AFMÆLI SWEATER {KNIT-A-LONG} POST 2

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Here we are, second week of the Afmæli K-A-L. We’ve already picked out our colors and established the correct tension (gauge) so it’s time to cast on! You can find the host blog post for this week HERE. My first post is HERE. I choose to use the Old Norwegian cast on (a.k.a German Twisted cast on) since it is a sturdy cast on yet gives a decent amount of stretch for the ribbing.

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I casted on with US2’s and worked 1×1 rib for 10 rounds. Now for the fun part – color! I changed to by US5’s and began the colorwork portion, which for me was chart A. This is when I realized that I casted on with the wrong color. If following the pattern I should have cast on with white but I actually liked the grey for the ribbing so I left it. A happy mistake! Once the colorwork was done I ended up staying with US5’s for the body. In my last post I wrote that I had planned to use US4’s for the body but I feel my stitches are tight enough to keep up with the 5’s.

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Part 2 - Torso

I moved all of the stitches onto a longer cable and tried on my sweater and it’s perfect. So far so good, I’m really enjoying this knit. Next step – onto the sleeves!

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AFMÆLI SWEATER {KNIT-A-LONG} POST 2

Finished Object {Shine Mittens}

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I’ve made my fair share of stranded mittens over the last few years but none as beautiful as these. These mittens just shout “Caryn” and I will be proud to wear them this coming winter. If you know me, you know that stranded knitting is my favorite style. It keeps my mind busy and from wandering. I especially love working the intricate designs of Latvian Mittens as they really hold my attention with the many colors you have to strand with. My first pair of Latvian mittens I had made for my mother for Christmas 2015 and I also have made a couple pair of Norwegian mittens (Selbuvotter), plain mittens, fair isle mittens, and cable mittens but my newest pair, the Shine Mittens are most definitely my favorite thus far.

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The Details

The pattern for these is called “Shine Mittens” and it’s written by Pia Kammeborn. It can be found on ravelry HERE. I fell in love with them and although it wasn’t a plan of mine to make myself a pair of mittens it just sort of happened. The yarn I choose is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport. I have made a few other pair of stranded mittens with this yarn and have been very pleased with the results. The color inspiration came from another knitter and I tweeked it a little so it was more me. The original pattern calls for just two colors but I think these 4 shades really bring my mittens to life. The colors I used are “sagebrush,” “saffron,” “tumeric” and “white.”

I obtained correct gauge with size US 0 (2.0mm)  needles and did not make any adjustments or modifications to the mittens. The pattern was well thought out and well-written; very easy to follow and understand.

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The cuffs are adorned with pretty flowers and striking latvian braids. The sides really attract the eye and are just as pretty. The stranded pattern was easy to memorize which was great for taking these mittens on the go.

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I also opted to add the braids at the bottom of the cuffs for added interest and for something to hang the mittens by to dry since I’m sure there will be a lot of snowmen made with these!

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Finished Object {Shine Mittens}

FINISHED OBJECT {Pearla Sweater}

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I made this sweater a couple months before the pixie bonnet that I have shared in a previous post but it’s a favorite of mine so I felt it deserved it’s own post! I finished it December 2016. This is the second pullover I’ve made for my little girl and after much trial and error in the beginning, the end results was perfect. This piece is called the “Perla Sweater” and it’s designed by Alejandra Graterol. You can find this patter for sale on ravelry HERE. You can also find her on instagram as kurokiknitting.

The Details

The yarn I choose was Quince & Co. Chickadee in the colorway “sorbet.” This was the first time knitting with Chickadee and I must say I’m impressed. The face that it’s 100% American wool is also really apealling to me. (I liked it so much I am currently in the process of working on a bonnet collection made solely in this yarn). According to my project notes, I used about 162 grams of yarn which was just over 3 skeins.

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The sweater is worked top-down and it utilizes the tubular cast on. I love the finished look that this gives. The first time I made this it was very wide and was going to be too large on my daughter to even make it work. I ended up ripping it out and starting over and although I didn’t make clear notes as to what I did differently, I think I went down one size. I have learned one thing with this project and that’s that when knitting in this type of brioche stitch, it is much looser/stretch than regular ole stockinette stitch. But second time’s the charm. The designer even noticed my project notes stating I had issues and she reached out to me to see if she could help in any way!

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The raglan increases are so lovely and this textured stitch is really quite squishy and comfortable. My daughter loves to wear it.

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Just the other day we had an exceptionally cool day (in July) so I grabbed this sweater off the shelf and my camera too and we headed outside for a mini photo shoot. I was so happy to see that it still fit and I am hopeful that she will be able to wear it this winter, giving her two seasons out of it. Yippee!

