The Mountains Are Calling

The Mountains Are Calling

Picture heavy post! Knitting photos near the bottom!

Last week Jonathan and I went on our one year anniversary trip! We decided to take advantage of our anniversary’s proximity to Labor Day and delay our trip until September. Thursday night, after work, we jumped in the car and drove west as long as we could (three hours!) That made the remaining six hours to Boulder, Colorado much more enjoyable. We’d heard a lot of people mention how boring the drive from KC to Boulder was; I’m not sure what they were talking about though.

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I find windmills facinating

We loved the entire drive! It was amazing to see all of the farm land, cattle, and windmills going on and on for miles. The most delightful part of the drive was undoubtedly the sunflowers. Kansas is the sunflower state, after all. We had to take advantage of the fields of flowers along the interstate.

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Is it illegal to stop on the interstate like this? 

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Of course, the interstate sunflowers had nothing on the flowers alongside the “Welcome to Colorado” sign. This was one of the most breathtaking views of our entire trip, and we’d only just arrived!

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While we were driving, I pulled out my unfinished NaKniSweMo from last year. I figured that the mountains in fall would be a great opportunity to wear the sweater for the first time! I managed to finish steeking the sweater before hitting the road, and the entire drive up was spent weaving in ends, knitting on a border, and sewing on buttons. Phew.

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On the second day of our trip, we decided to do a day hike up the FlatIrons to the Royal Arch. What was supposed to be a two hour morning hike turned into a four hour, five and a half mile, strenuous hike at extreme elevation (my sweet husband didn’t check the map). It was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done before, but Jon and I stuck it out together! We took hundreds of photos and drank two liters of water while going up, up, up. Near the end, I started to wonder if the view at the top could possibly be worth the pain, but we pushed on anyways!

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So close to the top!

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Top of the arch, I’m sitting inside of it. Yes, those are knitting needles in my hand. 

Sadly, by the time we made it to the top of the mountain, storm clouds were rolling in, we were starving, and the sun was setting. We had no time for photos so we rushed down (which was surprisingly more emotionally trying than going up) and finished off our night with a fancy dinner and lots of drinks.

The next day, we decided to drive back up the trail and do some laid back sightseeing. I was pretty exhausted, but the pictures were so so worth it. I present my Oranje sweater!

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The Knitimg_2538

This was my first ever fair isle project. I go big, right? This yummy sweater is knit on a US6 with sport weight yarn. I used Debbie Bliss’ Fine Donegal which is technically a fingering weight yarn. However, the single ply wool is rather heavy and I managed to hit the same gauge on the sweater as if I’d used a true sport weight. img_2537

I’ll be upfront, this sweater has some of flaws to it. The armpits have little give to them, so when I lift my arms, the whole sweater comes with me. And seeing as this was my first time working fair isle, the yoke is a tad snug. I’m re-blocking the sweater and am going to re-seam the armpits again in hopes of having a bit more give. I think this will ultimately be a success. I have faith since the first time I blocked the sweater (before steeking which I highly recommend) it went from frumpy to fabulous. The collar could also probably stand to be blocked a little higher as well. img_2536

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I really love the brown button border of this sweater, but honestly, it’s a little finicky. It takes a day and a half for me to button this up proper, and the mass of buttons leads to gapping (though this could possibly be remedied with blocking). The fair isle often doesn’t line up if my buttons are askew-as you can see in the photo above. A part of me wishes I’d been patient and waited to get home to put in a zipper, but I wanted this to be done so so badly! And I love the brown highlights too much to not have them.

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Tucking my floats

Overall, I adore this sweater. The flaws in it are small fish compared to the amount of effort and time I put into this. I learned a lot while knitting this, like how to “tuck my floats” on the yoke so that there’s not a mass of loose strands inside the sweater waiting to be snagged. I did my first steek (you can check out the video here on my instagram) and I learned how to do a proper steek column so that you aren’t terrified while cutting!!! After hiking up a mountain, I feel safe in saying that this is an epic sweater that is worthy of the Dutch knitting traditions Ann Weaver based the design on. I would totes heard sheep while wearing this sweater, up a mountain even.

I’m so glad that I decided at the last minute to finish it on the car ride to Boulder. This will be a wardrobe stable for my first winter in KC. For me, this represents a new benchmark in my knitting. I learned so much while making this. I was so careful to get gauge and make size adjustments as needed so my effort wouldn’t be wasted. This makes my old work feel like child’s play, and I think I’ve finally kicked down the door to “a knitted wardrobe” instead of just lacey accessories, sorry Darling Emma. I’m ready to take my knitting to the next level. I still have a painful amount to learn (like seriously how to get more ease into these armpits). But I’m happy to learn from my mistakes and enjoy the journey, but right now, I’m just gonna wear my sweater and feel baller.

