I’ve been knitting up a storm this fall/winter and have completed a (very speedy sweater) called Ingenue.
It’s a fairly basic raglan sleeved sweater, constructed top down & knit in the round.
Generally, when I get bored or when I get to a hard part of a project – I loose patience and wander off to a second project. But not this time! What kept me on track with knitting & completing this sweater was Megan & Michelle – my two new knitting buddies.
Michelle, a seasoned knitter (right) and Meg, a newbie knitter (middle) teamed up to make the Catherine wrap sweater in October. When they embarked on their second team project, they invited me to join along and I couldn’t be more stoked to join in the fun.
We met just about every Monday evening in November (as schedules allowed) had some yummy tea and knit together. Instead of just having one start date and another end date, we had weekly ‘homework assignments’ and by each Monday night session we were more or less in the same place on our sweaters. It was wonderful working together this way. No one was left behind and it really kept us on task, start to finish.
When I have to frog a given section and reknit – I have a bad habit of wandering away from the project. I had to rip out one of my sleeves and reknit it a bit smaller, as mine was too large near the shoulder (still kinda is – but no matter).
During this time, I cast on for my Victory Beret pattern and started knitting that instead.
But… the completion deadline was nearing and it made me get back on task with Ingenue and complete it once and for all. If I didn’t have this team to knit with who knows where the lovely Ingenue sweater would be right now!
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
Ingenue has been on my knit list for a while now. To me, this feels like a classic Audrey Hepburn sweater – a similar style you’d see in A Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I’m not one for knitting in neutral colors, but this ivory sweater is going to fill a great gap in my winter wardrobe. Not to mention how great of a lounge sweater this is for cold evenings at home.
The neckline is my favorite aspect of this sweater.
The collar is folded down and stitched on the inside, so the neckline is very stable and upright.
Like I said earlier, this was such a speedy knit. I’m used to knitting with fingering weight yarn – so switching to worsted weight made everything go so quickly.
Speaking of yarn… I used Berocco Ultra alpaca yarn (50% wool, 50% alpaca) since I wanted a more drapey knit sweater. I swatched like a good knitter and I was 100% on gauge when I used a US size 7 knitting needle. But…. I ended up having to knit my sweater with 4″ negative ease – and yet it appears to be 0″ and in some instances positive ease. All I can say is, I did want a loose, drapey knit so I’m quite happy with the outcome despite the ease difference.
Enough pictures of me… look at these two lovely gals.
Michelle also used an alpaca-wool mix yarn, but her fit is wonderfully spot on. It’s like custom made or something?! heh
Meg used a very dense wool-alpaca blend to great effect.
And lastly… None of these images would have been possible without Felix and Mike:
Knitting is a wonderful craft – but it does become so much more fun when knitting with some fun gal pals. :)
Today’s freebie pattern comes from the Bestway leaflet No. 856 – which was ‘donated’ to me by the lovely Anne. While there is no publication date on the leaflet, the interweb sources seem to think this is from the late 1930′s.
Click on the following link to download the free pdf: Bestway’s Lacy Bolero Pattern.
Click the following link to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue/Favorites.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I love the delicate and feminine lounge wear ladies used to wear back in the day, mostly those flowy pajamas and bathrobe sets. Even though this Bolero is made for going out, I think it would be wonderful in long sleeves for around the house lounging.
This bolero is constructed for a 35″ bust. But since there is
minimal NO shaping from the waist to the armhole shaping, you could easily add the additional stitches you need to make the width fit comfortably (taking note of the lace pattern stitch count).
This bolero is knit using US No. 1′s and US No. 2′s (or 3′s – depending on your source) and the gauge is 7 sts to an inch and 11 rows to an inch with a light fingering weight yarn. Normally I’d say that the gauge is done using stockinette – but I can’t say that’s the case here. Since there are 7 sts to an inch using light fingering yarn with US 2′s (or US 3′s) I’m assuming this is based on the lacy pattern.
I hope you love this pattern & as always – let me know if you’d like to see something specific and I can hunt in my pattern stash for you guys.
Have a great weekend!
After (sadly) being too busy to participate in Rochelle’s Sew for Victory this past Spring so I had to redeem myself when I discovered that Tasha had launched a Knit for Victory this autumn/winter. Not to mention – all I seem to be doing these days is knitting and working on the new house.
