The 2019 Pigskin Party KAL hosted by the Down Cellar Studio podcast is in full swing now. I wasn’t able to do as much pre-planning this year as I have done for years past. I realized I had three major projects that were already on the needles that I don’t want to put into hibernation because WIPs don’t count for points. So I may not be as gung ho this year.
But at the very least I tried to get into the spirit of the competition by casting on a new WIP. I had been craving a big chunky blanket knit after I finished the Westport Blanket. So I went stash diving and found roughly 990 yards of Knit Picks Brava Bulky kicking around. The colors really do play well together with the true red, navy and grey.
I used the advanced search in Ravelry to look for bulky blanket patterns that used this yardage amount and that were completely garter. I wanted a nice BIG auto pilot project. I came up with the Zen Yarn Garden Chevron Baby Blanket by Staci Perry of the VeryPink podcast and YouTube channel. I love listening to her every week so I went all in!
I cast on and quickly got to the second color. I think I will be true to the pattern and alternate the navy and grey with a solid chunk of red in the middle. This pairs nicely with the fact that I have three full skeins of the navy and grey and only one and a half skeins of the red.
My hands do get tired working on this large of needle and yarn. So I will probably work this one in bits and pieces to avoid injury. But I’m really pleased with the pattern so far and how the yarn is knitting up! And it’s been awhile since I had to work a chevron. It’s been nice dusting that off!
I have worked the initial garter border section for 3.5 inches (ish). And I have just now started the first pattern repeat. I managed to make it through halfway through the first pattern repeat before PB woke up and demanded my attention. I’m super in love with the pattern that is emerging.
The stockinette panels are really showing up well in this yarn. This is Knit Picks Mighty Stitch held double. I’m using the Celestial colorway. This is the perfect halfway project between mindless knitting and just enough interest to keep me working. A few rows of patterning followed by a swath of garter.
I have no deadline for this project and I find myself picking this project up as a palette cleanser on my “bad brain days” or in between other projects. It’s kind of nice to have a peaceful project tucked away waiting for me. Do you have a peaceful project?
This past weekend I managed to crank out a FO (finished object) that I will show you Friday. This finish really cranked my knitting mojo into high gear. It made me want to finish ALL THE THINGS. So I pulled out my Charlotte Winter sweater. I had been plodding slowly through the first sleeve trying to give my hands a break from turning a huge heavy sweater while sleeve knitting.
I was a good chunk through the decreases on sleeve one so I hunkered down and finished the sleeve. Purling in the round on huge US 13 dpns….NOT my favorite but I was committed.
I finished sleeve number one and immediately tried it on. It fits very nicely and snug. That’s pre-blocking of course. So I hope that means I won’t get a baggy sloppy fit after washing and blocking. I’m really hoping to get this done soon so I can get maybe one wear of this yet this extended winter.
I finished the body to my Charlotte Winter this week. I went digging into my project bag to pull out the double points for my sleeves. And I came out with US 15s….but I’m knitting this sweater on US 13s. Sleeve island is a real thing you guys, and I haven’t even started knitting them!!! Insert a D’oh here…
So thanks to a 50% off coupon and a trip to Joanns I am finally ready to tackle the sleeves! (And now I own needles I will probably only use once, lol.) I may take a tiny timeout on this project. The heavy sweater and big needles are really flaring up some soreness in my forearms and wrists. Nothing major but I think it will be prudent to take breaks and mix up the weight of projects I work on so I don’t develop a fully blown injury!
I needed a little self care this week and so I set aside some quiet time to work on a project just for me. I haven’t touched this sweater in quite awhile, its my Charlotte Winter.
I had added a few inches right after I checked the fit way back right after Christmas. But I have been focusing on Jellybean’s Mackenzie 5-ply sweater since it was older than my sweater. I was caught up in wool fever watching knitting podcasts in my craft room (aka the guest bedroom downstairs) and my sweater seemed a decent length. Or so Dex and I thought….
I slipped it on me while the needles were still in and it stretched to my butt. So I merrily cast off and finished my podcast. And I tried it back on….well without the weight of the needles it not surprisingly scrunched back up to a normal length. And it hit me mid butt cheek. Not the silhouette I was looking for. So I ripped back the cast off and got all my stitches back on the needles. I really need at least 3 more inches. I guess I’ll just need more podcast time!!
Given my post baby #2 enhanced waste line I opted for an a-line shape to provide better coverage for the back 40. I think at this point I have used two full balls of the grey yarn and starting the third. I have six total. And I haven’t slipped this one to check fit either.
Here is a gratuitous shot of car knitting in my new favorite pajama leggings. It was a bright and cold trip home from Christmas with snoozing dogs and babies in the back. A pretty darn good trip except for the PB had a blow out in her car seat in the last 5 min of the drive. I think she just wanted to give me a belated Christmas present, lol.
My Charlotte Winter was my Christmas vacation progress. I seized the opportunity of grandparent and auntie baby sitting time to see how far I could knit on a bulky sweater project.
Here is my Day Two progress:
I managed to complete all the garter ridge stripes and I’m finishing the raglan increases. It’s getting to be a lot of stitches on the needles at this point. But man it was nice to have some soothing garter stitches to watch my kids play and catch up on some Christmas movies.
I did take some time here to bury some of the ends for the color changes in the yoke. I didn’t trim them because I want to block them first. But it really helped to make this project less messy and more manageable. I have one more day’s worth of progress to show you before I had to go back to real life.
It’s a top down bulky sweater with raglan increases all knit in garter stitch. No purling!! (Well except for the sleeves). And I was a GOOD knitter and started a swatch.
The bottom garter section was knit on the pattern US 15s while the top section was knit on US 13s. I found that not only was it easier to knit on the 13s but I also like the fabric better. I even washed and dried my swatch to be sure! Now I guess I get to do some sweater math….
It was a lovely weekend here in Kansas and so I turned my 3 year tornado loose in the backyard to burn off all his little wonderful energy. I meanwhile wanted to try an experiment. I had been catching up on the backlog of the YarnHoarder YouTube podcast and recently watched her segment on dryer balls. I have had one in the past but I wasn’t impressed. Amber mentioned that she uses several at once and it cuts her drying time in half.
So my 36 week preggo body waddled to JoAnns and came home with some 100% wool to felt. I picked up three different weights to test out….roving, bulky, and worsted.
Jellybean even took play breaks to help me wind into balls!
I got them all wrapped up into balls and ensconced into pantyhose. Jellybean thought this part was HILARIOUS. I wasn’t very scientific about the size. I just split each skein into two balls as best I could tell. They totally didn’t turn out equal. Score one for eyeballing it!
Now I just need to wait for either a load of towels or jeans to pile up so I can pop these into the wash to get them felted!