Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sleeve knitting is awesome

.. except it's really not!  I had to force myself to complete those sleeves I was moaning and procrastinating over in last weeks Yarn Along by setting a daily goal to complete so that they'd be finished for today.  Having said all of that, the cardigan is pretty awesome!

Shift of Focus - finished

I'm thrilled with it and the hand dyed Puelo llama wool from my shop was a perfect choice for a few reasons: 1) the varigated colours work perfectly with the long rows, I think this pattern would be lost on a solid coloured yarn. 2) the softness - oh! How I wish you could reach out and touch this cardigan because the llama wool is like butter - soft and dreamy and I never want to take it off - even though it is far too hot this week, I'm wearing it as I type! And 3) the weight is just right for a good drape without being heavy.

105

I know quite a few people have the Shift of Focus pattern in their queue.  It's well written and worth paying for. I'd say it's intermediate level but not un-doable for those looking to stretch from beginner patterns.  
The body worked up fast because it's all short rows, meaning you never reach the end of a row (wrap and turn, wrap and turn) so I was nervous about leaving it lying around in case stitches got dropped but it was, for the most part, good knitting for social knitting and/or watching movies.

I added an extra set of button holes inspired by another Ravelry user, just because (actually - the real reason is that I thought six looked less err.. nippley, somehow).  More technical details on my Ravelry page.

That's the third adult sized cardigan I have knit so far this year which is funny because this time last year I was knitting my first proper cardigan and worrying if I could do it at all!  What a difference a year makes (are you reading this Becky?!).

finished shawl

I also finished my procraftination-related crocheted green shawl that I mentioned last week.  I love the picot detailing on the edging - which was a new skill I learnt with this project along with the magic loop cast on and how to double treble (UK).

finished shawl 2
I'm still new to crochet but I think this pattern could have been better written for a paid pattern. Mine used  nearly four times the amount of yarn and was already the finished size when I still had several double treble rows remaining so I finished earlier than the pattern states. However, I love it. It's very autumnal, I think.

picot edging


There hasn't been a whole lot of reading but I have just started The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters which looks interesting. I'm always fascinated by letters, I wish there were more letter writing in my life and less emails and texts.

It turns out that my bout of startitis at the beginning of the year was not such a bad thing after all.  I do love completing projects - it's such a satisfying feeling. And now, amazingly, I'm ready to cast on something new.  I don't know exactly what it will be, yet, but I know for sure that whatever it is, it wont have any sleeves!

What are you crafting and/or reading at the moment?


53 comments:

  1. Love that cardigan. There are times I wish I could knit a little faster.

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    1. Thanks, Jax. There are times that I wish I could knit a little faster, too!

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  2. I love that sweater!!! You look lovely in it and it's quite flattering-I agree with the increase of buttons ;) Now I'm off to favorite it. Great job!!

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    1. Thanks, Karen - I'm glad you agree about the buttons! Thanks for the friend request on Ravelry :o)

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  3. OK, I love that cardigan! And the color is great. I think it will end up in my queue as well. I hope you'll let us know how the book goes, it does sound interesting.

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  4. It's a beautiful cardigan and it looks so pretty on you.
    You make me laugh about the sleeve knitting, it's not my favorite either.
    Wishing you cooler weather soon so you can wear you cardigan all day!

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  5. Beautiful. I like that pattern a lot. That colorway is just beautiful.

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  6. I am currently reading a book of letters (and diary entries) and I am enjoying it. I agree - you just can't beat a real, handwritten letter.

    Love the green shawl! That edging is delightful.

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  7. Ooooo, that cardigan is pretty! I love the front detail and it looks so pretty on you. I think I am off to add it to my Ravelry queue too!

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    1. Thanks, Shirley. It's an interesting pattern, isn't it? I hope you enjoy it :o)

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  8. how lovely! the colours and the yarn are wonderful! :)

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  9. Great work! That pattern and colors look great on you! Off to add yet another pattern to my queue ...

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    1. Thanks, Emily - enjoy the pattern :o)

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  10. Ooh love the Shift of Focus cardigan.I love the fit across the shoulders and the sleeve length. I haven't seen that pattern before...oh no another cardigan to make but it looks like this one would knit up quickly. I'll have to go and buy it now.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    The Mitford sisters book sounds interesting they were a bit of an eccentric family by all accounts.I've just finished the tie and must photograph it and reading the same book but two new ones to begin. Hopefully I'll be able to join yarn along later in the week or next.
    deb

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    1. There are so many great cardigan patterns, aren't there?! I think I need to step away and make some other things before attempting another one.
      I don't really know much about the Mitford sisters so it is a bit of a history lesson for me, also.
      Looking forward to seeing your tie :o)

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  11. Lovely sweater! I love the blues that you used. The shawl is very pretty.

