Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Summer Sweater KAL Works in Progress

Let me just say, first of all, that I am in denial that it is already September.  Summer has flown by at break neck speed it seems.  This time next week I'll be getting the boys lunches packed up, making sure their back packs are ready and mentally preparing myself for the first day of school.  It's going to be an especially hard one this year given my last baby will be off to kindergarten.  What am I going to do without my littlest side kick with me?  I'm going to really miss his non-stop chatter and stories.  (He tells the best, most involved stories ever!)  It's going to be an adjustment for sure and I'm pretty sure there will be some tears involved - mine, likely, not his.

So instead of focusing on that, I will, instead, focus on knitting.  Not only does summer holidays come to an end next week, but so does the Very Shannon annual summer sweater knitting KAL.  I always enjoy Shannon's knit alongs.  There's lots of chit chat in the thread on Ravelry, oodles of motivation and inspiration and it's just down right fun.

This year I was really eager for the KAL to start because I was planning on knitting Shannon's pattern Antrorse.  I'd purchased my wool with my birthday money and was chomping at the bit to get going on it.  I dove into knitting pretty much as soon as the KAL started, although I had some issues with getting gauge to start with - only because I was being really daft and kept going down needle sizes instead of up when I was knitting my swatch.  I was getting desperate and thinking there was something really off on the pattern when I'd gone down to about a 4mm needle (using bulky yarn none the less) and still couldn't get gauge.  I even posted about it in thread.  And then felt really, really silly, when I suddenly realized what I was doing wrong about half an hour after posting.  D'oh! There are days I should just put down the needles and back away slowly.  Ha ha!

Anyways, once that issue was out of the way it was smooth sailing.  I really love the Cascade Eco+ I'm using.  It's so soft and cozy but feels light.  Winding those gigantic skeins is a bit of a beast though.  Turns out my ball winder outright refuses to wind the whole 478 yards, quitter that it is.

Really?  That's as far as you'll go??? Slacker!
I was doing really great with the knitting and it was really coming along, but then it got really hot and muggy and I just could not face having all that bulky wool sitting on my already too warm lap.  So, what's a girl to do but cast on a different project?

Deck knitting Antrorse and drinking a wine cooler
(non-alcoholic of course, because alcohol and knitting don't mix!)
My second project is an Andi Satterlund design (Of course it is!  I can't resist her patterns!) I'm working on one of her newest patterns, Sunshower, and it's so pretty.  I had really hoped to finish it last week for my girls' night out with my sisters and cousins, but alas.  No go.  I made a pretty epic mistake in my pattern that required me ripping everything out from the start of the second pattern chart at the bottom of the sweater all the way to the beginning of the left front.  Oh how that hurt.  But on the bright side I learned my lesson.  You see, I got a bit cocky with my "reading" of my lace and started thinking I was off a bit on my stitches.  Things had been looking a bit wonky for awhile, but I put that down to it being just because all those stitches were squished on my needles.  But then I started fudging rows here and there because things weren't lining up the way I assumed they were supposed to be lining up.  Of course all that fudging led to a wrong stitch count and so my new pattern chart wasn't working out.  At that point I was advised (by (BF)G none the less) to rip it out and start again. Oh how smug he is that he was right about my knitting.  Ha ha!  Long story short, I am really glad I listened to him and ripped it out, because I would've been really disappointed in the end result otherwise. I quickly realized I'd been totally reading the knitting wrong, stuck to the chart, used stitch markers with wild abandon to make sure I didn't get off track with the increases and got it done.

After all that crazy push though to try and get it done, not only did I not finish in time for girls' night out, I ended up with really sore wrists and had to take a week off of knitting to let them rest.  I'm back at it though and have just finished up the button band tonight.  Tomorrow I'll launch myself onto sleeve island.  My plan of attack is my usual one.  I'll do the short row sleeve caps individually and then put both sleeves on the needles and do them two at a time.  No second sleeve syndrome for me.  No siree!

Body is done!  Sunshower just needs some sleeves!
After I finish up Sunshower, I'm going to jump back into finishing up Antrorse.  I'm so close!  Just one more pattern repeat on the body, then the garter stitch band at the bottom, then sleeves.  I'm hoping I can get both done by then end of the KAL, but that might be a wee bit ambitious.  We'll see!

So that's what's up for me in the knitterly side of life.  I've been sewing a bit here and there too - a few new projects and techniques under the belt, but I'll save those for another day.  In the rest of life, it's been a whirlwind of gardening, canning, harvesting garden veggies, (beware of zucchini and cucumbers... if you turn your back on them they multiply quickly!  At least I think they must!), visiting, and spending lots of time with the two littlest. I've even managed to have not one, but two visits with N and his girlfriend in the span of a week (He even cooked me lunch on one of those visits - having a chef for a son has it's perks!) and then G and her boyfriend were out too this past weekend.  Now all I need to do is pin the elusive J down for a visit and I'll have it made!

Splish splash!  These two little guys and I have had a fun summer!
I guess that's about it for me tonight.  (BF)G just came into the kitchen shaking his head at me likely for being a night owl again.  (I stay up way too late, then am always so darn tired during the day.  Go figure. He thinks I'm nuts.  He's probably right in that assessment!  LOL) I should probably hop to it and get the things done that I need to do before I head off to bed for the night.

So I'll bid you adieu and hope you all have had a great summer in whatever way you've spent it!

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