finding oneself

I’m sorry that I haven’t been around the blog lately, but I’ve been enjoying a sweater high for a while. I think I finally found my knitting groove again and what works for me project wise. In this knitting journey of ours, we get to figure out who we are, what we like, and what we want. We try out different personas, when else can you do that? I’m not just writing about being a process vs a product knitter, but also how we handle our stash, juggle projects, and choose designs.

Some of us become what I call ‘specialized knitters’, they are the lace-, sock-, accessories- only knitters. Or their niche can be thin yarns, fashion knock offs, or hell, garter stitch for all that matters. What have I figured out? I’m better off with one project at a time, my mind needs the focus for some reason. It’s such a satisfying feeling to see a project through and immediately have the excitement of casting on something new. Being in the middle of a bunch of projects didn’t stir the same feelings. In that end, having a stash isn’t something I necessarily want. Having all that yarn just sitting there taunts me. I rather search for a yarn that will work for the next project on my queue. My stash isn’t too bad now (thanks to everyone who cleared it out for me!) and I have plans for the bit I have left. Except for the sock yarn. I have enough to knit a pair of socks a month, but I’m not being inspired. I’m not sure if I need a break from socks or if I’m moving towards knitting more with solids and semi-solids instead of the variegated yarn taking residence in my house right now. This might also be tied to my affinity to more minimalist designs lately.

These aren’t hard rules or anything, just some observations I’ve had on my own knitting. This is more for me really. It’s good to sometimes see what you’re tastes and habits have evolved to. Have you noticed any habits that have changed in your stashing or knitting?

What does this have to do with anything? Since December I’ve been clearing out my wip’s and focusing on one project at a time. This ‘allowed’ me to start a new sweater shortly after finishing my brother’s scarf. I took my time enjoying the process and the yarn. There was no need to rush.

asymmetrical cardi.jpg
yummy malabrigo
pattern: my own, asymmetrical cabled cardi
yarn: malabrigo merino worsted, natural, 4.5 hanks
needles: 5.5mm and 5mm needles.
date started:12/15/07
date finished: 1/10/08

I was lucky enough to have a few hanks of malabrigo in my stash and had originally planned to make the Seeded Cables cardi with it. But I couldn’t get gauge in my swatches and I began to wonder if I wanted something that heavily cabled with such a pill-inducing yarn. In the back of my mind, I had been coveting this simple Stst cardi I had seen on the topshop site. The original was mostly acrylic if I remember correctly, but for about the same price I ended up with a more interesting merino one. It’s a simple pattern, done bottom up with A-line shaping and raglan short sleeves. I changed it up though by making the body reverse St st (living it up here!) and adding a cable panel on each side.

collar detail.jpg

I reached the raglan decreases before I went home for the holidays and I quickly knit the sleeves so it would all be one piece on the plane. But guess what, I don’t knit on airplanes. Actually, I just don’t knit on vacation. I worked a few rows here and there while hanging out with my mom, but I didn’t devote myself to it again until New Year’s Day. I wanted to get to the neckline already! I debated for a while between knitting the neck separately or continue from the body. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to seam! So the body it was. I kept trying it on until the neckline hit where I wanted it to. It couldn’t be more perfect, I love the way it turned out. I can have the neckline standing up or folded, both looks work with the rest of the sweater.

malabrigo cardi.jpg

I hate when you’re so bundled up that you start sweating when you’re inside. This is the perfect layering piece for that, I’ve been wearing it under my coat and over a long sleeve shirt. The funnel neck alone keeps you toasty. If I could go back and change one thing though it would be the number of stitches on the left (shorter) side to make the fronts overlap some more. In the end, a really minor thing for me.
So there you have it, my first FO for ’08 and I love it. I’m not sure what I’m going to knit next, but until then I still have to show off some of the last ’07 knits soon.

eta
: asymetrical cabled cardi (PDF)
some of you have asked for a pattern for the asymmetrical cabled cardi. I finally sat down and wrote it, but I haven’t had anyone look at it. hopefully everything makes sense. I did make a change to the stitch count, I added two inches to the left side so you get better cover when you wear it and so that the cables don’t get eaten up so guickly on that side. If you like the original look better, just remove two inches worth of stitches from that side.
choose a size with one inch of ease.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

  • gleek January 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    oooh, i love this!! did you do the standard k1fb increases on the wrong (knit) side? this looks nice and toasty.

  • loriz January 18, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    your cardi is quite lovely. its so wearable…any plans for the pattern?

  • margaux January 18, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    very lovely! and i can’t imagine what is better than wrapping ourself in malabrigo!

  • Wanett January 18, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    That looks fantastic! I love everything about it especially the collar. I hear you on the too warm indoors thing too. I am always cold outside and then get inside and start to boil. This seems like a great solution.
    As for my knitting changes, I’ve found that I actually like knitting in pieces as much as I like top down raglans. I’m really into working without a pattern. And desptite my first thought, I may not be a dud at pattern writing.

