Saturday, 7 March 2015

My Knitting year ahead

I realised I only slipped in a very brief mention about the Ultimate KAL by the Plum Dandi Ravelry group in my last post, even though i've been knitting for it fiercely since the 20th of January umming, and aahing and planning since before it started on the 9th. I chose to make Ease by Alicia Plummer because I look at that jumper and every time I see it, it screams relaxed comfort to me. I want a jumper that does that. So I swatched, don't get me wrong I hate swatching and I do the bare minimum if I can get away with it. Massive slap on the wrist there. If you haven't knit with a yarn before, quite possibly on those needles (even if you have done it with others to a different gauge) SWATCH because it could and likely will come back to bite you in the ass. I think the people who can get away without swatching are really confident but above all tend to know how they knit with a good base range of yarns and needles, but also they maybe knitting things they don't care about the fit of.

So, if you're knitting a scarf or a rectangle or something without shape, you don't need to swatch, if you want a garment that fits that works with your body, you swatch, you calculate you do the hard stuff that knitting asks of you, so at the end of you however many hours, you have a piece that you don't hate because it doesn't fit right, you might hate it for other reasons, you picked the wrong colour, the pattern wouldn't have flattered the person you are anyway, etc.  It won't however be because it doesn't fit!

Swatching in the round - on top of my revision :P
Yes if the pattern requires you to knit in the round SWATCH IN THE ROUND. There are some helpful links to tutorials for doing this from Techknitter to Ysolda both invaluable resources that definitely know their shit! What it all boils down to is, knit to one end of your row and instead of turning your knitting take it to the other end of your needle (DPNS or CIRCS required) take the working yarn from the other side of your swatch, loop it round your hand loosely and knit back across from the end where the yarn wasn't, repeat.

I've digressed a bit from the point of this post though, which is to tell you a little about what i've planned for my knitting year, and the end of the Ultimate KAL. I finished my Ease! I love it, I played with colour, I played with the fit and I made it me. Obligatory bathroom mirror selfie (vom at that word!) below

I added Horizontal Bust Darts (through short rows), I added an invisible/ inseam pocket i changed up the sleeves using a chart from a different pattern, I switched up the shoulders with another similar pattern. I was unafraid to make it different and mine. Never be afraid to do that with your knitting, just as you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help, I was all over the internet  looking for links, I deliberated on a million things asked my Stitch 'n' Bitch group for their opinions and forged on, with a fair amount of swearing and frustration. I got so frustrated with the sleeves I jumped onto several different projects mid knitalong! I do however love it now, it's very me and very fun, whilst also being slightly outside my comfort zone. Plus it's finished before the end of the Ultimate KAL that is due on the 9th of March 'happy dance'. I did actually start another that was also for the KAL whilst i knit Ease, but I didn't expect that to be finished. However it is a perfect start to my summer knitting. I decided a while back, summer knitting got started in the winter/late winter so i could finish it and actually wear it in the summer and not have to wait a year for appropriateness.

I'm knitting Sandshore now, by Alicia Plummer again, but I do love her patterns I have A LOT of them. As others have said, it is a pretty quick knit relatively it is flying off the needles (that could be more to do with the size of the needles and the different gauge, I knit my Ease way tight on 4.5mm needles instead of 6 or 6.5mm). Large gauge things which make a holey fabric are a little hard for me, but in this case i'm going with the flow because it looks good, it works in the pattern and everyone's pictures and i've not worked with the yarn before so i'm developing a preference for working with it in a certain way as I go. If I was to show this to a certain bulletproof knitter I know and love, she might have an apoplexy. 

For the rest of my year it's going to be garments galore, mostly for me, depending on how I feel I might throw a gift into the mix, but I am a selfish knitter. Why so many garments?

I've only gone and joined another KAL the Tin Can Knits KAL on ravelry. 12, yes 12 garments in 2015, AAAAAAAARGH, am I setting myself up to fail? after all I graduate this year and hopefully get a job so will be quite probably busier, much busier than i am now. Where will my knitting time come from? It is however a goal, a challenge but a goal and hey i'm 3 jumpers in, 2 down 1 finishing off and 9 left to go. I don't see laceweight in my future this year, but one or two fingering, most definitely my funky grandpa, I have wanted it for ages and it has been earmarked since last year. Now it is a very real possibility because i've 100% decided on yarn 

2 Kingcraig lambswools, and 2 drops delight
The other jumpers in my list include some summer weights and some winter knitting, it's all gravy, maybe. So I shall keep you guys updated as I go and post pictures of them all together at the halfway mark. Next post though will be about finishing number 3, cardigan for the summer and the ribbing technique that I plan to try and try and share my process. Stick around you won't be disappointing and do not be afraid to join in!

NB: I did not use that particular tutorial for horizontal bust darts, I used the secondary tutorial you receive with all of Mary Annarella's patterns . I found the above when I was discussing bust darts with other people on the forums about using bust darts. 
#tck12sweaters2015 #ultimatekal