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I know she’s mine but she’s just the cutest!

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FINISHED OBJECT {Pearla Sweater}

Afmæli Sweater {Knit-A-Long} Post 1

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I have long admired the knitted works of a woman who lives on the Swedish island of Gotland. I was first introduced a short time ago through instagram (I think) and I have since been a fan. She and her husband produce a monthly video blog together on their YouTube channel called Kammebornia and they have such charm and a warming invite to them. They truly live in a fairy tale land; the scenery is gorgeous, the architecture is lovely and the old ruins are breathtaking as well as the many beaches and woods combined. If you’ve never checked it out I highly recommend it as my favorite knitting podcast: Kammebornia YouTube. So what does that have to do with this Knit-A-Long? In conjunction with Järbo Garn, she is hosting this KAL of the Afmæli Sweater which is a pattern designed by Védís Jónsdóttir for Ìstex back in 2011 in honor of their 20th anniversary. I have been busy lately with my etsy shop that I haven’t had the time to do any personal knitting for myself so I took the month of August off from my knitting sales to concentrate on a few items for myself and my family.

Pia (of Kammebornia) is posting blog posts to introduce the next steps in this KAL. She has her first one up and I am patiently awating the second one to prompt the start of the knitting! You can check out that post HERE.

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Let’s talk about the yarn! I have never worked with lopi yarn before but have admired it for a long time. I knew eventually I wanted to knit myself a “lopapeysa” which is sweater made from yarn derived from their native sheeps’ wool. As a breed these Iceland sheep are very pure and their fiber is extremely rugged and cold-resistant thanks to the hundreds of years it has been exposed to sub-arctic temperatures! Another great characteristic of the Icelandic sweaters is of course the striking yoke patterns. Stranded colorwork is my favorite knitting technique so it goes without saying this sweater is a must knit for me – I jumped on this opportunity to finally make myself my very own lopapeysa. The lopi yarn that this pattern calls for is Ístex Léttlopi. It is considered aran weight and is available in many beautiful colors as well as the traditional natural colors of the sheep.

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I wanted to show you the photo of this sweater (photo is copyright ©istex.is). The yoke can be created in many different ways; I decided to create a sweater that is closest to the grey example.

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The colors that I choose are called light grey heather, rose heather, golden heather, and white. My plan is to make the body in the grey and to knit the floral designs in the contrasting color of white. I think I will alternate the rose heather and the golden heather as background colors behind the white flowers. Perhaps I will play around when I get to the yoke but for now this is my idea.

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Time to swatch!

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Afmaeli - Colors & Swatching

The pattern calls for size US7 (4.5mm) needles but I have loose tension so I always need to go down a couple needle sizes. I tried US5’s and after washing my little swatch it did grow slightly and I am getting about 16.5 to 17 sts per 4 inches. The gauge called for is 18 sts per 4 inches so I am off a little. Because I’m lazy I don’t feel like knitting another swatch so I plan to knit the body up in US4 needles, and change to US5 needles during the colorwork portions because I’m always tighter when knitting stranded.

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Couple tips if I may 🙂
1) If you’ll be knitting a project in the round you want to be sure you knit your swatch in the round too, otherwise your gauge will be off – trust me on that one. But, once again I’m lazy and I didn’t feel like casting on enough stitches to knit a swatch in the round. Instead, you can knit on DPNs and just carry the working yarn behind to bring it back to the right side. This way you’re always knitting every “row” and thus getting a more realistic “in the round” gauge. (Typically purl stitches are looser than knit stitches).
2) Need to wash your swatch but don’t want to waste any yarn by cutting it from the ball? No problem, just wash your little piece leaving it attached to the ball. Only soak your work and then pin it out to dry. This way once it’s dry and you’ve measured your gauge you can rip it back out to use for your actual project. Easy!

And with that I can wind up this post. The next schedule date in this KAL is August 10 which is the start of the body. Check back after that for blog post #2!

 

 

Afmæli Sweater {Knit-A-Long} Post 1

Finished Object {Sweet Pixie Bonnet}

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This bonnet is just as it says in the title, SWEET. I am most inspired by my daughter when it comes to knitting. I’ve made her a number of things but mostly hats. She didn’t really need another one but I couldn’t resist anymore, the urge to cast on was too great. I wanted to make her a pixie-style bonnet and I think that older toddlers / young children look so adorable in bonnets. I started a different bonnet and got more than half way but just didn’t like it. I couldn’t get on board so I riiiiiped it out and went straight to buy this pattern (I had had my eye on it for a bit). It is called “Sweet Pixie Bonnet” and it’s designed by Ainur Berkimbayeva. (You can find the pattern on ravelry here). She is also on instagram as MamasTeddyBear.