  • erin January 18, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I loved reading this entire post. I identify with so much of what you said about your stash. I haven’t been adding to mine for half a year already and I feel so much better about buying the yarn and knitting it too. And I love reading how you got inspired to knit this cute cardi and the whole process. I hope to knit something of my own one day and I sure hope it will turn out as cute as yours! I only wear woolies when I travel to somewhere cold on holiday and I have been wondering how people deal with sweating indoors and having to take it all off and then wearing it all back again to go out – I have kids and it’s no fun keeping track of all their stuff while they’re indoors so they don’t leave anything behind. So it sounds like vests might work πŸ™‚ Sorry I’m taking up so much space commenting, but your post just speaks volumes to me!

  • yaiAnn January 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    suuuuuper super cute! We’re both on the same knitting wavelength these days.

  • Wanda January 19, 2008 at 12:43 am

    I’m not at the point where I would only work on one project exclusively, but I am at the point where I don’t want to have as much of a stash. I’m workingo n whittling down the stash and selling some too. It feels like too much now.
    The cardi is really cute. I love it.

  • Allegra January 19, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I LOVE the cardi! It looks really squooshy!

  • handknit168 January 19, 2008 at 2:21 am

    The cardig is lovely. I like the front border.

  • Bryony January 19, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Ooooo you look so comfy and cosy in that cardi – really smooshy and snuggly πŸ˜€ Lovely!

  • kris January 19, 2008 at 5:01 am

    that is beautiful, yahaira, and it looks great on you. the funnel neck is fantastic – i love those. and in malabrigo … drool…

  • mel January 19, 2008 at 8:48 am

    What a cute sweater! I love the cables and assymetrical-ness!
    I used to be a one project knitter – right now I have about 5 things on the needles though and I’m feeling a little discombobulated. I’m going to try to get it back down to 2 – one simple, one challenging, and see how that feels!

  • lucinda January 19, 2008 at 9:22 am

    love the sweater!nice work!
    i have to agree with you, i am finding myself to be a one project knitter….and seem to be destashing a lot of yarn….maybe its the need to simplify life…hope all is well with you!

  • Cara January 19, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Looks great! I’m glad you found your knitty self!

  • jenna January 19, 2008 at 9:50 am

    It’s so fabulous! I love the inspiration sweater—it’s making me want to try something similar, too!

  • lekkercraft January 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Very pretty – I especially love the collar with the toggles. Congrats on a great #1 of 2008!

  • Teyani January 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

    it’s so pretty ! clever you !

  • aija January 19, 2008 at 11:40 am

    it’s gorgeous!

  • Veronique January 19, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Wow! I love those cables, and the textured collar and the toggles πŸ™‚

  • Steph January 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I love your design!
    I’ve been having the same minimalist feelings for awhile. I just want to clear out everything and have less: stuff, projects, etc. But what I have I want to be special and beautiful and maybe one of a kind.

  • kate January 19, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    i love everything about it! I esp. love how the neck works. It is classic but with a hint of contemporary funkiness — perfect!

  • pretendingsanity January 20, 2008 at 11:38 am

    I’m the same way, I do much better with one project at a time.

  • craptina January 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Great job on this, its such an interesting design, and looks like fun to wear. I bet it was a dream to take your time on this after your busy days this season.

  • Terry January 20, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I expect to see this available as a pattern – no ifs, and or buts πŸ™‚ It is really stunning – love it!

  • val January 21, 2008 at 11:13 am

    That sweater looks so squishy and comfy and wonderful!

  • tiennie January 21, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    That is fantastic! Lovely lovely job!

  • Rebecca January 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts! Well put!
    Love that Malagbrio sweater, too.

  • britt February 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Pattern. Definitely write a pattern. It will get eaten up. That cardi is so cool, i want to make it now.

  • nihal February 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    was this topshop? ohh i have seen this top(knockoffs with no-brands) all over the city and was thinking about to make a knockoff myself and here you are! thanks for the pattern though, it will be helpful..

  • carolyn June 12, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    super cute!!! thanks for sharing!!!

  • alejandra July 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    So lovely!!! Congratulations!!! I queue it!!

  • Maru Durazo October 29, 2008 at 12:54 am

    What means 2X and 4X at the pattern I have 4 skeins of malabrigo is ok for a size s

  • lynette January 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    this is a great cardigan. thanks for sharing the pattern with us.

  • Willemtje February 10, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Thanks very much for the pattern. I have just the wool for it and have been looking for something like this for a while!!
    A Dutch knitter

  • julie October 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I love your cardigan and first saw it on Ravelry but am unable to download the pattern. It just gives a message the pdf is damaged and cannot be repaired, can you help? thank you