Finished Object Knitting

Grace Wrapper: Pattern Review and FO

June 15, 2018
Grace Wrapper Header

May I present to you, my newest, prettiest, comfiest sweater – the Grace Wrapper! I think I must be growing as a knitting because my sweater success ratio is improving dramatically. Swatches, you guys. They’re boring, but seem to be worth it. I made a sweater that fits! Like really well. And it’s really comfortable. And it’s adorable and classy and I feel like a fancy ballerina in it. Let’s talk about it!

The Pattern:Grace Wrapper

For this sweater I used a modified version of Kate Oates Grace Wrapper pattern. I had been scouting this pattern for some time. Pretty much from the moment I saw Christina Danaee’s version on Instagram. It was originally published in Grown: Sophisticated Sweater Designs from the Maker of Tot Toppers, but I didn’t really care for the rest of the patterns in the book. In the comments on Ravelry, Kate Oates hinted that it might be released independently in 2018. So I waited. Then I snapped it up.

As I mentioned before, I modified this pattern a bit. I changed the sleeves so that they ended in ribbing, rather than the bobble edge, which was a little too sweet for me.  On the underarm, I picked up 12, rather than the 4 or 5 stitches and decreased 2 stitches every 4th round until I got to 46 stitches. From there I knit in 2×2 ribbing for 3 inches.

Grace Wrapper - Side

I also lengthened the body of  my Grace Wrapper slightly. I didn’t like the way the original pattern rolled at the bottom, and wanted to include a bit of ribbing. Because I only had 3 skeins of yarn – the ones I bought from the Fiber Festival – I was carefully to maximize what I had. So I knit the body to the length called for in the pattern and then put the stitches on a holder. Then I knit everything else. After everything else was finished I went back to the body and knit in 4×4 yarn until I pretty much ran out of yarn (saving some to finish the steek). I ended up adding about 2 inches to the sweater.

Then I blocked it and let it sit for several weeks while I got up the courage to steek the hole in the side for the wrap. I found lots of tutorials about how to steek something all the way open, but not for just making a little hole. So before I cut into my precious sweater, I knit a test swatch and steeked that. Then I brought it to knit night and had someone who’d steeked before take a look. Once she said it looked good, I put off steeking another week. Then one morning I just got up and steeked it! And it worked! I’m afraid to look to closely at it for fear that it will come apart, but I think it’s alright.

Grace Wrapper

The Yarn:

This yarn was my one and only 2018 DFW Fiber Fest purchase. It is Olive Yarn Dye Co. in Bella DK, which is a 3 ply DK that is 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Nylon. I used every single bit of 3 280 yard skeins!

Bella DK is very nice to work with. It’s very smooth and blocks out beautifully. The color, Champagne, was just that subtle millennial pink that I was looking for. I promise. I searched the whole Fiber Fest and this was the best one!

Grace Wrapper

The only complaint that I have about this yarn is that it has an occasional speckle of other dye colors. Just every once in a while there is a random blue or orange dot. It didn’t bother me enough to cut them out, but there are some spots of my Grace Wrapper that look like I stabbed myself with a pen. So that’s a shame. Other than that, I had no issues with the yarn. I would totally use it again. I love the muted colors.

Of course, now that I finally steeked my grace wrapper its 100 degrees here in Texas. The poor thing will have to go into hibernation for a while until it gets cool again. While I wait, I’ve got some summer knits I’m working on. I can’t wait to show you when they’re done! What are you working on right now? I’d love to hear about it!

Finished Object Knitting

Another Elijah: Review and FO

May 6, 2018
Another Elijah

Do you ever feel like you’re in the “everyone is pregnant” stage of your life? I do. Luckily, I also find myself pretty darn equipped for that phase. Another one of The Hub’s friends had their first child; a beautiful baby girl. They live all the way out in Arizona, so I was struggling to figure out what to knit. Phoenix babies don’t really need cardigans. Then I found out that their nursery and baby shower was going to be elephant themed. So I proudly present to you: yet another Elijah!

The Pattern

Elijah Bamboo Pop

I had previously done an Elijah by Ysolda Teague for my latest niece. Before then (pre-yarnsley lane) I have made several as well. I am a huge fan of the pattern. It always turns out adorable. That being said, I am declaring an elephant hiatus for myself. I need a break. While Elijah always brings a great result, it is somewhat fiddly to knit with all its arms and legs and trunk and ears. It also requires me to use double pointed needles, which is a nope for me. There’s really no other way to pick up the stitches for the arms and legs but to use the DPNs. So I get it. I get why it has to be that way. But I hate it.