The Details

The yarn I used is DROPS Flora. It is a fingering weight wool and alpaca blend yarn and this was my first time working with it. I pretty much fell in love with it! The pattern calls for sport weight yarn so I held it double and worked with an appropriate needle which was a US3 for me. The gauge I got was slightly larger than what the design calls for: 19sts & 34 rows = 4″ so, I knit the 2 year old option in hopes to get a larger bonnet, to fit my 4 year old daughter. I worked the pattern without any modifications.

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A favorite thing about this bonnet are the ties and tassels. I have used twisted cords in the past but never made a tassel. The night before I bought this pattern the designer did a live video tutorial on instagram of how she makes them and it was extremely helpful to me. These went off without a hitch and are such a perfect way to finish this bonnet.

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So how about some shots of it on?

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I can’t handle her cuteness.

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While I’m at it, I will also mention that the adorable owl cardigan she’s wearing in these pictures was something I made for her in 2014 when she was 2. The pattern info is “Baby Owl Yoke Cardigan by Abby Belnap. (Find it on ravelry here). It was big on her at the time so she’s been able to wear it for a few seasons. Finally this year the sleeves are starting to creep up past her wrists and I haven’t yet decided if I rip out the cuffs and make the sleeves longer or what. I totally could, as this isn’t tight around her waist and it’s long enough to cover her butt. I’ll save that for a rainy day.

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Finished Object {Sweet Pixie Bonnet}

Finished Object {The Kachina Bag}

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One of my plans for this blog is to share completed projects as I finish them. I love to look at FO’s (finished objects) that others have done and read about any modifications they made so I thought I’d like to do the same. And if I can help someone out along the way then that’s great! The very first FO I’ll be sharing here is my “Kachina Bag” by Diana Troldahl. (This pattern is available on ravelry here).

Many Christmases ago my mom & dad got me a NY Giants handbag. I loved that purse and used it until it fell apart, literally. When one of the handles fell off it was time to get a new purse. I thought about going out and buying one but frankly I didn’t want to spend the money. I took to searching ravelry (as I often do) and found this bag. I didn’t want anything too big or too fancy. Maybe something with a long strap so I could wear it crosswise if I wanted. One of my favorite knitting techniques is stranded colorwork so this bag was especially perfect. I never have felted anything before so I was excited to give this a try.

The Details

I used the yarn recommended in the pattern which was Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted. I am a big Knit Picks fan so I wasn’t a stranger to this yarn. I had green in my stash so just needed to order the other colors. The colors I choose were A: Everglade Heather (green), B: Fjord Heather (light blue) C: Gosling (grey), & D: Midnight Heather (dark blue). I used US 10 needles and casted on 10/1/15 and bound off 1/19/16.  I did not made any modifications to the purse except I opted for a single button hole in the center of the front flap. The other option I picked was a knitted strap which was the longest length suggested in the pattern. I actually ran out of the midnight heather halfway through the strap but luckily I had some sport weight WOTA in the same colorway and you can’t even notice that there’s a weight difference since it was felted.

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Felting Process

Speaking of felting, I was worried it would be unsuccessful because we have a front load HE washing machine. I’ve heard it can be tricky and they don’t work as well as the old fashion agitating machines. I did a little bit of research on the web and decided to just wing it. With the purse, I added two pairs of jeans and three large towels to help with the agitation. The settings I used were a normal cycle, hottest water, max fill and added a squirt of “Soak” wool wash to the detergent dispenser. I pulled the purse out and it was perfect! Even the strap was fully felted and didn’t need any hand-felting. Matter of fact, the strap had folded over on itself in a few places and felted together. I had to use scissors to carefully split the strap and pull it apart from itself. I stuffed a rolled up towel inside and let it dry for 24 hours. Found the perfect button at JoAnn Fabric and ta-daa! A pretty purse 🙂

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A shot of the backside. Pretty simple. And here are some cell phone snaps of the bag before felting.

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There you have it! The Kachina Bag! There are a few projects that are favorites of mine. Although they’ve been done for a while I think I’ll be sharing them just because I love them so much, so keep an eye out 😉

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Finished Object {The Kachina Bag}

MJ’s Hospital Hat

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My fourth niece was born last week, two days before Christmas. I had planned on being present during labor & delivery at my sister’s request to document this beautiful life changing moment with my camera, and I wanted to bring with me a little hospital cap for little Madelynn to wear after she was born. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there just because of timing but none the less I still had to knit her her first hat from Auntie Caryn.

