Saturday, November 20, 2010

FO: Violet's First Sweater

Pattern: Basic Knitted Dog Sweater from Dogs in Knits
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Taos (Hopi) and Nashua Handknits Julia (Velvet Moss)
Started: Nov 6, 2010
Finished: Nov 20, 2010

After making a sweater for a co-worker's dog, how could I not make one for our little puppy? That's the question Izzy recently posed. Then as if to drive home her point, the shaggy but not particularly furry Violet keeps shivering outside in the mornings. (Nice to see Izzy's been sharing her dramatic skills.)

So I set about using leftover yarn in my stash, just in case Violet turned out to be sweater averse or decided it was as tasty as Izzy's socks. I saved the leg cuffs for last, testing after I'd added one — and good thing, that band proved the tipping point for Violet's tolerance. Off it came. Right now, Violet's wearing her sweater without complaint. Izzy even swears she's smiling about it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

FO: Izzy's Skating Sweater

Pattern: Finley from by Marie Grace Smith

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton

Started: June 2010
Finished: Nov 2010

I started the year with two simple, but long overdue, goals: knit lace, knit cables. For nearly two decades, I hovered in the advanced beginner realm, picking projects that promised relaxation and few challenges. But 2010 would be different. I'd stretched but hard for work the previous year and came out the better for it and not too banged up. Time to move out of my comfort zone in other areas.

Being a "let's hold our nose and get the worst of it over first" kind of person, I started with the lace. The pattern was easy on the lace scale, but a worthy enough foe to make it one of my now prized possessions. Onto the cables ... and the discovery that I couldn't wait to turn that next cable.* The pattern, itself, was addicting and oh-so-smartly written. What's not to love about a sweater that requires weaving in ends and toggle buttons as the only finishing details. No seaming! (And even so, that finishing sat untouched for a good month.)

Since I wanted to morph the Finely coat into a closer-fitting sweater for Izzy, I chose to use up a bunch of black cotton yarn I'd had for years — intended for Leigh Radford's gorgeous Kandinsky Kimono. I purchased it back in 2002 during a moment of "nothing's too hard if you want the knit item bad enough" delirium. (On a side note, kudos to the four Ravelers who've actually completed it. I'm so not worthy.)

Other than swapping out the wool yarn for cotton and using the 4-6 directions (Izzy's 9), the only other mod I made was to do one fewer toggle (knew she'd never want it buttoned at the neck).

Special thanks to The Knitmore Girls for their terrific couture button tutorial.

* And couldn't wait to start the next cable project; while I worked on Finley's cable-less sleeves, I added in a few bibs.