Tag Archives: Cascade Ultra Pima

This year’s first Christmas present

Lots of blue: my blue lemonade cardigan, the picnic cedar table my dad made for us, and some flowers from my mother-in-laws garden

Lots of blue: my blue lemonade cardigan, the cedar picnic table my dad made for us, and some flowers from my in-laws garden

I know what you’re thinking, but after trying to finish 7 pairs of socks in as many weeks last year, I’ve decided to space this year’s presents out a little bit.  I just finished blocking this Vodka Lemonade cardigan in Cascade Ultra Pima for my mother-in-law.  She loves bright saturated colours, and spends her winters in Florida, so this light cotton cardie seemed like a great idea (hopefully she thinks so too!). I love Thea Coleman’s designs, this one has just enough lace to be unique, without sacrificing wearability.  So lovely!

The clever lace motif and seed stitch border at the bottom of the cardiga

The clever lace motif and seed stitch border at the bottom of the cardiga

While the fraught relationship between a woman and her partner’s mother has become a tired cliche, it definitely doesn’t apply here. I am lucky to have such a strong and caring woman in my family. I’ve been pretty blessed in the role model department, and she’s one that I’m grateful for everyday (and it’s not just for the free babysitting – I swear).

The pattern was a pleasure to knit, and the recipient a pleasure to knit for. I’ll make sure to include a picture of it on in my holiday round-up this winter.

 

A pair of watermelons

My niece in the second Watermelon sweater (size 12 months)

My niece in the second Watermelon sweater (size 12 months) – look at those teeth!

I was completely charmed when I first spotted this pattern. So much so that I briefly considered making four, for my youngest nieces.  Fortunately, I realized even the best pattern  gets tedious, and scaled back my plans to just two baby cardigans, one for each of my infant nieces.  I wish I had a picture of the cherubic little cousins together their cardigans, but the second wasn’t finished in time for a family get together this weekend.  That would have been the best way to do the sweaters justice.

The second cardigan has one small modification, but otherwise followed the pattern exactly.  I thought the pink section was a little small on my first sweater, so the top sweater has an extra 5 rows of pink (with the eyelet row occuring 5 rows early too). I think it changes the impression quite a bit; on the original (below) the pink seems like a collar detail or embellishment, but on the second it looks more like a wedge of watermelon across the yoke.

The first Watermelon sweater (size 9 months) in Cascade Ultra Pima

The first Watermelon sweater (size 9 months) in Cascade Ultra Pima

The end results, like any well-written infant patterns, are adorable, but I think these sweaters proved to be a little less than the sum of their parts.  The pattern is written for Manos Cotton Stria, which has been discontinued, so I had to find a different yarn.  I quickly settled on Cascade Ultra Pima, which worked perfectly for my cap sleeve lattice top.  It’s soft, washable cotton and comes in a wide variety of colours.  While both the yarn and the pattern are fabulous on their own, I’m not sure they’re a great pair – the pink is a little too saturated to convey watermelon, and the sweaters are just a little floppier than I’d like.  However, despite any small disatisfactions, I do think their owners make these sweaters pretty cute!

I took at finishing class! (and finished something)

A few weeks ago, I took a finishing class at a not-so-local yarn store.  I am self taught for most finishing skills (seams, picking up stitches, weaving in ends). Since, I’m pretty good at following youtube videos and making things look tidy, I never knew what I didn’t know.  It took a suggestion from knittingsarah, to send me to the internet to find a yarn store offering a finishing class. It turns out there was a lot that I was doing wrong(ish).  It was really instructive to sit down with a real expert and correct all of my bad habits.  After a few hours with some swatches, I was ready and willing to tackle some seaming.

My cap sleeve lattice top in Cascade Ultra Pima

My cap sleeve lattice top in Cascade Ultra Pima

I was drawn to the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from the moment I saw it, but had originally planned to knit it in the round, and then graft the shoulders together using kitchener stitch. If you scroll down from the pattern post, you will find lots of discussion on this in the comment section. However, after the class, it seemed like a great, unintimidating place to practice my new skills.  So I knit it flat and then folded it and used mattress stitch along the gray sections, just as the pattern calls for. I could not be happier with the results! It was a little time consuming, but I’m finally finishing garments up to my standards.

I’m smitten with both the pattern and the yarn (Cascade Ultra Pima) – they’re a perfect fit.  If only the top was a perfect fit for me.  I have a long torso, and thought I adjusted the length enough to accomodate, but it still hits a little above my hip.  I cast on the medium (I’m about a size 6), and so this fits in a loose, effortless way that I think is appropriate for a casual summer top. If I make this again as an all season layering piece, I will use the same yarn, but definitely make it longer and smaller. What colours would you use for an all season layering lattice?

The summer travel debate & my Vodka (Curacao) Lemonade cardigan

This week, I started my first summer knitting project, using this soft cotton yarn, Cascade Ultra Pima, that I discovered recently at a yarn shop that I rarely visit.  I had to restrain myself from buying enough for at least three projects, since I think it will be perfect for this gorgeous cap sleeve top from Purl Soho, and half the fantastic patterns in the summer issue of Interweave Knits (especially the Stonecutter sweater, and Regatta tee).

After an admirable display of restraint, I just bought enough to start the project at the top of my ravelry queue – the very popular Vodka Lemonade cardigan from Baby Cocktails, in electric blue.  It’s easy to see why this pattern is so popular! I love the seed stitch and ribbing border on this sweater, and the pattern is constructed using my absolute favourite method: seamless top-down raglan. So far the pattern has been wonderfully clear, and I can’t wait to start wearing this over summer dresses. Most ravelers have made a play on the pattern’s name, and named their projects after the cocktail that corresponds most closely to their colour of their sweater.  By that rule, my definitely has to be Blue Curacao.

Vodka Lemonade cardigan in progress in Cascade Ultra Pima

Vodka Lemonade cardigan in progress in Cascade Ultra Pima

Which brings me to this week’s other events.  We still haven’t booked our summer trip!  We have two weeks of vacation time at the end of August, and still no consensus on where to go.  We’ve toyed with the idea of returning to the Rockies or Newfoundland with our son, or making our long delayed but oft discussed trip to Iceland. Until recently, we hadn’t made any headway narrowing down the list.  However, last week, we finally settled on a longer trip to visit relatives, with our son, and a few nights, just the two of us, in Havana.

However, as it comes time to book a flight, two things give me pause – all the inherent difficulties of travel in Cuba (outside of the resorts) and hurricane season.  Fortunately, the colour of my cardigan provided me with some inspiration, what about Curacao?  A gorgeous historic city centre, world class coral reefs, a beautiful national park and a geographic location outside of the path of most hurricanes. How can this be the first time I’ve thought of this?  The negotiations continue with my husband on the side of (cheaper) Havana and me on the side of (easier) Curacao.  Either way, it’s fun thing to talk about both great options, as I work on my cardigan.

Willemstad, Curcacao. I’d love to take my own picture!