It seems like everybody and their mother all have knitted a Bluesand Cardigan before. And with over 2700 projects on Ravelry, it’s one of the most popular cardigan patterns on Ravelry. And anyone who has seen this design before knows why – it’s so cleverly designed with distinctive small touches and details that really make this piece stand out. And now I finally have one, too! Though the journey to get there was not so simple. But first, let’s admire this wonderful thing in all its glory.
Now let me tell you a tale of times long past. Years ago, I had decided to cast-on this cardigan for the first time, hoping to use this design to feature one of my first handspun yarn. I had paired it with one of my favorite yarns at the time, Cascade Heritage Sock in two shades of gray. Guys, it was a thing of beauty. To this day, I still bitterly remember this project (you can in fact still see it over here, as I kept the Ravelry project page with all my pictures). But one of the downsides of such an elegant design with careful attention to details is that its construction is very intricate and require significant focus every small step of the way. And unfortunately for me, I was not prepared for this the first time around. A series of mistakes back to back caused frustration, anger and disappointment, and I ended up frogging the entire thing. Not to worry, although it took a few years, I ended up using the yarn for another wonderful sweater from the same designer (remember my Stormy Seas?), but I was still left with a bitter taste.
Since then, time has smoothed things over and I now felt ready to tackle this pattern again, stronger from past experiences. Tedious work folks, but I made it. and in less than two months, to boot. I worked it exactly as per pattern, except for 3 small details – I did not use a provisional cast-on and picked up stitches for the neckband instead, I picked up the neckband stitches in the main colour instead of CC1 and lastly I changed the decrease rows on the sleeves for a tighter fit. As always, you can find all the details on my project page so please feel free to head over that way. Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the yarn.
This time around, I decided to stick to the needle size and yarn weight recommendation, and I went for a combination of Berroco Modern Cotton DK in color Piper as the main colour and I opted for a skein of Cloudborn Fibers’ Pima Cotton DK for CC1. And because we can never completely forget our first love, I ended up choosing to feature another handspun this time as CC2. This colour combination gives me beachy vibes with the sandy main colour and the Caribbean blue sea hue of the handspun. The purple adds a touch of warmth to the mix giving it wild sunrise vibes.
While I absolutely adore the colours, I was a little bit anxious at how this was going to wash. You know me, I put almost everything in the washer and dryer because if I don’t, I am likely not going to wear it. And while the two commercial yarns I chose are all cotton, the handspun is a merino-tencel blend. I was expecting a bit of shrinkage in the wash, but I was hoping to avoid a felting mess. And fortunately for me, everything went as expected. The yarn was actually fairly fine, finer than the two cotton yarns I was using it with. And so the fabric was feeling a bit loose and airy. I sent the cardigan in the washer with everything else, and then sent it to the dryer on its own on on air fluff. And while it did shrink, the handpun knitted sections retained some stitch definition albeit a bit tighter and fuller and which showcases the blue tonal shades beautifully.
The finished cardigan is beautiful, soft, warm and so so comfortable, please don’t mind me if I just live in it for a little while.
Cotton cable comfort
Weather recently has been yo-yoing between fresh spring and scorching hot summer with very little transition, and so it’s been a little difficult lately to just know what to expect or how to dress from day to day. As such, I’m actually very happy to present to you today a new very versatile addition to my wardrobe, this lovely cozy little cardigan that I’ve made as a test-knit for Beatriz Rubio from sambaknits, that should be published in Miss Babs fall 2020 collection.
The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, and I used Zooey Aran , a 60% cotton and 40% linen yarn from Juniper Moon Farm. Although technically a different yarn weight, it actually feels more like a light worsted yarn to me, and it actually knitted up to gauge almost perfectly so it worked out well. I knit the smallest size, and used almost all of the 5 skeins I had, a whopping total of 972 yards. I made no mods whatsoever, except for knitting 12 rows of collar instead of the 8 rows the pattern called for. I also think that if I had had any more yarn to spare, I would have made the collar even puffier as this design I feel would look simply amazing with a large folded collar.
It was a fairly easy knit, straightforward and well explained with a chart. The pattern is simply knitted and blocked as a big rectangle, then folded and seamed before adding the collar.
