Bronze Brynja

brynja1This cardigan is one of my last finished objects, the last FO of 2016 in fact. I was wearing it today when, coming home from work, I realised how long it had been since I published anything on this blog, so I’m glad I’ve finally stopped caring about posting my projects in the order I finish them! Please excuse the crazy hair, I had just been rained on. OK who am I kidding, my hair is always crazy! :-/

brynja3The pattern is Brynja by Linda Lencovic, in PomPom Quarterly, Issue 11 (Winter 2014). FYI, it is now also available as an individual download. It had caught my eye when it first came out, and I immediately thought of it again when, about a year later, the lovely Aïda brought 19 skeins (yes, NINETEEN – no, I haven’t used all of them) of Phildar Sport’Laine (Bronze colourway), a discontinued wool/acrylic blend, at our annual fabric/yarn swap. The yarn slept in my stash for a little over a year, which I guess is not too bad compared to how long some other yarns have been waiting in there. It was very pleasant to knit with, and its only downside is that the 49% of acrylic mean that things can get a little bit sweatier than with my other, 100% natural, sweaters. Sorry if that’s TMI. It does not smell though, probably thanks to the wool content?

brynja4I did not find the instructions for the cardigan completely user friendly, which I’m thinking might have to do with the very limited space they had to fit in the magazine (4 very small pages, schematic included). There were also a couple mistakes in there, which had me unravel quite a few rows (details on my Ravelry). Mistakes/Small lack of clarity aside, it was still an enjoyable knit thanks to the AWESOME cable pattern. I mean, isn’t it gorgeous?

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The buttons were rescued from an old jacket by my mother. Merci Maman!

And so easy to knit and to memorise. Plus, no need for a cable needle. I loved seeing those cables take shape and I love the texture they give the finished cardigan!

brynja5However, when I first finished the cardigan and tried it on, I felt pretty meh about it, if not seriously disappointed. All I could focus on were the very low armholes, which I am not used to. I forced myself to wear the cardigan nevertheless, on a very casual day at work… and I fell in love with it! The low armholes can’t even be seen from the front, only from the back, and they do not bother me at all anymore; I actually like their relaxed feel! They don’t look that good when the cardigan is closed, but I always wear it open, so…

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Pockets! A bit small for the hands but perfect for tissues and chapstick!

My Brynja has now become one of my most worn cardigans (I know I say that about a lot of my knits, but it is true, I do wear most of them on a very regular basis – the majority of them never even see the inside of my wardrobe from about September to June). Its colour goes with a surprising amount of prints and other colours, which I did not see coming. By the way, did you know the name of this colour in French is “caca d’oie”, which means “goose poop”? Oh, the glamour! It’s actually a very accurate description of the colour, much more so than the one chosen by Phildar, isn’t it? But I didn’t think “Goose Poop Brynja” would make as catchy a title! 😉

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Out of Season

GrisRoseHey, I finished my Summer sweater! In November, how timely!

I actually finished it two weeks ago, but I really didn’t feel like taking any pictures, what with the lack of time and daylight. I finally took the time to take some pictures yesterday, only to realise afterwards that I had completely forgotten to iron the peplum. Ah well, there’s no way I’m taking the pictures all over again, so you’ll have to forgive me for the wrinkled peplum and its curling up hem.

GrisRose2The pattern is from Phildar magazine #86 (sweater #29). I mostly followed the instructions, the only tiny changes I made were to knit a longer peplum (13 cm instead of 12, how daring of me!) and to pick up stitches for the collar instead of knitting it apart and then sewing it stitch by stitch as per Phildar instructions.

I used the recommended yarn, Phil Coton 3, in Mercure and Rosée.

GrisRose3It was a really easy knit, but it made me fully realise that, while I usually love the result, I actually hate knitting colourwork. I find it so tedious with the bobbins and the tension, argh! I’m not saying this is my last colourwork project, because there are some cute patterns out there, but for my next projects I’d better concentrate on something else (ah, lace… ah, cables…).