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Yes, It IS your grandmother’s knitting.

YAW

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Sigh…yarn lust is a terrible beast. It keeps me up at night. When it gets really bad I dream about the yarn I want. When I visit the yarn shop, I touch the same yarn over and over, with puppy dog eyes. Its really tragic.

Jon and I agreed that my stash of yarn has become insane, and that I need to severely cut back on my yarn buying and get my stash busting life together. I’ve been incredibly good, diligently knitting away at my stash. But the beast must be fed, and I can only be good for so long.

Enter Herriot Heathers DK. Peruvian Baby Alpaca. Green. *drool*

I’ve been staring at this yarn on the shelf for well over a year, and I’d like to believe it was waiting for me. While other knitters pillaged our Herriot section (we have lace now!)  not one seemed interested in the beautiful pile of green at the bottom of the stack. Then my LYS needed someone to work some last minute hours and they’d pay in yarn. Guess what I brought home?

#willworkforyarn is real. Helped out at the shop and gladly accepted some Juniper Moon Herriot #lovelocal

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I’ve been wanting a casual pullover for a while now. I only have two, a plush white mohair one and a Teeney Park entrelac sweater . I love them, but they aren’t something you just throw on and run out the house with. Norah Gaughn’s Yaw is exactly what I wanted. I love the oversized fit and long sleeves, the lace detail over the shoulders, the way the boat neck rests right on the edge of the shoulders. *Dreamy eyes*. The alpaca has the perfect amount of drape for this sweater and the heather green gives the lace a very nice texture.

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I was so excited to knit this sweater that I knocked it out in about two weeks. I even brought it on a hiking trip to Devil’s Den. This Herriot is a dream to knit with, and I look forward to getting more…sorry Jon.

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Pattern Notes:
I think this pattern had a few technical errors for my size; I noticed the numbers would be consistently off by a few stitches and the center panel was skewed. I go over that on my ravelry page here . They’re minor errors and easily fixed with a few ktogs and m1s. The biggest problem people seemed to have while making this was that it was too tight and did not drape. I’m not really sure why that was an issue though, the pattern calls for 6″ of positive ease. I knit my size on gauge had had no issues.

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I’m very happy to finally have a casual pullover and I foresee this being worn a lot this season.

 NaBloPoMo November 2015
It’s November which means NaKniSweMo and NaBloPoMo have begun! I have a lot of knitting plans this month and am excited to try and blog about it daily. I don’t have many expectations about what I’ll get done, though. I just want to enjoy the ride. Today I cast on for the Orangje cardigan out of Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. So far I’m in love, wonder if I can keep up the momentum?

Cast on for#nakniswemo and #nablopomo2015 Orangje fair isle cardigan by Amy Weaver!

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Is anyone else attempting NaKniSweMo or NaBloPoMo or any other variation? What sweater are you trying to crank out?

Wednesday Observations- NaKniSweMo

There is so much stuff that happens in the knitting community that I’m still finding out about! I suppose I could have assumed that there would be a month dedicated to knitting a sweater. There’s WIP Wednesdays, FO Fridays, Holiday events, Socktober, why not a sweater in a month?

I’ve joined the NaKniSweMo KAL on Ravelry and am eagerly awaiting the first of November. My goal? Opera by Elise Dupont!

Photo Property of Elise Dupont Designs

Photo Property of Elise Dupont Designs

A yummy and simple stripped pullover. I’m glad to finally have an excuse to start this. I’ve had the yarn stashed away at my LYS for a while now and I’m determined to up my sweater/cardigan count significantly by the end of cold days this year. Notice how obscure that timeline is? It’s so I can procrastinate. I’m eager to work on this because Dupont boast a new technique in waist shaping and color placement to get the perfect figure flattering sweater. What about that doesn’t sound fantastic and entertaining?

Photo Property of Elise Dupont Designs

Photo Property of Elise Dupont Designs

 

“Opera is a pullover perfect to draw attention to your waist, thanks to the subtle stripes at the elbow.

Knitted from top down, in one piece, the sleeves are set-in sleeves in round. This pullover has a unique waist and hips shaping construction : the decreases are placed at the front and the back. As most of us have a curvier back, more decreases & increases are worked at the back than at the front to follow closely your body shape.”

My yarns of choice?

Madeline Tosh DK Bloomsbury 

And Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk Dk 0218-Brown

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Is anyone else participating this year? Whats your sweater of choice? Please join the NaKniSweMo on Ravelry and add to the fun!

Happy Knitting 🙂