After more than three months, Rainbow can finally wear her sweater!
Pattern: Dancing Leaves Cardigan by Natalie Pelykh, size 8/9
Yarn: Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat Mini Skein Sets (two) in 32 Color Morph
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm) Addi circs
Started/Completed: November 29, 2016/March 6, 2017
Mods: fudged the yoke a bit (see below)
This project ended up being a bit of a slog, but in the end, it was totally worth it. It is truly stunning, and Rainbow is thrilled with it, so I really couldn't ask for a better outcome. Yes, it would have been nice to have finished it a bit sooner so that she could have gotten more wear out of it, but I am thanking past me for choosing a size larger than what she's currently wearing so that it should still fit for at least another year.
I have to be completely honest and admit that this pattern broke my brain a little bit. I suspect a large part of it has to do with the fact that the designer is not a native speaker of English, so sometimes the wording was a bit unusual. But really the main challenge was the charts. It took a while for me to adjust to having more than symbol for the same stitch (for instance, there are different symbols for a stitch depending on whether it's knit on the right side and purled on the wrong side, purled on the right side and knit on the wrong side, or knit on both sides). This was particularly difficult when I was working on more than one pattern at once and had to adjust to different charting styles. It did get easier once I was more focused on only this pattern, and I did get faster as I got toward the end of the cabled yoke. There was one exception: I could not make heads or tails of the instruction for the stitch maneuver for finishing off the leaves, so I kind of made up my own way of doing it. I think it looks fine, but it was rather frustrating that I couldn't make it work as it was supposed to.
The yarn was pretty good to work with, though I find I do prefer the tighter twist and greater number of plies of the sportweight version of these mini skein packs (you might recall that I used this same gradient in my Zeccola Cowl sample). It had a tendency toward being splitty with the small, sharp needles I was using. I ended up using only a portion of one skein of the darkest turquoise, and only for the sleeves, so there's still a good amount of yarn left to use for something.
The final task for this sweater is finding buttons, which may take a while. We need 15 of them, and they have to be on the smaller side. I may not have enough in my button stash, so it may require ordering some from online. Rainbow doesn't seem too concerned that the sweater can't be buttoned just yet, so I'm not feeling any real urgency myself. We'll get buttons when we get them, and in the meantime, it'll be an open-front cardigan.
Now that that sweater is officially off the needles, I've returned to my Quill sweater, which is growing quickly now that I can actually give it some attention. The body is moving much faster than the garter stitch border, and the first feather is finally emerging!
I have a very good feeling that it will be way too warm to actually wear this sweater when it's done, but that's not really stopping me at this point. It's been a while since I finished a sweater for me, and I've spent the winter months frankly a little bored with my sweater selection, so I'll be glad to get something new in the rotation when sweater weather rolls around again.
I'm still working on my Cape Cod Socks and am closing in on the toe of the first one.
I've mainly been working on these during my lunch breaks at work, but we're getting our taxes done this weekend, which means prime sock knitting time.
In addition, I've cast on another charity hat that I can work on while putting Rainbow to bed (meaning it's something simple that I can knit in the dark). This time it's a Sockhead Slouch Hat in some Trekking XXL self-patterning sock yarn I picked up off the freebie table at Indie Knit & Spin. This is pretty mindless knitting, which, frankly, is just what I need after a long day.
I'm very much looking forward to the weekend ahead. Rainbow and I are both off tomorrow, so we're planning a visit to Knitsburgh and some downtime. On Saturday, the whole family is coming over for a belated birthday dinner for me (yes, that's right, I'm 29 again today!). I gave the Mister a very specific fiber-related hint for my present, so we'll see if he took it.
Before I go, I wanted to mention that I (sort of) have another new pattern out. I've designed the Kerameia Cowl in collaboration with Lisa of Fibernymph Dye Works, and for the time being, it'll be available exclusively through her shop as part of a kit. She's having an update with preorders for the kits tomorrow, March 10, at noon Eastern, so if you're interested, get over there to snag one!
This cowl is knit in stranded colorwork, with some corrugated ribbing to keep it from rolling up, and features two colorways created exclusively for this pattern. Two skeins of Lisa's DK-weight Bona Fide are enough to knit two cowls, provided you switch the colors for the second (I'm planning on knitting two more cowls with the leftovers from the samples eventually). It's dead easy, as stranded patterns go, with only two rounds with long-ish floats (and I tell you exactly how to deal with them in the pattern), plus it's a unisex design that's great for men, women, and kids. I'm really excited about this one and for those of you who snag a kit -- Lisa's yarn is divine!