GrisRose4It was really hard sticking to that project once fall had arrived and made me long for cosier knits, but I’m glad I have that no UFO rule because it forced me to complete it instead of putting it away and most probably never being motivated enough to get back to it and finish it. And, even though it’s clearly not the most useful garment for November, I have to say I find it pretty cute. But how could a knit featuring both a peter pan collar and a peplum not be cute? I like the colours, too, and the trompe-l’œil strapless bodice of course. I’m pretty sure I won’t be having any trouble wearing it come the warmer weather.

GrisRose5PS: I have of course already started another knitting project, a wintery one this time.

WIP: Grey and Pink – Take Two

WIPIt seems of late that I can’t knit for the current season: I knit a merino fall sweater under the Spanish August sun, and here I am knitting a cotton summer sweater when fall is definitely ahead of its schedule here in Belgium!

When I began this sweater about ten days ago, the weather was so warm I was pretty sure I’d be able to wear it towards the end of the month. Now I’m not so sure, to say the least! But I still want to finish it before starting another project since I don’t do UFOs (I’d never finish anything if I did).

The pattern is from Phildar No. 86. I didn’t see the potential of this particular pattern rightaway because the colours really put me off. I’m not usually one to fear colours, but come on, red and orange… and green… and black?! I’d be surprised if even one person knit this pattern in those colours! I initially thought of black and white, then I remembered I wanted to add a few grey and pink items to my wardrobe, so I chose those two colours instead.

The start of the schoolyear means I haven’t had a lot of time to knit lately, but the sweater is progressing slow and steady. The stockinette stitch and simple construction mean that I can take it with me and knit everywhere, which has helped a lot.

Blue Stone Sweater

BlueStone1Man, do I love this shade of blue! I already own a cardigan in more or less the same colourway, but I couldn’t resist knitting this one. I also think it goes quite nicely with the black collar and buttons. I have been told many times that black and blue don’t belong together, but different strokes for different folks.

BlueStone2This sweater was a very fast knit (yay short sleeves, yay stockinette!)… until I reached the collar. As you can see in my ravelry notes, everything but the collar took me two weeks to knit, and then I spent two more weeks on this ridiculously small collar! I find knitting ribs a little tedious and so slow in comparison to stockinette, plus the weather suddenly got warmer and, contrary to the yarn used for the body of the sweater, which is made of summer appropriate fibers (cotton, linen and tencel), the one used for the collar is a wool/acrylic blend, which was a real pain to knit in the heat. So I only knit a few rows here and there and even put my work aside for a few days.

BlueStone3One month to knit a sweater, even a short-sleeved one, is not too bad, though. And I love the result! It’s really my style with the empire waist gathers and the cute collar and buttons. However, if I must be completely honest, I’ll admit I don’t know what to wear it with. I think it would look nice either with jeans, black slim pants, black shorts or a black skirt, none of which I own! Okay, I do own one pair of jeans but they really don’t fit me well… Now you’re probably wondering what I’m wearing in the pictures. I don’t know if I should really tell you, but those are, ahem, jersey harem pants from my belly dancing days! 😀 They were all I had that looked nice in the pictures, I swear!

Now I should sew myself a few of those basic black pieces I miss, but although I have no problem sewing basics, I don’t think there’s any black fabric in my stash. I never think to buy that kind of fabric because I’m always distracted by prints and colours when I’m at the store. I really should go with a few basics in mind for a change.

BlueStone4Well, back to my new sweater! I’ve already told you about the pattern and the yarn in my WIP post. The pattern was fairly easy (though I still hate seaming up knits with all my heart) and the main yarn was really nice to work with and it also seems nice to wear. If this had been my first time using the yarn of the collar, I don’t think I’d recommend it, but I’ve already knit a cardigan for my boyfriend with the same yarn and it was really pleasant to knit and went through many a machine wash without a hitch, so I’m thinking it was the heat (i.e. my sweaty hands – TMI?) and not the yarn itself that was the source of my problems (the collar began to pill a little while I was sewing it on).

BlueStone5The pattern asks for five buttons, but I only added three because that’s all I had in stock (taken from this dress!). And as a matter of fact I prefer it that way, so that was fate! The sleeves and bottom hem are finished with single crochet, which stops the edges from curling. I was really expecting the collar not to stay in place and having to tack its ends to the sweater, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it roll nicely around the neckline by itself.

