The Sweater that launched a thousand funks

You might remember the Sea Princess Sweater that I made for the Kiddo. It’s pink…very pink. I was super proud of how it came out. The Kiddo loved it. Even though it was probably a bit too warm out to be wearing a wool sweater, she wore it every chance she could get.

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Although it’s a washable wool, it still needed to be handled with care. I washed it a couple times  – with maybe one or 2 other items and in cold.

And then….this

It's a little hard to see here, but it looks terrible in real life.

It’s a little hard to see here, but it looks terrible in real life.

It got mixed into a full load of laundry somehow & washed in what was clearly water that was WAY TOO HOT for it. Now I have a weird looking pseudo-felted, cabled sweater. I’m not sure what to do with it. I worked too hard on it to be willing to just throw it away. What I know is that it sent me into a crafting & blogging funk the likes of which I haven’t seen in a couple years. Combine that with working full time and you can imagine how much I’ve gotten done.

BUT about 2 weeks ago I finally started to come out of it. I made a pair of baby pants, I finished the puppy hat of eternity, and I made a lovey blanket (pics & stories to come).

And now I have ideas…so many ideas! I have some really nice yarn that is just screaming to be used. A cowl, socks, washcloths…oh my. Now I just want to MAKE ALL THE THINGS!

On a separate note, what the heck does one do with a pseuo-felted, cabled sweater when it is totally unwearable?

Game of Thrones – mystery knit-along – clue #2

This clue gave me fits. The first time I did it, I followed the same process I’ve followed before for doing short rows and I wound up with a bunch of gaping holes. So I ripped back and started over, but the second time I followed the suggestion of several of the other folks doing the knit-along and tried the shadow wrap method of doing short rows. SO much better. (Thanks Socktopus tutorial!)

There are still some areas that I’m not entirely happy with, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to rip back again or not. I still have one very large hole and I don’t know where it came from…it’s not from a dropped stitch. Also, the center stitches of this section are really loose and look, I don’t know…weird.

On the up side, I’m enjoying the knit-along itself thus far. It’s fun to be making the same thing as other people at the same time. Plus I’m learning all kinds of new approaches and ways of accomplishing even the simple parts.

A VERY pink Sea Princess

It’s done! I can’t believe it, but I finished the Sea Princess sweater early.

And, like so many of the knitting challenges I’ve taken on before, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. (Really, you’d think I would have learned by now.)

I was really overwhelmed & nervous about the prospect of having to use charts for almost the entire thing…especially the cables. The only charts I’ve done before were for washcloths (non-cabled washcloths, mind you). Once I got into though and figured out a way to keep myself on track , the charts were super easy. The cumbersome part of this project was actually flipping between the charts and following the written directions at the same time. The trick? A 3-ring binder and post-its.

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Being able to flip through the 3 charts and keep the directions out & off to the side made it much easier to work. And also easier to pack back up when I needed to. (Not so easy to keep the cat off of though…seriously if you put a piece of paper down, you may as well be providing an engraved invitation for her.)

So, much to my surprise, I managed to finish this sweater about 2 weeks earlier than I anticipated. And it’s a good thing too! All of a sudden, it’s decided to be spring here. After a wishy-mostly-washy March, it’s supposed to finally be warm all week. At lease the Kiddo got in one good wear before it warmed up.

I guess it’s good that we have more little girls in our extended family.

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Game of Thrones – mystery knit-along – clue #1

Okay – couple things you should know about this knit-along before I talk about the first clue.

1. Where can you find this knit along if you want to play?

It’s on the Jimmy Beans Wool blog if you want to play along (PS – Jimmy Beans is awesome!). Or you can find it on Ravelry.

2. What the heck is a mystery knit-along anyway?

A mystery knit-along is where a different portion of the pattern (called a clue) is revealed on a regular basis over the course of the knit-along. At first, you don’t even know what you are making. It is only by virtue of knitting up the clues that you gradually reveal what the end product is going to be.

Now…Clue #1!

From the Jimmy Beans blog post:

Materials:

-2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Haymarket (or 430 yds of a worsted weight yarn – I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted)
-US 8- 24″ (or shorter) circular needles
-1 stitch marker
-Some episodes of Game of Thrones to enjoy while you knit!

Directions:

-CO 120 sts
-pm and join for working in the round
Rnds 1-6: knit in garter stitch (see above abbreviations for instructions on how to knit garter stitch in the round)
Rnds 7-14: knit in stockinette stitch (see above abbreviations for instructions on knitting stockinette in the round)
Rnd 15: purl

*Repeat rounds 7-15 twice more.

Now, I’ll be honest. There was a gauge swatch post as well, but I didn’t do it. Ordinarily I would, but time got away from me during Easter week since I was making the family dinner and then I got impatient to start the clue. BUT, I’ve checked my gauge against what everyone else is getting and I seem to be in the clear.

Here’s my finished Clue #1:

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Winter is Coming

Game of Thrones and Yarn…what? How awesome is that?

And more importantly – The Starks and Yarn.

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This is Winter is Coming from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted and I’m going to be using it in my very first Mystery Knit-along.

First…the yarn.

I’ve used this yarn before in another color (one that I can’t get anymore and that makes me very sad). It’s soft, easy to work with, and washable…woo hoo! Still I haven’t been buying as much of it as I’d like because it’s about $20/skein. Not SUPER expensive, but not cheap either and when I’m crocheting and making things for babies, I generally stick to cotton blends or acrylic (cheap & don’t require much extra care). And believe me, if I could afford it, I’d have this yarn in 50 colors. First of all, there are so many to choose from. Secondly, they are so rich & the combinations are gorgeous. And third, it’s so smooshy and soft! I love it!!

Now, the knit-along.

It’s a Mystery Knit-along. That means that you don’t know up front what you’re going to make. Instead, you get a small portion of the pattern (called a “clue”) each week. And this knit-along is Game of Thrones inspired/themed. So, the piece is inspired by the show & books and the clues come out each Sunday to coincide with the new episode of the show on HBO.

So fun!! I can’t wait to see what I end up making.

It’s starting to look like a sweater

See!

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This is the Sea Princess Sweater I said I was going to make for the Kiddo. It is, in fact, VERY pink. But the pink is actually quite pretty and not as harsh as I initially thought it might be.

Looking at the progress, I might actually be done a bit earlier than anticipated. In which case, the Kiddo has also requested a pair of matching legwarmers. I’m fairly certain I’ll have enough yarn to accomodate that request, but we’ll see. I hope so.

I still need to decide on buttons. I have to go through my button stash first to see if I have 6 buttons that will match and look pretty with this sweater. If not, I’m not sure where I want to look to try and find them….maybe Etsy, maybe Jimmy Beans (a new fave of mine that I’ll talk more about soon, by the way).