What am I knitting for the challenge?? Well… it’s Ms. ByGumByGolly’s own pattern: The Victory Beret.
-which is modeled by the lovely Rochelle.
I went and bought the same yarn for the beret that the pattern indicated, but I changed one color (the Nile Green to the French Rose). I had all intentions of making mine using red as the main color, but once I got the yarn in the mail, blue felt like it was the way to go instead.
*Yellow isn’t this yellow, Red isn’t this red*
The red yarn by Excelana isn’t a true red (not in my dye lot anyhow) but was more of a rusty, brownish red. It looked antiqued, and not as bright as I’d hoped. I was a bit sad about this, but the blue…. oh the blue is so pretty in person. It’s just a gem of a color – so I hope it makes my eyes pop a bit more blue rather than the light grey-blue (& sometimes green) that they are.
So… here at Zilredloh I’m now, officially, knitting a fair isle project. I post up lots of fun fair isle patterns, but never have I actually chatted about fair isle here on my blog.
Generally I just dive right into a new technique – full steam ahead. But for some reason Fair Isle knitting has left me weak in the knees. Perhaps it’s all of those floats in the back or perhaps it’s the even tension while switching out yarns every few stitches… aaak getting nervous just talking about it.
The silliest part of all of this is that I’ve knit fair isle before! Heh
Want to see?!?
I knit half of this vest 3 years ago. (It’s been sleeping in my closet for a while…) But I have NO IDEA how I was able to knit this so evenly and pretty on the first go with no practice. I didn’t even swatch before I started it! The horrors!!!
I didn’t do any reading on the subject of fair isle – I just chatted with a coworker/knitting buddy here at my office about it and watched a youtube video on wrapping yarns (which I’ve since forgotten how to do).
I’m pretty certain I’ve built up stranded knitting into something bigger than it is. I figured the best remedy is to just dive right back in the deep end with the Victory Beret and hope all goes well. I mean… really it has to go well since I was able to knit this style once before. Right???
After the Victory Beret, I’m hoping I have enough confidence built up to tackle the rest of my fair isle vest which I’ve wanted to complete for some time now.
Soo happy I swatched for this pattern! My tension is generally 8 sts per inch with US size 2.5′s and using the new Excelana yarn – it’s all off. I swatched in the round and had all sorts of crazy yarns in the back of my work – but I learnt I have to size down to 1′s to get gauge when I work fair isle & in the round with Excelana.
I officially cast on for the beret this morning and have started the ribbing section.
Wish me luck, guys!
I totally encourage any of you knitting newbies who are too afraid to knit in fair isle to come join me in the deep end. It’s the perfect starter project and we can knit it together – right along with Tasha who’s going to hold our hands.
(The deadline is Dec. 31st, so there’s still plenty of time to join in!)
Knowing that we’re not going to move into our new-old house right away, we’ve been trying to figure out what our priority will be now that we’ve started working on it. Felix is most excited to have an awesome shared work space, as am I. But the other 50% of me is excited to have a cute, fresh kitchen.
After talking more with my folks, who are our #1 go-to for all things home-related, they confirmed that the kitchen is one of the most painful renovations to undertake. So it makes sense that we pour our energy into tackling this one room first, especially since we’re currently not inhabiting it. I mean who cares if I don’t have a working sink, oven, or fridge unless I’m living there & cooking?!
I’ve had some basic ideas of things I love, but I’ve been thrown head first into designing my dream kitchen really quickly. Thanks to pinterest & google images I’ve been able to gather my ideas quickly and was able to walk them through with Felix (the Saturday morning our car was in the shop) & then run all of
my our ideas by Bob to make sure they would work in our space.
This is our current kitchen:
Our kitchen has awesome birch cabinets – which I’ll be stripping and repainting white. But the fridge barely works, and the stove is inoperable. Basically the fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave are placeholder appliances as none of them really function – and the little that they do, I don’t trust.
I started off with my dream scenario, complete with a cute colorful smeg refrigerator. Seriously, don’t we all want one of those?! But after doing loads of research on appliances, I’ve decided I’d rather have a cohesive-looking kitchen rather than a little bit of this and that. So, sadly the smeg had to be taken off the list.