The finished cardigan is comfy, warm but still breathable and extremely soft! I know for sure that I will be wearing this a lot this summer on windy days or chill nights.
As you can imagine, the pattern is not out yet but I will make sure to link my project to the pattern page once it is.
Hope you guys are all safe and well!
We all have some of those, right? Well, staying home a lot more recently has given me an opportunity to revisit those, and to put the final stitches on a couple projects I (really) should’ve finished long ago.
First off is this luscious green cardigan I’ve started in October 2017 as a test-knit for the lovely Anne, for her French Kiss cardigan pattern. Now I feel particularly terrible about this one because I’m the type who will not sign up for a test knit unless I know for sure I can finish before the deadline. As luck would have it though, many unexpected things happened during that time frame that prevented me from completing the test. I felt horrible and apologized profusely, but after the pattern was published I didn’t feel as much pressure to finish the project so I just left it there and forgot about it. I’m so happy (and relieved) it is finally done, and right on time too – the colour and the yarn are perfect for spring / summer.
I used about 6 and a half skeins of Nettle Grove yarn from Plymouth Yarn in the colour “Mermaid”. This yarn is an interesting cotton, linen, silk and nettle mix, and although I’m not a huge fan, I gotta say that the final washed fabric is actually pretty soft and has very good stitch definition. I pretty much followed pattern instructions exactly, all the details are on my Ravelry project page.
Second project I want to show you guys is my second iteration of the Dessine-Moi Un Mouton sweater by La Maison Rililie that I had started in December 2018. It’s no secret that I love this design, I’ve used it before to make my Spilled Wine sweater (and made quite a fuss about it), and I seem to always gravitate towards this design to showcase something special. First time was a gradient yarn set from Wonderland Yarns, and now this time it’s one of my very first handspun yarn, that I had attempted to use for a BlueSand Cardigan before but ended up frogging (the unsuccessful attempt is still documented here).
Just like the first time I made this sweater, I’m using a staple yarn for me, Cascade’s Heritage Solids yarn, but this time I went for charcoal grey. I also again worked on a modified gauge (since I’m using fingering weight yarn), though this time I made this sweater one size smaller, since I’ve lost a lot of weight since I made the first iteration of this sweater.
Overall, I am just SO happy at how this one turned out, and I really cannot wait to wear it!! It’s fun, it’s playful, it’s comfy and more than anything, it’s not on a needle anymore. As usual the details on yardage and mods are available on my project page so feel free to check it out 🙂
No, I’m not dead
Hey Sweeties! Long time no blog!
I feel like I have been neglecting you guys this summer, and I do not like that! My summer has probably been what everybody else’s summer has been – filled with food and fun and sun and trips and things! Although I have not really taken time to blog, I have been spending an awful lot of time knitting – and it shows, because I am now almost done with my Bluesand Cardigan.
I’m quite happy to show you this today as this is the first time I have ever used one of my handspun yarns (even though I have been spinning for over a year – I know, shame on me!) and I think the solid yarn I chose for the body really complements the colorful handspun perfectly. I’m so happy! 🙂
Also, I must say this pattern made me realize I still have a lot of things to learn when it comes to knitting, as this cardigan has proven to be quite the challenge. Don’t get me wrong, this pattern is amazingly well explained, clear and precise, with so many diagrams and figures it really makes me wonder how much time actually went into making this pattern. But the construction of this cardigan is just so cleaver, I know it’s something I definitely would not have been able to come up with on my own. Seriously, I understand now why so many people are in love with this cardigan (and other rililie patterns) – t’s brilliantly designed with a lot of cute and interesting details and a simple yet unique construction that really makes this pattern stand out. I am in love!
What about you guys, have you ever been so smitten by a pattern that you just wanted to keep on knittin’?
Tour de Fleece 2015 and stuff
Well guys, I feel like I really owe you all an heartfelt apology. Although I have been keeping myself pretty busy lately with many fiber things, I have been selfish enough to not share it with you. Unforgivable, right? Well, to make amends, I decided to share with you all today what I’ve been working on in the last couple weeks.