I browsed online to try to find a quick and basic newborn hospital hat but couldn’t find one I loved so instead I just made one up as I went. It’s a very basic hat, no bells or whistles but it knits up quick and will fit a newborn’s head perfectly. What’s nice about this hat is you can use it as a blueprint to customize it however you’d like. Knit it up in a solid color, variegated yarn, add some stripes (as I did in mine), choose 2×2 or 1×1 ribbing for the brim… endless possibilities. You could even throw in some fair isle motifs in there if you’re up to it. So without further ado, here is the pattern for MJ’s Hospital Hat!

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SKILLS
Casting on, knitting in the round, decreasing.

ABBREVIATIONS
DPN – double pointed needle
CO – cast on
St(s) – stitch(es)
K – knit
P – purl
K2tog – knit two together
SSK – slip slip knit
MC – main color
CC – contrasting color

MATERIALS

Yarn
1 ball of Knit Picks Swish Worsted – 100% superwash merino wool (50g/110 yd).
I used “rogue” as my main color and a small amount of “squirrel heather” for my stripes.

Needles
US 4 (3.5mm) DPNs or size to obtain gauge
US 3 (3.25mm) DPNs or one size smaller than gauge needles

Gauge
Stockinette Stitch: 9.5 sts = 2” with larger needles
*Please check your gauge. I am a very loose knitter so make a gauge swatch and choose needles that obtain the gauge above.

Other Notions
Stitch marker, tapestry needle, scissors.

Sizing
True Newborn (head circumference of 13”-14.5”)

Notes
-This pattern has directions to make the hat pictured. If you choose to, just omit the stripes and continue knitting in your main color.
-This hat is “true newborn” size which means that it should fit the average newborn head, perfect for just born babies.

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With US 3 needles and main color, CO 56 sts.
I suggest using Tilly Buddy’s Very Stretchy Cast On. It’s a fantastic cast on and I highly recommend it. It is great for both 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing and has fantastic stretch. You can learn it HERE on TillyBuddy’s youtube channel.

Divide the sts evenly on three DPNs and join in the round being careful not to twist your sts. Mark your beginning of round.

Rounds 1-9: *K2, P2* Repeat from * to * until end. Your brim should measure 1.25” now.
Alternate: You can also do 1×1 ribbing by *K1, P1* around for 9 rounds.
Change to US 4 needles.
Rounds 10-13: Knit every st around with MC.
Join with CC, do not cut MC.
Rounds 14-15: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 16-19: Knit every st around with MC.
Drop the MC and pick up the CC.
Rounds 20-21: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 22-25: Knit every st around with MC.

Crown Decreases
Round 1: With CC, *K2tog, k10, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (48 sts)
Round 2: With CC, knit all sts around. Cut CC.
Round 3: With MC, *K2tog, k8, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (40 sts)
Round 4: Knit all.
Round 5: *K2tog, k6, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (32 sts)
Round 6: Knit all.
Round 7: *K2tog, k4, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (24 sts)
Round 8: Knit all.
Round 9: *K2tog, k2, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (16 sts)
Round 10: Knit all.
Round 11: *K2tog, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (8 sts)
Cut yarn and thread through these 8 sts, fasten off, weave in.

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FINISHING
I always block my pieces as a part of the finishing. This is how I wash and block all of my knits:
– Prepare a clean basin (or sink) with tepid water and a small squirt of wool friendly soap.
– Let your knit soak for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out water (no wringing).  I do not rinse because I use “Soak Wash” by Soak Wash Inc. and rinsing is not required. If your using something other than this, give a quick rinse and squeeze out water again.
– Place in a towel, roll it up and squeeze it to remove the excess water.
– Shape your piece by using pins or I like to place my bonnets/hats on a ball to shape. Let dry 24 hours.

I would LOVE to see all of the beautiful babies wearing this hat. If you happen to make one and share it on instagram, tag it #mjshospitalhat or #rdpknits so I can see them all 🙂

Here’s a cell phone shot of my beautiful niece wearing her hat!

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I hope you enjoy this little pattern. If you prefer a downloadable pattern to print, please visit this link: MJs Hospital Hat
If you are on ravelry, create a project and link to my pattern so I can see all your beautiful hats. You can find me as RDPKnits.

© Caryn Prouty, RDP Knits. You may sell items made from this pattern but please do not sell or reproduce any written or photographic content of this pattern.

 

MJ’s Hospital Hat