Elijah Bamboo Pop 3

All fussing aside, I happily make little Elijah elephants for whatever baby needs them. I will continue to make little Elijah elephants for future babies as well. But can we space them out a little bit? Lets do that.

The Yarn

Elijah Bamboo Pop 3

For this version of Elijah, I used the leftover Bamboo Pop that I used for my niece’s jubilee cardigan. I do not recommend it for a stuffed animal. I chose Bamboo Pop for this Elijah because it was:

  1. In the stash; and
  2. Washable

However, I had some real issues with laddering on this project. I don’t typically struggle with laddering, but the Bamboo Pop really seemed prone to it. It also seemed like it was pilling a little, which was weird. I think it will be fine in the end. It’s washable and the laddering wasn’t that noticeable, but I will use something different for the next Elijah.

Elijah Bamboo Pop 4

Now, I have at least two pregnant ladies in my office that I need to knit for, and I am fresh out of ideas. Any non-elephant suggestions for cute little baby knits? I’m thinking the recently released Beloved by Tin Can Knits or the Twinkle Twinkle Baby Blanket by Helen Stewart would be fun to try. 

Finished Object Knitting

Pattern Review and FO: Brioche Bandana

April 23, 2018
Brioche Bandana

You may have noticed it in my previous post about the Fiber Fest, but I have finished my Brioche Bandana! One of my goals for 2018 was to learn two color brioche. I had done regular one color brioche, which is about three steps easier. I had never tried two color brioche before this year. Now I can happily check that goal off my list! Aaah brioche…It’s only hard if you drop a stitch.

The Pattern

Brioche Bandana

I chose Lavanya Patricella’s Fingering Brioche Bandana Cowl for my first real foray into two color brioche. You’ll notice I say first real foray, since technically my Bryant Shawlette was two color brioche. But on that project I went rogue and only used one color. This time, I did things the right way.

In retrospect, the brioche bandana was pretty challenging for a first timer. The difficulty comes when you have to switch between circular and flat brioche. The bandana starts out as a tube with brioche in the round, but later switches to flat knitting to create the triangular bandana section. Like most stitch patterns, brioche is a bit different in the round vs. flat. For the record, I prefer in the round, since I’m always a little fiddly with edges. 

Brioche Bandana 2

I also found the decreases on the lower part of the bandana to be sorta tricky. They just weren’t very intuitive. To be honest, I’m still not sure that I did them right. But no one has said, “oh my gosh, what did you do on the bottom edge of your cowl?!” so I’m just going to roll with it. I had contemplated adding a different bottom edge,but it’s not really noticeable when worn, so I decided against it.

Despite the few hiccups I had with this pattern, I would totally knit this again. In fact, I intend to knit this again with some hedgehog fibers yarn that I have in the stash. It’s incredibly easy to throw on and wear. It looks cool and interesting, but doesn’t add a lot of bulk. I don’t like it when scarves and cowls restrict the movement of my head and neck, so this is perfect. It’s not too heavy either. In short, the brioche bandana and I are a match made in heaven.

The Yarn

Brioche Bandana 3

This technically used 2 different yarns,but I’m only going to talk about one. I was lucky enough to snag a skein of Dye For Knitting Merino Sock when I was in Tulsa last winter. It’s local to Oklahoma which made it extra special. And the colors are…to dye for! Seriously though, I loved the speckled blue yarn, and it took me a long time to figure out what to put with it in this cowl. In the end, I decided that a green would complement the yarn nicely. I had a partial skein of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in green that worked well, so that’s what I went with. 

Brioche Bandana 4

The yarn itself is great. It’s consistent and the color is so saturated. I didn’t have any issues with the quality, no knots or pilling. It smells delightfully sheepy, even after a eucalan soak, which I love. I was sniffing it all weekend when I wore it to Austen. It smelled a heck of a lot better than our hotel room! The dye did bleed a little when I initially soaked the bandana, but the dye didn’t get onto the other color at all. 

I still have a bunch of this yarn leftover too. The brioche bandana really doesn’t take much. It’s great for leftovers. I can’t decide what to make with the leftovers of this one. Maybe a bright baby hat…As always, pattern recommendations are encouraged.