift store. It takes up too much room and I’ve had all of it for too long.
This was a great project do while my work computer needed to think about rendering video clips. Spinning pinwheel of doom, knit a row, spinning pinwheel of doom, knit a row…
I think this yarn is some sort of synthetic, so not my favorite, but it’s soft and in a color that works with a lot of my clothes.
I think it’s real cute.
I did it. I knit something I like and will wear! And best of all, I actually want to cast on another project asap.
If you read my last post about knitting, you know it’s a practice I’ve struggled to find a groove with. Knitting patterns are so bare bones, but I’m starting to understand the lingo. I’ve also said to hell with small projects like hats and scarves.
YARN: Crazy Sexy Wool from Wool and the Gang in Cosmic Navy. I bought 5 skeins and used exactly 4. I’m pretty sure I knit TIGHT. Nope, I didn’t test gauge.
Before adding the waste yarn, I had to rip back two rows because my stitch count was off by one. My cousin helped me figure out that I had missed an M1 somewhere, so I pulled out the needles and carefully pulled out the rows. Once everything was back on my circulars, it was pretty cool to be able see that I’d put some stitches on the wrong way. I felt like a real knitter! A knitter who can see AND fix problems!
Once I finished the increases, I was able to try it on. This is my first top down project and I really liked being able to test the fit midway through.
Picking up stitches at the armpit ended up not being as difficult as I thought it would be (I had virtual help for the first one) and the sleeves knitted up so fast in the round. I did need quite a few more rows than the pattern called for in order for the sleeve to measure the right length. Probably because I knit tight?
The cuffs were a little difficult since I was using 20″ circulars. I have since learned about the “magic loop” technique and I can’t wait to try it out. I did more of a frustrating stretched blob technique that I don’t recommend.
This was such a satisfying project and it took under a month to make. I think this practice will be good physical therapy for my wrist too.
I know chunky yarn isn’t what “seasoned knitters” like to use but I dig it. I’ve worn this thing every day since I finished. I haven’t blocked it yet, whoops!
Before I even cast off this project, I bought more yarn, more patterns, an interchangeable circulars set, some cute stitch markers, and a row counter. I guess I’m hooked.
When it comes to making stuff with my hands, I can usually pick up new skills pretty quickly. However, that seems to go to shit when I’m knitting. I think it’s because I can’t visualize what’s going to happen. I don’t have enough practice to know what I’m seeing. And that frustrates me. A lot. And fixing mistakes? Nope. Frog it. Frog it all.
My grandma taught me some basics when I was in high school, but we didn’t visit very often and I really needed some hand holding for it to stick.
Anyway, after abandoning learning to knit in 2017, I’m trying again. And taking a peek at past projects to show myself that I can in fact, do it. Above is some snood pattern from WAK that I’m pretty sure I donated.
After making that snood, I tried another WAK kit. I think it’s the Sienna beanie that I probably chose because of the name. I think it might have also been donated. I hate wearing hats since I have curly hair (such a commitment), but was told hats are a good place to start.
Shortly after the hat, I tried the Ranta scarf, which I ended up being pretty proud of. I was able to find a groove while knitting, but I also remember writing so many notes to keep track of where I was in the project. I don’t have any finished photos, but I did end up keeping it! Maybe one day I’ll even block it!
After making a snood, a hat, and a scarf, I thought I was ready for a sweater. Sweaters are the whole reason I have any interest in knitting in the first place. The dream is to add Babaà and Misha & Puff style sweaters to my skill set and wardrobe.
My Classic sweater turned out okay, but there are a few things I hate about it. Firstly, it’s constructed in pieces and seamed together. I cannot make the seaming look good. It also doesn’t have any shaping at the neckline (the front and back pieces are exactly the same) so I feel like I’m being choked when I wear it. And lastly, it’s HOT. I can’t wear it without sweating, but I get that chunky yarn is a good way to learn and it knits up faster.
After finishing the first sweater, even though it had problems I didn’t know I how to fix, I started a second. I finished making the sleeves, but that was it. I recently discovered them in bag filled with other unused yarn.
I abandoned the second Classic sweater for this bauble sweater. I was freaking ready for a M&P popcorn sweater to be in my life.
It even traveled with me! But after working on it for three months, I made a teeny tiny mistake and gave up.
Ever since, I kinda told myself knitting wasn’t for me. But I really don’t like that I gave up on it because I wasn’t instantly good at it. I wasn’t instantly good at sewing, or drawing, or ceramics, or painting, but I kept learning because I got more immediate gratification from those practices.
Anyway, I’m giving it another go. My amazingly skilled cousin is helping me and I found a LYS that has “get unstuck” sessions. Wish me luck!