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Sweater A Month Challenge ’ Category

My May Sweater Might Be Crap

You ever get a bad feeling about a pattern right off the bat? The Bamboo Diamond Shell from Boutique Knits, my May sweater for the Knit a Sweater a Month Challenge, is not going well.

Bamboo Diamond Shell Start

It’s basically a top down sweater knit from the bottom up. I. Don’t. Get. It. The worst part? I’m pretty sure it is just wrong.

It says to start by working the diamond pattern 3 times for the bottom portion of the sweater.

Bamboo Diamond Shell, Pic from Book

The book clearly states that the Shell is shown in the small size. I am knitting the small size. There is no way that there are only three rows of the diamond pattern before starting the sleeves. It looks like five to me.

But, I’m trying to do this thing where I trust the pattern. So, I work the diamond pattern three times and start working on the sleeves.

Bamboo Diamond Shell Sleeve

Which is annoying, to say the least. It’s a lot of putting sts on a holder, add sts per side a bunch of times, repeat for other side, join sleeves. But then when you join it’s hard to knit around the sleeve hole. You either have to stretch it out to knit it, creating a really hard angle to knit around, or,

Sleeve: Annoying

scrunch it all down, making it really hard on your hands to control all those stitches. My wrists hurt from dealing with those sleeve holes.

And WHY? When you could have just a really nice top down sweater. Then I could put it on and see how many diamond pattern repeats I want to knit for the bottom so I’m not constantly worried it’s going to be too short.

It is going to be too short.

Diamond Shell Start

But I’m trusting the pattern. With my hands. My brain is pissed.

It’s hardly a Bamboo anything since I’m using Bernat Satin Acrylic in Admiral. The color is lovely and it’s knitting up just fine. It’s been a while since I worked with acrylic yarn but it works with the pattern. It’s kind of a pullover crop jacket. Not a lot of skin contact and no real need for a lot of fitting.

That is, if it works out. I’m loving the diamond pattern, but if I have to swing some kind of big bottom band thing because the pattern steered me wrong I am not going to be a happy camper.

Do you stick with a pattern if your gut tells you it is wrong?

Ten Things to do While Staying in Portland, Part One

1. Look at lots of yarn.

Twisted -

Happy Lady!

2. Shop for records.

PT in Mississippi Records

3. Cause trouble in the Portland Children’s Museum.

Lucas and PT Disregarding the Wobble Warning

4. Drink a lot of wine and eat a lot of food at the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival.


PT Loves the Sushi

Look at that Hot Cowl!

5. Touch a tsunami!

Oregon Coast

Lucas, PT, and Random Dog

What Tsunami Advisory?

6. See bald eagles!

Eagles We Haven't Killed!

7. Find a new place to live.

Cape Foulweather

8. Admire very large rainbows.


9. Finish your Dollar and a Half Cardigan!

Dollar and a Half, Pre-Block

10. Start your March Sweater, Mrs Darcy Cardigan.

Mrs Darcy!

FO: My January Sweater, Minimalist Cardigan; or, When Blocking Goes Terribly Wrong

I’d like to preface this post by saying that, while acknowledging that I’ve got a lot on my emotional plate right now, I had to crop my crying face out of most of these pictures, and that is a bit of an overreaction.

Minimalist Cardigan Fail. And I cried. I’m staring at it right now, actually, wanting to cry. It’s like knitting masochism.

Curly Front, Pre-Block

These pre-blocking pictures kill me. Had I known that this would be the last time I’d be wearing and loving my sweater I wouldn’t have just thrown it over the long sleeved t-shirt I wore yesterday.

Nice Normal Sleeves!

I also would have cleaned my mirror before taking these pictures.

I was just finishing up the sleeves in my last Knit a Sweater a Month Challenge post. Sure, I was getting sick of the double moss stitch, but I was still rocking it out and loving it so much!

Remember how in love with this sweater I was when I started?! I still felt that love, even if it was a little boring.

So I finished knitting up the sleeves, seemed it all together, and I thought it was looking good! The size was right on. The only problem was that the front panels were super curly, but I saw that while I was knitting it. I knew a quick block would take care of it, no problem.

