Sunday, November 4, 2012

Out to lunch

Two kind readers ask: where in the heck have you been? And how in the heck are you?

I've been out to lunch apparently but I'm fine, thanks for asking. Let me get you up to date on my knitting projects because you know no matter what I do, I'm knitting!

I've got two sweater projects underway. You're not really a devout knitter unless you're knee-deep in multiple projects - just ask my friend, Maggie who routinely works on double-digit, in-process knitting projects and still yearns  to start something else!

First on the list: my personal rework of Takoma, Julia Farwell-Clay's cowichan-inspired coat. I fell in love with this sweater at first sight, but after seeing completed projects and contemplating my personal girth and mighty derriere, I decided I should make a plainer version that makes the most of my figure. I used graphics software to  envision the sweater modifications. I changed the color, too since I'm using gold instead of the taupe in the original design. Note that I am removing all the stripes below the armpits and the center stripes on the sleeves. This should draw the eye up to the bodice and play down my way-too-ample hips.

I've finished the sleeves and really love how it looks thus far. The lightweight chunky Cascade Eco+ brings this sweater to life and makes for a very fast knit.

But one sweater isn't enough for me. I'm also working on Ysolda Teague's Chickadee Sweater from Little Red in the City. I'm going to turn the chickadees into cardinals using duplicate stitch when I'm finished. My  family is obsessed with the red birds; every time we see a pair, we're convinced that our dearly departed grandparents have come back to visit. My family will love this sweater. It will make a perfect Christmas cardigan that I can still wear all winter long, too.

I'm using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in Moonshadow and (appropriately) Cardinal. I cruised Etsy until I found the just-right vintage red glass buttons - they're perfect! Now all I have to do is knit. 

Have I told you lately how much I love making sweaters? Last week, I was at Joann Fabrics looking for buttons and came across a knitting book I really liked five years ago. The problem: all of the sweater patterns in that book were way too small for me and I didn't have a clue about upsizing. At the time, I dejectedly sighed and put the book back on the shelf. But when I came across thjs book last week, I realized there wasn't a single design that I couldn't re-engineer for my particular lumpiness. What an achievement! I know the rest of the world would never understand that I can now die a happy woman because I can make sweaters that fit, but perhaps you'll understand. It's incredibly difficult to knit flattering fashions that fit, but now I can do it with confidence.


  1. Go Julie! I am in single digits at the moment, but feel a major bout of startitis coming on....(I got a new pattern in a subscription series Friday, and the only thing that kept me from casting on is that the yarn was not yet wound.)

  2. Your goal has been realized and I salute you,Julie!

    These sweaters are GORGEOUS. You are a color knitter.
    Boy did we miss you!
    Glad you are back blogging again.
    But I maintain..the more we get involved online, the less we tend to actually knit!

  3. Love both sweaters! The mods you made to the Yakima are super smart and will make it much more flattering while still maintaining the feel of the original. And the colors...

    Congratulations on your hard won knitting acumen. I know exactly what you're saying. That kind of feeling is my goal in retirement-- to really "get" knitting so I can pick up any project, really deeply understand what's going on and bend it to my will as desired. Your journey has been so inspirational to me as I plug along.

    I missed you and was so happy to see the post this morning waiting tor me.

  4. oh where to start!?
    1. welcome back!
    2. o love yourmods you etched in for the first sweater - great idea and in fact the eye is drawn upwards on your version and esp with the birghter gold instead of taupe. crimson and gold = near perfection imho ;)
    3. the sleeves are looking good so far.
    4. i LOVE the chickadee sweater but as someone who has maybe the opposite morphoogie from you (very large boosum and broad shoulders) i steer veryveryvery clear of yoke sweaters. i hate that though as i really do love chickadee.
    5. your chicadee with those gorgeous red cardinals is...well, gorgeous! lol
    6. it's so fun to see them take shape isnt it?!
    7. those buttons are perfect! so delciate and striking

  5. Oh, ah, the chickadee. i can't wait to see this one.

  6. Julie,

    Glad to see you back. Love the changes you made to Takoma. Sometimes a lot of colorwork seems to take over the garment so much so that you only see the garment and not the person wearing it. I think you did just the right thing in your changes.

    BTW, I'm having loads of fun with the sweater I had emailed you about, and the darts are working out magically to shape the sweater to fit all my bits and parts. Just have the sleeves to finish.....can't wait to start the next one!! It's been a great first altered-to-fit sweater experience, thanks again for smoothing the way.

    How did Sandy treat you? Here in NJ, we're basically a mess, but digging out.

  7. ahem... early bird? LOL I love how start-itus infects and takes over, but I'm really dying to see that one finished...