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  12. Your cardigan is beautiful!! I agree too, the colors are not lost on this pattern, and help it to shine!!

    I'm so sorry you've had trouble with a pattern you purchased-- it always bums me out when I have that happen-- the end result is lovely though.

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    1. Thank you, Mary :o) It worked out ok in the end this time but I do so wish that people would send their patterns out to be tested before selling them!

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  13. Both your projects are just beautiful! I hope I can manage something like this one day!!
    -Jaime

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  14. Great cardigan! I agree that the yarn is perfect for it!

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  15. You look great in your sweater! Good work!

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  16. Sleeves, yeah I am knitting them too at the moment and hating it! Love both of your projects they are both gorgeous.

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    1. So boring, aren't they? And tangley, too.
      Thanks for the compliments :o)

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  17. Gorgeous cardi. Funny I felt similarly about knitting the sleeves on my Miette.
    Lovely shawl, those colours are beautiful together.
    Enjoy starting something new.

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    1. Thanks, Mistea :o)

      I think these sleeves were extra work because it was garter stitch in the round so alternating rounds between knit and purl meant that I couldn't just get lost in it whereas with the miette it was just knit, knit, knit.

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  18. Hannah, your comment on my blog today hit the nail on the head....about control and I have already failed so we don't have much to live up to, its easier just to continue in the dysfunction. Its a "safe" zone.
    Just want you to know I loved reading that....it really brought some clarity to me.
    As always I love all of your crocheting and knitting projects... wish I was more crafty, but I do love looking at all of yours. <3 Maybe someday I will act on my desire to learn how to knit and crochet. I really want to make that little border/flag, granny square triangle thing you made. I LOVED that.

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    1. I'm glad you found it helpful, Annette - it's something I worked out after a long time in therapy and still have to identify about myself today.

      The border/flag thing is bunting! I think it would be a great project for a beginner to learn some stitches ;o)

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  19. Love the shape of that cardigan, it looks like it would be easy to wear with lots of different outfits.
    For someone new to crochet you certainly seem to have the hang of it!

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    1. Thanks, Emma. I was just thinking last night how versatile it is (I really don't want to take it off!).

      I do seem to have picked up crochet very well this time around but I have taken several attempts at it and failed in the past.

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  20. I have been trying to work up the courage to add a sweater for myself to my queue for this year and continually return to two different pattern possibilities, this one being one of them! I think I am a similar build as you and I am so convinced this might be the one to try after seeing how gorgeous it is on you! Really beautiful projects- I'm drooling over your shawl too!

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    1. Hi Sarah - definitely knit yourself a sweater!! Thanks for the compliments :o)

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  21. I'm new to your blog, coming over through Yarn Along. That cardigan is so cute! I've been trying to work up the nerve to start a cardigan but just can't seem to get there. I thought maybe a baby-sized version first might be the ticket. Adding that pattern to my someday list! Great job on both projects!

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    1. Welcome, Tara!
      A baby cardigan is a great idea for practice. I saw a gorgeous baby version of the tea leaves pattern on someone's blog yesterday that might be a good choice.

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  22. I love the cardigan! It came out beautiful. I agree about sleeve knitting! Worth it in the end, a pain while doing it!

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  23. Lovely, although I'm hot just thinking about wearing a cardigan, soft llama or not!
    I, too am on Sleeve Island, ever so close to finish but at the same time -not!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Sleeve Island seems to be long-stay only! I hope they move quickly for you x

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  24. Even with all the procrastination you've finished so many things and I'm still (!) knitting away at Ted's cardi (although admittedly it's rather challening to do so now Anna just will not let me knit as she's determined to grab the needles and have a go herself and 1 year olds are very tenacious and surprisingly strong - and I really don't want to have to fix any damage she might do *sigh*)

    Sleeves really are the last slog sometimes - I now actively avoid anything with set in sleeves as I can't bear sewing them (I try to avoid as much sewing, when it comes to knitting, as possible).

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    1. Only because I started so many things, Nikki!
      I'm sure Ted's cardi will be ready by the time cardi season comes around.

      I haven't tried set in sleeves, yet. This cardi was top down and so all knit in one piece. I'm not a fan of sewing knitting, either.

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  25. And even at this time she *still* isn't asleep. *sob*

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    1. Aww xx If it's any consolation, I'd swap my knitting time for a cute little Anna (sleeping or not) in an instant!

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  26. Gorgeous cardigan!!! The pattern looks so interesting and not difficult. I love it when you can watch the movie and continue to knit.

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  27. Wow awesome shawl! I realised today that my reader hasn't told me about anything for a really long time so just catching up. Technology huh?

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