The kitchen isn’t quite large enough to be an eat-in kitchen. So we’ve decided to cut that out entirely, and we’re reconfigured nearly everything, including the cabinets, door and window, in order to maximize counter top space. If I don’t have a separate kitchen table, I NEED lots of counter top space to work on.
Okay… enough with my chatter and how about some pictures of all of my grand plans.
Apron Front Sink:
I love these basic, apron front white sinks. I’m also in love with these grey & white marble counter tops (since forever), not to mention the curved open shelves right next to the sink. *Love*
I have so many cabinets, most are too high for a 4’11″ girl like myself. Even with a 6 foot ladder, I bet I couldn’t reach the uppermost ladder. So what’s a girl to do?! And please don’t say “call your husband to help” because if there’s one thing I hate is not being able to do something myself.
That’s where this comes in:
Kitchen Ladders! Is this not the coolest idea ever?! Sure, it’s going to be impractical when I want to get in front of it. But I have high hopes of making it removable from the track so I can store it neatly behind our kitchen door like so:
The ladder is one of those fun, wonderful things on Pinterest – but seem really frivolous to do in our own places. BUT I actually NEED this if I’m going to ever store stuff in those cabinets. I just can’t think of any better solution since I don’t want to have to haul a 9-foot ladder from the basement every time I want to get up into those cabinets. #Short Girl Problems
Our current kitchen window is shot. It’s completely bad and has to get redone along with the inside and outside sash. This being the case, we’ve decided to move the window AND the door in our kitchen. So I’ve had to start thinking about windows along with everything else.
I don’t think I can get quite this large of a window in my house, but I like how open and bright this looks. So I want to attempt to get as large of a window as possible in order to get the most light in the back of the house.
All of my small appliances are exactly this shade of aqua. My kitchenaid mixer, my garbage can, my dishes, etc. But pretty much all major items in the kitchen will be white (cabinets, appliances, walls with touches of black). This has made me think out of the box on how to incorporate more color, and I’m loving these bright ceilings to tie in my love of aqua. Honestly, I probably will be painting my ceiling a very close shade to the image above since it will match all of my small appliances, too.
Let’s talk about appliances:
I love baking & having a double oven has always been at the top of my wish list, right next to that smeg fridge. Well… after shopping for appliances, the double oven I love is like… 10k. NOT going to happen! Soo… I’ve been thinking out of the box to come up with a solution and this is it:
This is a Smeg cooktop, Piano Series that I want. It’s so vintage looking, but with modern-day performance. It’s fancy… but the price tag isn’t terrible which was surprising.
Over top of this cooktop, I’m thinking I could go for something like this:
Yeah, it’s a bit 60′s but it’s really cute. I haven’t decided if I like it better in white or in the stainless steel… that’s a decision for later anyhow.
And as you see, there is no oven yet… so this is what I’m pairing with it.
I’m having two of these puppies, side by side underneath the counter! This is the whirlpool Gold convection oven, which is not only reasonable, but also THE best rated built-in oven, via consumer reports. *Swoon*. Being a researcher, I have to research all appliances and whatnot before making any purchases. Knowing that this stove is a great performer makes me very happy. There’s not a lot of white stoves that I like out there, but this one is the one I do like.
I’m aiming for the under-counter oven to look kinda like this, next to the white cabinets:
Why white appliances??? Well…..I’m the crazy, weird person who doesn’t like stainless steel. So I’ve been on the hunt for white appliances I’d be happy with. While this Whirlpool oven is a bit on the modern-looking side for me, I like the stainless steel details as it will pair nicely with the Smeg cooktop.
I’m most likely going to get the refrigerator and dish washer to match (since Felix likes the fridge).
I have oodles and oodles of more pictures and ideas for the kitchen – we haven’t even gotten to hardware & lighting yet. So let’s just call this part 1 of my Dream Kitchen post.
Cheers & have a lovely Thanksgiving!
I am totally stoked today to start sharing with you several new knitting patterns that recently came in my possession.
