I used to be pretty balanced with my crafting. I spent a fairly even amount of time knitting, crocheting, and sewing. My skill levels were about equal across all three crafts when I graduated high school.
About the shirt – This was my last serious sewing project and it’s from 2009. It didn’t work on me so my sister is modelling it. It was a failure for a variety of reasons including fit and a poor combination of design elements.
When I went away to college I left my sewing machine at home. I couldn’t sew myself clothes so I became more interested in other ways of making garments. There weren’t many crocheted garments that appealed to me and so I focused on knitting. You can probably guess what happened based on my blog content. My knitting skills improved rapidly and it started to be the only craft I really spent much time on.
I still dabble in sewing and crochet, but my skills have sort of degraded. I’d really like to be equally skillful across all three crafts once again, and I’m making plans to get that to happen. I’ve ordered yarn to crochet myself a sweater, and I’ll be able to reunite with my sewing machine once I settle in to living somewhere more permanently which will hopefully happen this year.
Once upon a time, I used to be a seasonal knitter. I’d knit in the fall and the winter, but when warm weather came around I’d leave my needles to sew. As I became more and more interested in knitting, it started to creep into my spring and summer craft time. I’d work on small portable projects like a hat or a headband in between sewing projects.
And then I started to design and I pretty much stopped sewing. Summer time became design time. While I design and knit my samples during all seasons, I do most of my editing and formatting work in the summer. It feels too much like school work so I tend to put it off until after the end of spring semester.
Despite my craft time becoming work time as summer comes around, I still try to squeeze in the occasional warm weather project. I like being able to wear my knits year round, even if my token knit is just a narrow belt. This summer is going to be my first summer in Washington state and I’m actually going to be able to wear sweaters during the summer. I’m weirdly excited about that.
I decided at the last minute to participate in the 3rd Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. For more details click the little graphic up there! Today’s topic is color.
I’m a bit of a color fanatic. I have a very colorful wardrobe, but I used to avoid equally colorful knits because I was afraid that I wouldn’t get as much wear out of them.
I spend so much time knitting my sweaters that I wanted them to be sophisticated subdued colors that I could wear forever. This completely ignored the fact that loud colors make me happiest and are what I generally end up wearing.
I managed to shake the habit of buying yarn in colors I don’t wear last year and I’ve knit these colorful sweaters. I’m hoping to keep knitting loud bright sweaters this year because they fit nicely in my wardrobe and get worn all the time. If I ever decide that I need more sophisticated colored sweaters I can always knit more, right?
These are some more old pictures that I found while making room on my memory card. Finals are approaching, I’m starting to develop a pile of papers that need to be written, and then there’s graduation. It’s a little overwhelming. I wish I could be as carefree as Bean is in these pictures.
It’s finally done! I took a break from working on this sweater to work on some more weather appropriate projects, but I managed to finish in perfect time. The weather has been ideal for wearing short sleeved wool sweaters.
And here is one of the giant puff sleeves! The layout of the increases are pretty chaotic, but I resisted my temptation to change that. The only modifications I made was to add selvage stitches to make seaming a bit easier and to convert the body to be knit in the round.
I used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in the Sherbet colorway. I was a little worried that it would be too scratchy, but it’s surprisingly comfortable to wear. I enjoyed how sticky and cripsy it was to work with. It’s definitely worth using again.
I’m happy with the way my sweater turned out. I’ve been daydreaming about what I can wear with it, but I do wish I had added a bit more length so I had more options. It’s a few inches too short to work with my high rise jeans, but luckily it works with most of my skirts. I want to wear my sweater all the time!
Whenever I get asked if I have any advice for newer knitters, I almost always say the same thing, “Try stuff. If it doesn’t work, try other stuff.” It’s obnoxious advice, but it’s the best way to learn what you like best.
Knitting is kind of magic because it’s easy to try new things over and over again. If something doesn’t work, you almost always can rip back you knitting and do something else. Sometimes you knit and frog swatches using the same yarn over and over again until you find the perfect technique. Sometimes you take apart an almost finished sweater body because you made a small mistake and have to start over again. It’s frustrating, but you have the chance to do things over until they’re the way you want them.
Unlike a lot of other crafts, knitting offers second, third, and fourth chances to get things right so a mistake isn’t death sentence for a project. Good yarn can survive being worked, taken apart, and worked again slightly differently. There’s no reason to not try things and risk mistakes. Be adventurous and try stuff. It’s not a big deal if it doesn’t end up working out because there are always other things to try.
I have to admit that it can be obnoxious to take my own advice. It’s not really a big deal that I have to do over most of this sweater. I’ve just started the body rows after casting on the underarms. The fronts and back didn’t take too long to knit a second time and I took the opportunity to change how I did the scallops. I changed my mind for the 1,000th time and decided that I like the wider ones better. That’s the small perk of doing this over. It’s a little annoying, but that’s all.
I knew seaming my puff sleeves was going to be a challenge because the sleeve cap didn’t match the shape of the armscye. It had to be eased in. I find doing that to be a little obnoxious with sewing cloth and it sounded down right difficult with knits. To make the process easier I decided to break my sleeve up into different sections and used four seams instead of two.
I marked off the different sections of my sleeve using paper clips. The first seam went from the bottom edge to the purple markers to make the sleeve into a tube. That seam marked the bottom center. I lined that up with the bottom center of my armhole and made two seams up from the center to the green markers. That got me through seaming the shaped part of the sleeve.
I ran a piece of yarn through the top of the sleeve and used that to gather the cap until it fit the remaining length of the armscye. I used the blue center marker to line up the center top of my sleeve with the center top of my armhole. Attempting to keep my gathers even, I awkwardly sewed the thing down.
It doesn’t look too bad! I think breaking the seaming up into sections really helped. Now I just need to weave in all of the ends.