Tag Archives: Summer knitting

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 knitting I wish I was doing

This week is crunch time for our move, and I’m not doing very much knitting. In fact, I was so exhausted last week, that I made a serious error on my lattice top, and had to rip half of it out. Since then, it’s been languishing in the bin I keep for works in progress.  However, not having time to knit, doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about knitting. I’d love to have some me time to sit quietly with my needles this week…

One of the many rad lattice tops on ravelry

In lieu of sharing any actual projects, I thought I’d share my summer project queue; a round-up of the knitting I wish I was doing, if you will.

1.  Cap Sleeve Lattice Top by Purl Soho.  I’ve recently become enamoured with Purl Soho’s blog, the Purl Bee. So enamoured in fact, that I’ve made Purl Soho a must-stop on our upcoming family trip to New York City; hopefully I’ll have my top finished by then. I have actually cast this on one, in grey and yellow Cascade Ultra Pima, and it’ll be the first thing I come back to, as soon as we’re settled in. I can’t wait to wear mine around our new neighbourhood with a pair of boyfriend jeans…

My Vodka Lemonade, in progress, with a shortened collar

My Vodka Lemonade, in progress, with a shortened collar

2. Vodka Lemonade Cardigan by Baby Cocktails.  Like my cap sleeve top, I have cast this one on (also in Cascade Ultra Pima). I think it’s a perfect summer knit, since the DK cotton is a nice weight and fiber for wearing over summer dresses, on cool evenings – if only, I finish it before the evenings get absolutely cold. I’ve set aside some time to go to a yoga retreat next month, and I’m already imagining wrapping this around me, by the lake.

Watermelon cardigan, taken from the pattern website

3.  Watermelon by Alana Dakos. I’ve bought the pattern and enough pink and green yarn to make a pair of these for my adorable new nieces (six and three months old!). I can’t wait to see pictures of them rolling around in matching cardigans…. so clever and adorable.

4. Plain host/hostess gift socks.  I’ve completed one pair, but want to cast on another in Tough Love Sock, this time in Stormchaser.  I think these socks will make the perfect gift for my sister and brother-in-law, who will be hosting us in New York, late in the summer. It’s hard to come up with a thoughtful gift for hosts who have everything, especially if you’re flying carry-on. But, I think everyone can use another pair of socks, and the fact that they’re homemade tells your host how much you appreciate it!

5. Stonecutter Sweater by Amy Miller.  It’s highly unlikely that I’ll get to this one before the weather turns cold, and I move on to heavier sweaters and Christmas gifts. However, this sweater, from the most recent Interweave Knits, was the first thing that caught my eye, in a fabulous issue filled with gorgeous patterns.  How great would this look over a bathing suit and shorts? Or dressed up the way it’s styled in this picture? There’s always next summer…

Stonecutter sweater, from Interweave Knits.

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!