First things first, I decided to participate again this year in the Tour de Fleece with the girls from Papote et Placote. However, as I am not a very competitive spinner, I’m simply tagging along at my own rhythm, never mind the slow turtle pace. Since the beginning of the tour, which was on July 4th, I have spun about 60 grams of yummy Malabrigo sweetness that I am quite happy about. Here’s what it looks like:
I have not been a very dedicated spinner since my neck has been killing me for days now, but I do what I can. And since the Tour de Fleece has been putting me into a spinning mood, I have also been thinking about how to use all those beautiful handspun yarns I have, that I still haven’t touched. I know, I’m lowering my head in shame now but I have to admit that since I started spinning last year, I have not used a single yard of handspun. Shame on me! It’s not because I don’t like them, on the contrary! But I think I have been waiting for an illumination; for the perfect project to showcase my handspun yarn. And after many a thought about it, I think I finally found it. Here’s the magical project I have in mind for one of my latest handspun named heaven:
Yep, the BlueSand Cardigan from La Maison Rililie! I paired my blue and purple handspun with 2 solid shades of gray in Cascade Heritage yarn. The pattern usually calls for DK weight but the yarn I chose is actually fingering weight, so I’ll use a modified gauge and simply follow instructions for one size up what I actually want. I’m so thrilled about this project!
Now that I shared my idea with you, I really want do know what you, wonderful spinners out there, generally use your handspun for! Do you spin with a specific project in mind or are you like me and you spin something and let it sit for a while until you find the perfect project for it? Please leave a comment below and let me know 🙂
My friends, I am so happy to announce to you today that I have finally finished my Stellata Cardigan! Yes! It looks great and it feels amazing, as I predicted. So… I am definitely going to wear the heck out of this one this summer! The yarn I used is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in color “peach”. Now that I’m done, I can definitely say that I LOVE this yarn. I will be using it again… Surely! It’s soft, comfortable and airy, and it also knits up like a charm.
If you have not used it yet, I definitely recommend it for any summer garments!
Amongsnt other things, I also completed a very (tiny) project for a little human in the making, who is supposed to be born sometime this summer. I used a cotton/acrylic blend so it’s not too hot and also easy to wash, the yarn is DungarEase from Knit one Crochet Too. I picked the color “Sand”, which I thought was perfect for a baby who’s gender you do not know yet.
Hey Sweeties, long time no blog!
I have not been very present on the blog in the last few weeks, and I’m sorry to admit that I don’t even have a good reason for it! It’s not like I have been outrageously busy or anything but quite frankly, I have not had much to show you lately since I have been a very, very monogamous knitter since I came back from vacation.
This is a little weird to me since I generally tend to work on at least 3 or 4 projects simultaneously at any given moment, but lately I started test-knitting a second version of the Stellata cardigan pattern from the lovely Anne and I have been pouring all my heart into it, since it is such a lovely, sweet and elegant design.
Since I started a week late because of vacation – and because I had a little mishap on the way – I have not been able to progress as fast as I would have wanted to, but I am delighted to show you where I’m at as of today.
The yarn I’m using is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in color peach. I am so exited about this project because when I swatched for it, I noticed the washed swatch plumped up very nicely and felt not only soft, but also supple and breezy – seeing that, I can already predict now this cardigan is going to be a favorite of mine this summer, and the next, and the next again!
How about you guys? Are you monogamous or polygamous knitters? How many projects do you usually work on simultaneously?
Mock Cable Sweetness!
There’s nothing that can quite compare to the feeling of accomplishment you get when finishing a big project, is there? There is a project I have been working on since early January that just recently came to an end; what was before a shapeless UFO suddenly became a beautiful garment, right before my very eyes.
What I mean is that I just finished the Evelyn Cardigan I was test-knitting for the lovely Paula Ladd, and I simply love it!
This mock cable design is very delicate and elegant, and it was a pleasure to knit. This cardigan is worked seamlessly from the bottom up, and stitches are picked up and knit at the end for both button bands. The only three mods I made were to add waist shaping, add length and I did not knit the last neck decrease, or else the neck would have been too tight. It was a challenge for me because I generally have trouble keeping myself motivated until the end when knitting bottom up sweaters, but I am so glad I pulled it through because the finished piece is just so beautiful!
