Getting Knitty

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year (well, technically late 2013) I thought to start something resolution-like. I decided 2014 would be the year I (finally) become a (proper) knitter.

And it’s happened! And I’m totally addicted! lol

I’ve tried knitting a couple of times in the past but it somehow never really drew me. Not until the last couple of years that is. As I got into reading sewing blogs I saw that several of the authors were also knitters. Furthermore, I saw that they were knitting really cute stuff! Add to this a sort of crystallization, if you will, of my personal style sense being largely vintage-inspired dresses with fitted bodices and skirts of varying fullness (read moderately full to hella-voluminous!) paired with cute little cardigans. Realizing this is the sort of thing I like wearing best made be realize that I NEED ALL THE CARDIGANS – the cute little ones, that is. I started seeing all kinds of adorable knitted cardis all over the place and I wanted in on the fun!

Inspired by knitting sewists like Tasia at Sewaholic, Lauren at Lladybird, Marrie at Purls & Pleats and my friend Jill (for whom I made the navy & copper garrison ball dress in exchange for a hand-knitted cardi) I dove in.

However, while some folks are brave enough to start their knitting journey by jumping right into a CLC (cute-little-cardi) – major props to JuliaBobbin! – I took a more dipping-my-toes-in approach and started with the standard scarf. This went along pretty easily. So since I had yarn left over, I decided right away to move onto a matching hat:

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And learn how to make a pom-pom along the way!

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It was initially pretty blobby, I later decided to experiment and put both hat and scarf in the dryer one day for the purpose shrinking and felting them a little. It worked, lol! Anyway, although the hat came out blobby I so proud of myself for tackling knitting in the round, dpn’s and decreases!

Feeling pretty confident I swiftly moved onto this capelet and fingerless mitts set:

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The patterns didn’t come as a set, but worked in the same yarn I think they go really well together. And I think making this capelet started the love affair I’ve already identified with lace knitting.

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I was really pleased with how the set turned out. I had tackled more new skills – short rows, lace, a buttonhole (very badly done, mind you, lol) and learned the magic loop method of knitting to get out of using dpn’s. I was even more tickled to find I got to use the capelet and mitts more than I anticipated. Turns out they’re perfect for those spring days that are cool in the morning but warm up later and then cool down in the evening again. Capelets FTW!!! New Gap campaign idea: Everyone in Capelets!

I also knit this pretty beret to round out the set, I just forgot to get pictures of all of them together.

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Finally I decided I was ready to knit a sweater!

This did not go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped, though.

After lots of humming and ha-ing I went with a lovely cotton/cashmere blend DK-weight yarn in ivory and this pattern:

Sublime Delphine/Dominique (the version pictured here is Delphine, I used Dominique, which has long sleeves – I’ll use Delphine’s sleeves if/when I try this again in future)

My intention was to make it waist-length with 3/4 length sleeves. This pattern is knit in pieces from the bottom up. It’s also got no built-in shaping to it. Sooooo……..I got through knitting most of the pieces and was starting to seam them together when I realized it was not going to be fitted through the waist like I wanted. Also, the sleeves weren’t going to fit properly at the cuffs either. I couldn’t just shorten the length of the pattern, I’d also have to add some shaping. So I got to have my first major frogging experience! Yay!(not) I decided this pattern required too much math for my first sweater.

I switched gears entirely and went with Andie Satterlund’s Miette cardigan instead:

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SO MUCH BETTER. I know you can’t compare because I didn’t take any pics of my first-try sweater, but trust me on this. A perfect pattern for your first sweater. Really easy to follow, pretty quick to knit and a great result. The only issue with it is that Andie’s gauge for it seems a little off – or so I was told at the local yarn stores.

Hot on the heels of my Miette I knit this little cutie:

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A modified Peggy Sue. I chose this one to get my feet wet with cabling. I don’t think cabling is going to be my favouritest technique ever, but it’s a lot less scary than I envisioned.

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I kind of made the sweater and the dress to go together for this past summer’s Outfit Along hosted by

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I have a couple more finished cardigans – one of which is my absolute favourite so far – but this post has already taken too long to put together, so I’ll leave it here for now. Upcoming will be what I decided to do with the ivory yarn from my first cardi attempt and a fall-inspired one.

13 thoughts on “Getting Knitty

  1. Wow! You are a natural. I am truly impressed with your knits, it took me much longer to be able to get to the standard. Particularly love the capulet and knits. I’ve knitted three of andi’s patterns, but I’m not that keen on worsted wool. I prefer double knitting for how it looks (and the worsted also feels itchy to me). Sublime have a double knitting pattern which is the shape we are looking for if you are interested let me know on my blog.

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    • Thanks Mags! I know what you mean about worsted vs DK. I feel the exact same way wishing Andi’s patterns weren’t nearly all for worsted weight. I am currently knitting something (a Christmas gift, so can’t get specific, lol) using Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran and you wouldn’t believe how soft and smooshy it is!

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  2. Oh Carolyn! You have found the love of knitting needles and yarn!! I am so impressed with your cardis and your caplet set. Your tension looks amazing for a beginner knitter…I would quickly put you in the experienced beginner category! I love making lace shawls…they can be a challenge or not, depending on the pattern you choose. The cardi patterns are just adorable and just the right knitting projects for you…i mean what girl wouldn’t want a matching cardi to go with their outfits! Just brilliant Carolyn!
    On a different note…one of my dear friends just moved to Kingston and I have intentions of visiting her next year in the summer, so when I know when I am coming I am going to let you know and if we can get a wee visit in, that would be so nice! Keep on knitting!

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  3. Your makes are beautiful, and I am über impressed by how fast you learned! I also taught myself to knit this year, and only have the back of a sweater to my credit. Thanks for sharing your makes.

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    • Thank you! I don’t know if it’ll help you, but I’ve found that seamless (or mostly seamless) knitting was a good way to go for starting out – both in terms of gratification and learning about fit. And with seamless, top-down sweaters you can try them on as you go along which is both fun and helpful!

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  4. TheJointInjuryThatCantBeNamed has got me, so knitting and I had to part ways, but I can still pile the love on a good cardi. Things I miss about knitting: as much as I love Pattern Review, Ravelry is so superlative a website it makes me weep with longing. Knitting is more portable than sewing; keep your knitting in the round inside out while you travel about with it so dirt and rubbing don’t pill up the good side. Now I have to sew myself a new winter cap. BORING!

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  5. The capelet and fingerless mitts set is absolutely adorable! I have a set of fingerless mitts on my needles right now… well one of them. And it’s been on there for over a year. I’m definitely far more skilled with a single needle and some thread than with knitting needles!

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    • I hope you manage to finish them. I wore mine so much more than I expected too, they were so handy! (har har, see what I did there?)

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