Except for the fact that I don’t have anything to wear with it (yet!), this sweater is a success in my book! Plus it actually gives me an excuse to go and buy some fabric, so what’s not to love? 😀

WIP: Short-Sleeved Sweater

EnCoursIt never takes me a long time to begin a new knitting project after I complete one! Thinking of the next project is usually what motivates me to finish the last one, especially when it has been dragging on for too long like my last sweater. This time I finished my sweater on Thursday and casted on the next one (after its gauge swatch, I’m a cautious knitter!) on Friday.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to knit a lot this weekend due to the ginormous pile of exams I had to correct, but I did find some time to devote to knitting during my breaks and in the evening. I actually finished the 100 rows of stockinette at the beginning of the back (note that I was at row 60 when I took the above picture). Here’s hoping I keep the same rhythm and finish this sweater faster than the last one!

I know some people find stockinette boring as hell, but I personally LOVE it! I find it so relaxing and you don’t need too much concentration so you can have a conversation or watch TV without missing anything.

The pattern is from an old(ish) issue of Phildar. As far as the yarn is concerned, the one recommended by the pattern for the main part of the sweater (Phil Milk) has been discontinued for a long time, so I’m using Muse (also by Phildar) instead. For the black collar I’m using Phildar’s Lambswool.

As you can see I’m linking to Ravelry! I’ve had an account since 2010 (!) but I’ve never done anything with it except to download patterns and the like. Yesterday I finally took the time to upload a few past projects and begin to try and understand how everything works. I’m tassaditknits by the way if you want to be my friend. 🙂

April Fools’ Sweater

AprilFool1It‘s finished!!! I can’t believe it took me so long to finish such a simple project: I began knitting this sweater on April 1st, which means it took me almost three months! I usually knit a sweater in one and a half to two months, but with this one, after a great start with the back, the front took me forever to complete, among other because I kept screwing up the part with the eyelet bows and having to frog and reknit it. After that I kind of lost my mojo and had to wait until I reached the second sleeve to find it again. And now it’s too hot to wear a sweater, waaaah!

AprilFool2But I still have a cute new sweater, yay! It’s exactly as I had envisioned, no surprise about the size or whatever, phew! All in all it was fairly easy to knit (the mistakes I kept doing on the bows where due to my lack of attention, that’s all), especially for my first real foray into colorwork (I don’t know whether to call this sweater colorwork – the chart was so easy).

The pattern is #3 in Phildar Magazine N°69:

Pull3As you can see I’ve changed the colours a bit! I liked the original ones, but I wanted my sweater to be as versatile as possible and I don’t think you could wear such colours in many different outfits. So I chose beige and dark blue, even though I already own a sweater in those colours, because I like nautical style a lot and I thought the form of this sweater was different enough from the other one. And who knows, I might even knit a third one someday seeing as I bought way to much yarn for this project and I still have five balls (almost six) of the beige yarn and four of the blue. 😀

AprilFool3How do you invisibly seam up a striped knit? I couldn’t stop the beige yarn I used to sew the sweater from showing a tiny bit in some places on the blue stripes. I hate seaming up knits!

But what I hated doing the most knitting this sweater was the collar band! Phildar always has this crazy idea of having you knit the collar band separately and sewing it to the sweater afterwards (they don’t seem to know circular needles even exist – they NEVER have you use them). I usually ignore that part and pick up the stitches to knit the collar band directly on the sweater. But this time, my circular needle would not cooperate. I don’t know whether that’s because my hands were sweaty from the heat or just because the needle was poor quality, but after hours (yes, hours! – my left forefinger is still a little numb) of suffering and not even managing to complete one row, I finally had to literally cut the cable of the needle to save the sweater and, the horror, resolve to using the dreaded Phildar method.

AprilFool4Look how cute the back is! They don’t show it in the magazine (you only discover it by reading the instructions!) but it was a pleasant surprise. I thought the pretend button placket looked a little sad without any buttons, so I added three.

So, when’s the cold weather coming back so that I can wear my new sweater?