Stupid Huge Sweater

As soon as I had it in the bath the light bulb went off:

Fingering weight yarn+larger than gauge needles+lacy stitch=STRETCH

Really, Really Big

I mean, look at those sleeves. Look at the length! It’s supposed to be a cropped sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. I just look like a midget. With wide shoulders.

Stupid Wide Shoulders

But that got me thinking. What if I re-seam the shoulders to make them hit higher? That would pull the sleeves up and at least make it look like I knew how to dress myself.

Pinned? Maybe?

It puckered in the front but kind of cutely!

Back View... hmm

It puckered in the back in a not so cutely.

Not Re-Seamed


And, while seaming the shoulders up did make it look a little better, I snuggled it, dried my tears, and decided to give it to my mom for her birthday.

So, happy early birthday, mom. With a tear, because I really wanted this sweater! But I know you will love it. Because it is psychotically beautiful, and your favorite color, and will look fantastic on you.

I’m glad it is getting a good home. Now I’ve got to get more Woodland Sage Knit Picks Gloss because I need this yarn to be in my life. In sweater form.

Sigh. Double sigh.

January Sweater Tease: Minimalist Cardigan

A Head Start

So I got a little head start on my Sweater a Month Challenge. A 13 day head start, to be exact. But I couldn’t help it! I was done with my holiday knitting, this yarn had been staring at me since October 27th. I’m not a very patient person to begin with! I couldn’t not start it.

Moss Stitch, Kinda

The Minimalist Cardigan, by Ruthie Nussbaum, is a hugely popular pattern on Ravelry. It was originally in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave, and it is kind of hard to believe I’ve waited over 2 years to finally make this sweater happen.

Mods: Where do I start? The pattern calls for worsted weight, I used Knit Picks Gloss, fingering weight. When I saw this sweater the first time I thought it was a light weight little summer sweater, and I was kind of shocked to find out it wasn’t. And when I saw the Woodland Sage I knew I needed this sweater in this merino silk blended yarn.

The yarn gauged small, no surprise, but with the same size 7 needles the pattern called for it only sized about an inch off. I picked the 39 1/2 size. I wanted to knit a little more to make sure it wasn’t too loose, that it kept the integrity of the stitches, and it looks lovely. It’s a light weight sweater, right?

I hate lots of pieces so I cast on 191 for both sides and back. That single moss stitch would kill me so I modified it to a two stitch moss, with a K2P2 rib repeated for two rows then switched for two rows.

I’m so in love with the color of this sweater it is almost disgusting.

So Pretty!

Surprisingly I haven’t wanted to poke my own eyes out with these circular needles yet! I think because I’m loving how the stitch is looking, how the yarn is working, how the ribbing turned out, how the front panels are laying.

I’m like a love sick school girl for this sweater. If I keep up this knitting rate I’ll have it done before January even starts.

There is still time to get in on the Sweater a Month Challenge! Email me at to get on the mailing list! The first official Sweater a Month Challenge post will be January 4th.

Join My 2010 Knit a Sweater a Month Challenge!

Why knit a sweater a month, you ask?

Honestly, I have no idea. Because I can? Because I want to be a good example for knitters everywhere afraid to take the plunge into knitting sweaters? Because I want 12 new sweaters?

Yeah. I think the best answer is because I can. I can knit a sweater a month for a year, and so can you. It just takes a little dedication, motivation, and creativity.

I’ve started planning out my sweaters for the year in my Ravelry queue. I see a sweater I love and change my queue up constantly. I’m trying to pick sweaters that fit the season each month, which is forcing me to answer the existential question, What is a sweater?

(I’m also planning on alternating between intense knits and easier knits so I don’t get burnt out and so I get to knit other things between these sweaters. Foresight!)

Want to join me in this challenge? I’ll be posting Sweater a Month updates every Tuesday all year with my own thoughts and progress and links to the other participating knitter’s sweaters they are working on monthly, too.

Sound fun?! Send me an email at to get on my Sweater a Month email list. I’ll be emailing sweater pattern and yarn ideas, answering questions, and sending little motivational tid-bits to help you stay on track and get your sweaters finished.

And if I’m the only one on board with this crazy scheme, that is ok. It sounds like a lot. Maybe after I knock a couple out, by May you will want to try it yourself.