Out of the blue, I got a message on Ravelry from Anne (Agenta17) who found me through my Stitchcraft pattern freebie posts. She said he has tons of Stitchcraft magazines and offered up her duplicates for yours truly – in hopes that I can scan them for you all since she has been to busy to do so herself. Vintage magazines for, moi?? As you all know, my gain is your gain!
I plan on sharing many lovelies from these magazines from Anne all throughout the winter months. And to start us off right, I have 2 fair isle mitten patterns from Bestway today.
Perhaps a perfect pattern for Tasha’s Knit for Victory knit-a-long, no?!
If you love them, be sure to leave your “thanks” in the comments for Anne! :)
Click on the following link to download the free pdf: Bestway Fair Isle Mitten Patterns.
Add these mittens to your Ravelry Queue.
What’s nice about these patterns is that they each comes with the written directions as well as a chart to reference.
Of the two mittens I prefer the Norwegian mitten pattern – but that’s because I love things Scandinavian – perhaps it’s just in my blood. So we’ll start with that one.
Huh! That’s interesting… The first sentence in the pattern states:
These roomy two-colour mitts are designed to wear over gloves.
I’m not sure how I feel about that, but that’s got to be a great, warm solution for the really cold days.
Tension (over fair isle pattern) is 8.5 sts and 9 rows to an inch. And over the stockinette stitch it is 8.5 sts and 11 rows to an inch using a US size 2 needle over the pattern. (US size 1′s are used for the ribbing at the wrist).
This pattern uses W.B. Melody Knitting Wool, 4-ply. Knowing the 3-ply weight is a fingering, I’d approximate a heavy fingering or even a sport weight yarn for this pattern. Pairing the thicker yarn with US size 2 needles will yield a very tight-knit fabric, which is perfect for blocking out the cold.
These mittens are fitted, and not intended to be work over gloves like the Norwegian Mittens. I’m not sure why, but these floral ones, at first glance remind me of acorns. Do you see it too?
A fingering weight yarn is used for these mittens: W.B. Melody Knitting Wool, 3-ply. The tension over the fair isle pattern is 9 sts and 10 rows to an inch, but over the plain stockinette it’s 9 sts and 12 rows to an inch. This is done using US size 2 knitting needles (and US size 1 needles over the wrist ribbing section.)
With all of the glove & mitten patterns I’ve been posting lately, you can imagine that I’ve been debating making some gloves for myself this winter. Unfortunately, I have a few projects in the Queue before I get to these…. but soon. :)
Thanks again Anne SO SOO MUCH for sending me all of these patterns! I love them and can’t wait to post them all up.
After closing on our house (YAY!) on October 30th, I finally got in to get to work on the place this past weekend.
Felix and I have been focusing on packing up our apartment the last few weeks, which we thought was the priority vs. getting started on our house. But as it turns out, getting renters in to pick up the remainder of our lease has proved more difficult than we imagined. While half of our house is packed up with no new renters in sight for December, we decided to stop packing and dig in on the house.
Felix has gone to the house and has made more plans with my step-dad, Bob than I have. So for me, Saturday was the first day I was doing actual work over there. We had planned to meet my parents at the house bright and early (9am for me since I like sleep). Felix and I got the car all packed up when *nothing* happened when we turned the keys to start the car. We popped open the hood and saw lots of corosion near the battery – which was my first guess as to why the car wouldn’t start.
Luckily, there was a nice passer-by who gave us a jump. We got some coffee (priorities amiright?!) and then drove over to the dealership where we got the battery replaced and stuff.
What was lucky is that my parents were running late, too. We gave them spare keys a while ago, so they were able to go right into our house and unload while we were wrapping things up with our auto troubles. We finally got to the house around noon, so we just went and got some lunch before starting in on the real work to be done.
Job #1: Cleaning out the Attic
The previous owner of the house was a bit of a hoarder, from what we were told. The house sat unoccupied for close to a year while people were cleaning it out – there was that much stuff. Someone had started cleaning all the trash out of the attic but they had given up – which was clear when my mom and I saw the empty trash bags up there.
I didn’t know what I was getting myself (& my mom into) when we decided to clean out the attic. I mean, I knew there was trash up there and I knew there were squirrels up there… Bot woah! In short, the attic was SCARY.
My mom and I donned Tyvek suits, gloves, and a mask to protect ourselves from the fiberglass insulation.
