Sunday, September 27, 2015

anna knits - lesley pullover

Pre-sewing in loose ends and blocking:

A few months ago I decided it was time to knit my first sweater. Serendipitously, the Woolful summer knitalong was just beginning, and it asked knitters to pick a pattern from Hannah Fettig's new book Home and Away, which is full of beautiful sweater patterns. (You can see my Moto Vest from the Woolful spring knitalong here.) I bought a copy of the book and decided on the Lesley Pullover because the construction was straight-forward, it used large yarn (aran weight), and I liked the simple design. I opted for the top down seamless route, but if you prefer seamed patterns, do not worry! Both ways are provided for every sweater pattern in Home and Away. Hannah Fettig is also the co-creator of the wonderful podcast, which did an episode on understanding a sweater pattern (#3). I re-listened to that episode before starting my project, and would recommend that anyone who is new to sweater knitting, or has not done it in a while, do the same. I then visited my local yarn store Argyle Yarns, which carries Quince & Co. yarn - yay! - and purchased four skeins of Osprey in frost.

I did my gauge swatch and ended up moving up a needle size from the recommendations, meaning I used sizes US10 and US10.5. The project went very quickly, and I was able to finish my sweater in a few weeks. I could not be happier with how it turned out, and I would definitely recommend this sweater to any knitter interested in tackling their first sweater. The pattern is easy to understand, and because it uses large needles, you will be able to see your progress quickly.

It has only just begun to feel like sweater weather in Brooklyn, but I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to sport my new Lesley Pullover soon. I have already started on my second sweater -- the Hancock from Home and Away -- and it is going great so far. Follow me on Instagram - @annaknitsetc - for real-time updates!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

anna knits - moto vest update 2

A few months ago I decided to join the Woolful March Knitalong and make the Moto Vest pattern designed by Shelli Westcott of Knitterly. It took me a little longer than a month to finish this project - and even longer to find time to take pictures for this post - but it was actually a pretty quick knit. The pattern basically consists of two scarves (one long around the front of the body, the other shorter and down the back) joined together. It is a wonderful beginners garment.

I wanted a larger Moto Vest, so I initially cast on 58 stitches in Cascade 128 Superwash in Doeskin Heather (1926) on size US10 needles. Unfortunately I lost track of exactly how much yarn I used, but I think it was about six skeins. I knit flat using circular needles, because I find it easier to transport my knitting when it is on circular needles, and I like to knit on my subway commute. After I finished the two major parts and sewed up the seams, I wet blocked the vest. It took a few days for it to dry completely as the ribbing is pretty thick, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

On a recent trip to Block Island, I posed for these pictures. It was a great garment to have on the chilly New England nights that come even in July, and I look forward to wearing it layered with flannel and denim this fall. I also have some extra yarn from this project, so I might try to make a smaller version of this vest for me, or maybe a little sweater for Mae the adorable pug featured above.

Read my Moto Vest Update 1.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

anna knits - moto vest update 1

It has been a while since my last post, but that is not because I have not been knitting. As with most US east coasters, winter is usually my most productive knitting season. Sitting down with a pile of wool is just more appealing when it is cold outside, and this winter was a cold one for NYC. What is harder during the winter months - for me at least - is capturing pictures of my creations. With limited natural light and cold temperatures, I wasn't so motivated to set up photo shoots. And fellow bloggers will know that once you get out of the habit, it is hard to get back into it. That said, it looks like spring has finally begun in Brooklyn (despite the sad looking plants in the following pics...), so I got out my camera and started documenting my latest project (with a little help - pc: jpa). Here it is:

The past few weeks I have become obsessed with the podcast Woolful. If you are not listening, head over to the itunes store and subscribe (its free). Each episode features interviews with people in the fiber world (i.e. knitwear designers, yarn store owners, dyers, fibers farmers, and more). I listen to it on my morning commute, which has come to include subway knitting - usually on the B train.

During the month of March, Woolful hosted a knitalong (multiple knitters making the same project at the same time) around the Moto Vest pattern by Shelli Westcott. I learned about the knitalong from the podcast, and found the pattern to be really cute as well as an innovative way to enter the world of garment knitting. All you really need to know how to knit is a ribbed scarf -- see the clever way the project comes together here. When I was gifted some super soft Cascade 128 Superwash in Doeskin Heather (1926) at the end of March, I decided to cast on, despite not having a hope of finishing by the end of the month.

