Vodka Lemonade

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No, it's not an alien mutant or a sweater for a small elf in Santa's workshop.  It's the adolescent phase of my Vodka Lemonade.  It looks a bit wonky, with the collar unblocked, the sleeves partially done for later pick up, and only a couple of inches worked on the body.  But it's P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S and I'm really happy with it.  I'm hoping that it will blossom as I get a bit more work done and become the sweater of my dreams.

On the plus side, this color, The Plucky Knitter's Fiona on Crew, is everything I could have hoped for!

My decision to alternate two skeins was a good one.  The yarn has just enough variation that not alternating would have been an issue.  I think it might have been even better with three skeins in the rotation.  It has been relatively easy to get a nice, clean, edge, carefully bringing the alternating skeins up the side of the project.  And the color looks lovely knit up like this!



Cast on All the Things!

Sometimes that mood hits! The perfect new pattern comes along.  Or an irresistible yarn. That happened to me this week — times two.  Both the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn came along.  So despite an impressive array of works in progress, I'm swatching for two new sweaters.

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First up is Isabell Kraemer's Criss Cross Sweater.  This one went into my favorites as soon as I saw it.  But when I swatched with Plucky Scholar for a vest (it wasn't going to happen, the miles of twisted rib would have killed me) and realized my gauge was spot on for Criss Cross, I knew it was meant to be.  I'm in love with this Bohemian Blue colorway, and the minute I opened the yarn two days ago, I knew it had to be knit with right away.  


Then there was Katya Gorbacheva's Winter Weed's sweater pattern.  Its difficulty level is clearly over my head, but how could I resist?

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The pattern is written for Plucky Primo Aran, and although I don't have a sweater quantity on hand, I have been hoarding the December Classics Heartstring's colorway on snug worsted.  I didn't get gauge on my first try.

H snug worsted swatch

But I'm not horribly far off — only 1.75 stitches over four inches, so I'm going to go up a needle size and see what I can do.  I love this colorway and think it will be perfect for this sweater.  The verdict is still out on whether I have the skills to knit it, but I have good knitting friends to rely on in a pinch.

So it looks like I'll be casting on all the things in the next week or so.  I've also got a couple of projects I want to swatch for ahead of the start of the Malabrigo March KAL.  I expect to be doing a lot of prep and set up work for the sweaters as well as for Mal March, so there won't be a whole lot of knitting progress this week, but I do love having a number of projects in the works, which makes it easy to pick one up to carry around or travel with.  


Knitting A Sweater

Sweaters have always been a knitting nemesis for me, so let's just get it right out there.  I'm not a math geek.  It took me a long time to appreciate both stitch and row gauge.  I have a lot of bloopers in my knitting past (I'm thinking about you pint-sized Agnes that was meant for me and you Little Red, that looks to be turning out even smaller), although I've also had some successes.  Those were mostly despite myself or on baby sweaters.


So now we have Vodka Lemonade, the first of my post-self awareness about gauge sweaters.  Isn't it pretty?  That's the Plucky Knitter's Crew, a cotton and merino blend that feels great to knit with and that I'm convinced will be light enough for spring in Alabama. I've also become convinced that the color is a neutral, or at least it is for me since my wardrobe is mostly black and gray.

But, the question is going to be fit.



Here are the start of the raglan increases.  The pattern suggests about 30 of them in my size, and yes, I am good on gauge so far.  But since this is top down, I'm going to try to take advantage of the opportunity to try on, to measure me, measure the knitting, measure other sweaters that I like the fit of, and NAIL this one.  Or at least end up with a sweater that fits.

I am not a fast knitter at the best of times (plus the kids do seem to like having dinner on the table at night) and this yarn is a light dk weight.  So this sweater is, in some ways, going agonizingly slowly for me.  At the same time, it's a very pleasurable knit once you establish the rhythm of the border edges and the increase stitches on either side of the sleeves.  And I am apparently a freak of nature because I enjoy knitting seed stitch.  So I'm not in any hurry to finish, although I do want to wear the sweater this spring/summer.

I'll share my progress on this one with you over the next few weeks, although I plan to knit it along with Drachenfels, so expect slow but sure progress.  And please keep me in your thoughts on the issues of gauge and fit.  I'm going to need all the support I can get!