We quickly came to realize that we needed the most protection from was the mouse poop and pee and the horrible stench that was in our attic. YES, I kid you not! It was really disgusting up there.
Our main objective in the attic was to clear out all of the boxes & rubbish that was tossed in the attic. We worked inch by inch, hauling down boxes & sweeping up packing peanuts that had gotten *EVERYWHERE*. You’d think they were using packing peanuts for insulation, given how much we found.
I don’t want to gross anyone out more than I have to, in order to get the point across that our attic was dirty. So I’ll just let your mind wander as to how slippery it was on certain wood boards we were standing on due to “something or other”.
After sweeping and cleaning up there for close to 5 (or 6) hours, my mom and I came down the ladder. We could not get those tyvek suits off fast enough and wash our hands and faces! It was such a relief to get out of that attic and get washed up.
The tyvek suits kept our clothes and shoes really clean, but there is no air circulation inside of them, so we were also a heap of sweat. My mom had on latex gloves with a cotton glove liner (for her latex allergy) and her fingernails were still black underneath those 2 layers! Luckily we were pretty clean otherwise – underneath the wonderful tyvek layer.
I’m happy to say, my work in the attic is mainly complete and my work up there is done!
We still need to block the hole where the squirrels are coming in from (which will be done on the exterior of the house) along with setting some mice traps. I’m just happy I’m not living in this house yet since it’s imperative that we not haul in food to attract any more pests before we get the holes taken care of.
My next order of business is to begin stripping the woodwork on the first level. While this also will be a messy task, it will be far better than the attic ordeal.
My mom has also had squirrels in her attic before and is the owner of a house built in 1910 that once had shag carpeting in the kitchen… And she still said that my attic was the grossest thing she’s ever had to contend with. Thanks mom for helping me! And I can’t express just how happy I am to say that – having done the grossest thing I’ll ever do – is far behind me. :)
I’ve been working on and off again on this jumper for 2 years now – but I’m happy to say it (was) worn quite regularly this whole summer and I’m in love with it.
The completed Aqua Waves Jumper!
Here’s the link for the Aqua Waves Jumper Pattern pdf so you can make one for your very own!
What took me so long to complete it? Well… long story short, I didn’t cast on the correct number of stitches for the sleeve ribbing. The good rule of thumb is cast on 2 stitches for every 3 stitches you come across. I knit the sleeve ribbing up twice – and failed. I stuck true to this golden rule the third time with great success.
My favorite part of this jumper (besides the color) is obviously the main design feature: the waves & surplice neckline. How could it not be?!
The pattern is written to include a short wavy neckline, this was knit flat and seamed together both at the center back and also seamed around the back neckline, just to the shoulder seam.
I really didn’t make too many alterations to the pattern. I remember I raised the armholes (done by working the armhole increase stitches later than pattern stipulated) and altered the eyelet pattern so I could work in the round.
Directions for changing the pattern to work in the round, can be found on the original pattern post here.
I used cascade heritage yarn in the merino-silk blend in ‘aqua foam’ for the body and ‘snow’ for the white accents. The tiny bit of silk (15%) gives the jumper a lovely sheen, a bit more stretch, and lightens this up for summer wear.
Yes, I did wear this jumper, happily in the summer! No, it wasn’t on 90 degree days, but I was very comfortable when the weather was 75 degrees.
Since I’m wearing a high-waisted skirt, I folded down the jumper at the top of the ribbing section. But it can be worn folded up or pulled all the way down. (I went back and forth, depending on what I was wearing on my lower half.)
While I did wear a white camisole underneath this jumper, the eyelets are probably small enough that I don’t have to worry too much about being to ‘risque’.
This is one of my favorite knits now! It’s too bad I can’t wear it all year long. Another knit project happily completed!
Today’s pattern freebie comes from a Bestway publication during the 1940s.
Click on the following link to download the pattern as a pdf: Panelled Cardigan Pattern
Here’s the link to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue or Favorites.