I went with size US10 circular needles, which I find easier to use if I am transporting my project. I casted on 58 stitches, because I wanted the vest to be on the cozier side. So far I have knitted about 1/3 of the project and used almost two skeins of yarn. I have four total, so I will probably have to get a fifth in order to finish since I want the vest to be hip length. I'm hoping to be finished with the project by early May, but with more time or bulkier yarn I could see this project taking many knitters just a few days time. So far it has been a fun pattern, and a great way to keep my hands busy while listening to Woolful.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

anna knits - traveling cable hat

A few months ago I knit a Brooklyn Beanie (free pattern) for my boyfriend. He got great use out of it at the beginning of the winter, but with snow storms and record low temperatures hitting New York he needed a warmer hat. About a year ago, I bought some luxurious merino wool from Purl Soho, and after knitting this hat I still had a little over a skein of the Toasted Charcoal yarn left. With this yarn in mind, I started looking at The Purl Bee for a pattern. I settled on the Traveling Cable Hat, which was free (yay!), and would allow me to practice cables.

MODIFICATIONS: After reading some of the reviews for the pattern on Ravelry, I decided to use size US7 and US8 needles, instead of the recommended size US5 and US6. (My boyfriend's head circumference is about 23 inches.) I also modified the pattern to be less slouchy by knitting the cabled pattern a total of three times rather than four. The pattern used just over one skein of yarn (164 yards per skein). While the hat fits well and has stretched out a bit since I finished it three weeks ago, if I were to knit it again I might even go up another needle size, just to make it a little roomier. The one technical issue I had was that since I did not own 20-inch circular needles, I knit the hat on 16-inch circular needles, which was a little fussy (due to the over-crowding), especially at the beginning.  

In the end, I think the hat turned out beautifully, and I would recommended this pattern (with the needle adjustments I mentioned above). As you can tell from the picture of the hat being modeled (reluctantly) above, it has already gotten a lot of use. While I love seeing my knitwear in use, I am definitely ready for some warm weather. How many days is it until spring??

Monday, January 12, 2015

knitting, etc. - vogue knitting live

If you are going to be in the NYC area this weekend, don't miss the fifth annual Vogue Knitting Live Conference. There are classes and lectures suitable for all levels, as well as many other knitting inspired events. I am very excited to attend for the first time, and see the Norwegian/Swedish knitting duo, Arne & Carlos (I signed up for their Friday lecture). Plus you can now get HALF OFF all remaining NY classes with code NEWYEAR15. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

anna knits - last four of 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. In the last few weeks I have travelled from Brooklyn-->Scituate-->Boston-->Brooklyn-->DC-->Palm Beach-->Miami-->Brooklyn. I managed to get in some knitting along the way, and below are four of my most recent projects. 

Here's to the knitting we finished, the work that is coming with us into the new year, and all the projects that will inspire/pacify/consume us in 2015. Cheers! 

Pom Pom Peds by The Purl Bee
Yarn: Kambgarn (Glacier Green)

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns, Woolspun (Cranberry)

North Star Hat by Mary Ann Stephens
Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns, Wool-Ease (Navy and Gold)

And of course, more headbands by anna knits, etc. 
Yarn: Loops & Threads, Cozy Wool (Velvet)

Monday, November 17, 2014

anna knits - brooklyn beanie

I was gifted some beautiful North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply yarn a few months ago. I was not sure what to make with it at first, but since I was not in the mood to knit on tiny needles, I decided to hold two strands of the fingerling yarn together and knit a hat with size US6 circular needles. I love the color combination of the gray and blue yarns, so I included a thin contrast stripe at the bottom. This is an easy unisex project that would make a great holiday gift. I included the pattern I used below. 

You can see a different style hat I made with the same yarn here

~Brooklyn Beanie Pattern ~

Yarn: I used 2 strands of North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply held together in main color (MC) Stone Wall, and 2 stands of North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply held together in contrast color (CC) Cerulean Sea Glass. A thick sport or light worsened weight will get the same result.  
Needles: US6 circular and double pointed
Gauge: 25 stitches = 4", 30 rows = 4" in ribbed (K2, P2) stitch.
Finished hat size: fits 20" - 23" head circumference

K = knit
P = purl
K2tog = knit 2 stitches together
P2tog = purl 2 stitches together

Cast on 100 stitches in MC to circular needles
Round 1: Join work, place marker, and work K2, P2 around
Rounds 2-7: (K2, P2) around
Round 8: Switch to CC and K2, P2 around
Rounds 9-11: (K2, P2) around
Round 12: Switch to MC and K2, P2 around
Continue with K2, P2 until hat measures 7" - 7.5" from Round 1

Crown Shaping (switch to double pointed needles when needed):
Round 1: (K2tog, P2) around (75 stitches)
Round 2: (K2, P1) around
Round 3: (K1, P2tog) around (50 stitches)
Rounds 4-6: (K1, P1) around
Round 7: K2tog, (K2tog, P2tog) around (25 stitches)
Round 8: K1, (P1, K1) around
Round 9: P1, (K1, P1) around
Round 10: K1, (P1, K1) around
Round 11: K1 (K2tog, K1) around (17 stitches)
Cut yarn and weave through remaining stitches. Draw firm and fasten on inside. Weave in loose ends.  

Block using your preferred method.

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