I also recently made a set of placemats I gave to a friend as a housewarming gift, and I simply LOVE the color scheme! I think I might use the idea for a few more, and maybe a bag or two 🙂
And finally, I have been missing my wheel so I worked up a little spin this week. Here’s what I came up with:
That’s it for me! What have you guys been up to, lately? What are your current projects?
WIP tour 2015 departing, all aboard!
I have been pretty busy craft-wise in the last few weeks going from knitting and crocheting to sewing and weaving, and that translates as quite a few WIPs in the works right now. Since I haven’t blogged about any of my current projects so far, I thought it would be interesting to share with you what I’ve been up to lately.
The first WIP I want to share with you is a cute pair of lace socks I’m making using some Cascade Heritage yarn I had on hand. I improvised this design using a basic feather and fan pattern for the cuff and a simple eyelet pattern for the foot. It’s a very simple and fun pattern to knit, so when I’m done with the second sock I think I’ll publish the pattern on Ravelry for others to enjoy too 🙂 Let’s share the love! Last month I also started a test-knit for Paula Ladd, a very nice button up cardigan with a mock cable pattern called “Evelyn“. It is a bottom up cardigan, which I don’t knit very often because experience has taught me that I generally run out of steam before reaching the the yoke. I pulled this one through though, and I finished the body today. Now I can move onto the sleeves, Yay! Although it has been slow progress, I’m still pretty pumped about it and cannot wait to see it come to life in the next few weeks!
I also took some time in the last month to make a few sets of placemats for friends and family using some fabric I had in stash. It turned out pretty good, and something is telling me I might make some more this month! Last but not least, I have 3 friends of mine who are pregnant or recently gave birth, so I have been a little baby-crazy in the last few weeks. Lots of things to share in the picture below! The gray rectangle on the bottom is a baby blanket in the making, using some Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn I had in stash. This pattern looks so cute! On the right is the fabric I’ll be using for a special home/dec project for a little girl’s nursery. On the top left is a few 2/8 cotton bobbins for a couple baby wraps I’ll be weaving in the next few weeks and on the top right corner is the cutest book I found for crochet toys… I think I’ll try my hand at it in a couple weeks time. hehehe 🙂
That’s it for me, what have you guys been up to lately?
2014 wrap up
2014 is coming to an end, and as it is I am reflecting on my 2014 projects and I feel very satisfied by the progress I made and the things I learnt. I am just sitting here, on the couch, relaxing while sipping on some tea, and I reflect on my 2014 crafting year. It’s a thing I really like to do, mostly because every day life just goes by so fast that it’s nice to take some time at the end of the year to slow down, relax and look over what you have accomplished in the past 12 months. It’s especially nice this year because I just recently discovered on Ravelry that you can search through your projects using tags (like for example “2013” or “2014”) to know exactly how many projects you made or how much yarn you used during a certain year. Here’s the break down of my 2014 progress compared to the year before:
2013 : 4 385 yards in 7 projects (mostly shawls and scarves)
2014 : 10 250 yards in 16 projects (sweaters, scarves, shawls, socks, hats and a bag)
In total, I used over twice the yardage and finished twice as many projects in 2014 than I did in 2013, and it feels good. To those 16 knitting/crochet/weaving projects, I also have to add 2 464 yards of handspun yarn, 4 sets of placemats, and my first handmade quilt.
Oh, you haven’t seen it? True… It was one of my secret Christmas projects. Well, talking about my secret Christmas projects… Here’s a couple of them. First is the quilt I made for my dad. It is my very first quilt, so it’s very wrinkly, uneven and full of mistakes, but I’m still very proud nonetheless. I worked on it for 2 years, and finally finished it a couple weeks ago, just in time for Christmas.
The second thing I want to share is a pair of socks I made for Emily. These Lemon & Lime socks were made using the Studioloo Bootsie-loo sock yarn I bought at the Twist Festival this fall, in the color “Linden Tree”. The pattern I used is called Seed Stitch socks, from Vogue.
Well, that’s my 2014 wrap up… I hope you guys all had a good time over Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the upcoming year. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life, and to focus more on the things and people you love, and what really matters. Life is short and precious, take advantage of every moment 🙂
Happy new year all!