A few weeks ago, Kerry of Kestrel Makes posted about some vintage knitting patterns for sale. Knowing me… I was all over that and bought several of them from her! And this couldn’t be better for you guys since I just go and post them all for you anyhow now that I’ve packed up all of my other vintage patterns. heh
This Bestway pattern #2002 isn’t dated, but was published sometime in the 1940′s. I think it’s a great, lovely staple cardigan pattern with just enough going on.
This pattern is drafted for a 36″ bust and a 38″ bust. The tension stated is 8 sts per inch and 10 rows to an inch using US size 2′s (3.00mm) aka vintage needle size 10. This pretty much equates to a fingering weight yarn.
So… I know there are many of you reading that yawn at the idea of using a fingering weight yarn for any of your knitting projects. Well.. don’t let that stop you from making this up! The lovely Tasha of By Gum By Golly has been sharing her 1940′s pullover design series in October about how to go about knitting your favorite vintage pattern with a different weight yarn. She shares her step by step process of how she goes about making the required changes. Be SURE to go have a read if you haven’t already!
Keeping this post short and sweet, I hope you like today’s pattern freebie and have a wonderful weekend!
Felix and I bought a house!
We signed lots of papers, handed over a fatty check, and we are the proud new owners of OUR home.
It’s kind of surreal. We’ve spent 8 months looking for our home & it’s hard to believe we just bought one!
Our Realtor, Seth was at the closing with us and he had a surprise waiting in his car after we got all the papers signed:
He went and bought us tools. It’s like he knows we’ll be working on the house or something! heh
Seth Captain of Captain Realty
And you can contact him on his site directly here too.
But really, it was so incredibly kind of him. He’s been the best Realtor we could have hoped to work with. He never once pushed us and gave his advice when we asked for it. He was always careful to reserve his own thoughts as not to sway us but was a great guide when we needed it. He was patient, honest, fun, and full of integrity. Thanks so much Seth!!!
Right after signing all of our documents, Felix and I drove down to the house for the first walk through.
Felix holding the one magical key to the front door. (This was the one image I’d been waiting for… the keys!)
After doing a walk through & getting freaked out by loud thuds and rustling in the attic (hello squirrels) we went out for a celebratory drink and meal.
While walking through the house, it was eerie. We were of course very excited to have bought our first home – yet it was still strange. It was as if we were walking through someone else’s house and it isn’t quite ours yet. Felix and I had the same exact feelings about it. (He’s written his feelings far more elegantly than I have here.)
Last night was the first time that Felix and I were alone in the house; we’d always been accompanied by the Realtors (ours or the seller’s). And coming from renting apartments all of my adult life, it’s strange that we’re the only ones in the building.
Once we start doing a bit of work and once we move in, I’m sure this feeling will change. And slowly the house will feel like home the more we’re in it and making it ours.
Cheers everyone & thank you again so much for all of your helpful advice last week! Felix and I have read and re-read all of your comments – they are so helpful and kind. You guys rock!
P.S. Happy Halloween!
I just completed my Sugar Maple Shawl in time for the chilly autumn we’re having here in Chicago.
I used Malabrigo Worsted (Aran weight) in Polar Morn for my shawl. It’s a dove grey, but it has undertones of lilac and it was such a dream to knit with. With constant use, I fear this shawl will pill- but so far it’s wearing great.
The ruffle section is what took me so long to complete. Being new to shawls and lace work, it’s customary to pick up stitches around the border of the main section. Well… we’re talking over 300 stitches to pick up for the ruffle, 325 to be exact. I had to use 2 circular needle sets, one a 28″ length and the other a 36″ length.
Being the crazy gal I am, I knit this during the commute – the whole 5 and a half feet of it. The main lace pattern took 1 skein and the ruffle took nearly 2 whole skeins of yarn. That’s how long and dense this little 4″ ruffle truly is.
It’s so cozy warm! While I’m using this as a shawl at work, it could work as a wide scarf too since it has the same rectangular shape, not triangular like most shawls.
So far it’s stayed over my shoulder, but I think I may hunt for a shawl clasp so I’m able to secure it. I was just gonna go look on etsy. Do you guys have any specific recommendations on that score?
This shawl is versatile & cozy. I’m happy to finally have it completed after working on and off for 2+ years. But now I’m going to have to find another airplane project – one I can take anywhere and stop/start anytime.
P.S. A few more photos on my Ravelry Project Page.