Friends, ever since finishing my Ginny Cardigan, something has been missing in my knitting experience. It will sound strange to a non-knitter, but I just wasn't as enthused by my current projects and always felt like something was off. It took some time, but I realized that I miss being in the middle of making a sweater. I had a sweater shaped hole in my life! Such a hole can certainly be filled with my crazy stash of yarn and patterns, so I took to Ravelry (man, I love their organization of your library) and started checking out sweaters I had planned out when I purchased yarn as well as trying to match stashed yarn to patterns. It was quite the planning extravaganza. There were two clear winners that skooched to the top of my pile though, so I decided to swatch both of them and see how things went with each.Alecia Beth cardigan by Justyna Lorkowska. I fell in love with Gosik's example photo (above) a while ago and I bought enough Cascade Heritage in Navy to make it up from during one of Craftsy's sales (no joke exactly a year ago is when I bought this yarn). I love Navy blue, and I know that a navy cardi will work well in my wardrobe as is plus it will go with a ton of projects I have planned to sew. I managed to get gauge straight off, so I decided to just cast on :) I got a decent way down the back yoke before I realized that I didn't read the instructions correctly and had to pull half of it out, but it's an enjoyable pattern and I already have the little cables memorized. This project is really just what I was needing, so I'm glad I decided to start it.
Ishnana, a relatively new pattern by Ysolda Teague. Isn't that cable pattern fantastic?! I just love it. Ever since I first saw this design, I wanted to make it with 3/4 sleeves. About a month ago I made a lucky find on Ravelry (seriously, I love their trade/sell function a bit too much) when a fellow knitter was selling her wool since she discovered she was allergic (knitters everywhere shed a light tear for this unfortunate soul). She had 3.3 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (which I had just used to make my Smocked Guernsey Socks and loved) in the Kerfuffle colorway which is a neat tonal grayish purple color. How great is the name of this color?! It was just meant to be. I had a little extra money from selling some yarn on ebay, so it just all worked out and now I have a sweater worth of this lovely yarn. I swatched for this pattern and got gauge straight off :) Alecia Beth won out in the "which gets cast on first" contest, but this one will be close behind it I can assure you. Also, that example photo from Ysolda makes me realize my need for a mustard yellow cardigan - I need to get on that soonish too!
Of course right after I get going on a new sweater, the Outfit Along was announced, lol. I've participated both years in this fun challenge so I definitely want to keep it going this year. The challenge is to sew and knit a complete outfit - it can be whatever items you want, but you must sew a garment and knit a garment that coordinate and can be worn together, and you must do it all between June 1st and July 31st. I tend to have terrible things get in my way when I commit to any timed large project like this, so I know that both of the sweaters I mentioned above are out of the question (my last fingering weight cardigan took me over a year to complete since I constantly set it aside for other projects). Knowing this, I decided to make something in worsted or dk weight. The official knitting pattern is Andi's newest design, which is a linen lacy t-shirt style, but I live in Florida and no matter how light a yarn is, I still need the option to take it off - especially in the summer. I've made several of Andi's cardigan designs before, so I knew I wanted to stick with one of hers so I know all the fitting changes with no additional work - laziness for the win! I've narrowed it down to the following ... I think ...
I need to keep this a stash buster project, so I'm thinking of using some of my Muench String of Pearls yarn I grabbed for a crazy cheap price last year from Jimmy Bean's Wool. It's a cotton yarn with an iridescent stripe woven in and I think it will make a fun and slightly dressier piece. I choose this coral color (instead of the grape colorway, which I also have in my stash) after taking a look at my finished sweater color palette. Folks, I seem to only make things in blues and purples, lol. I need to branch out from my cool tones and sedate neutrals. This coral is certainly brighter, but it's still a color I wear frequently so a lot of things in my wardrobe will go with it. Now to just decide which pattern to make! I've had Andi's Hetty pattern on my list to make for years but just haven't got around to it quite yet, so that's a solid option. I think the lace will go well with the dressier yarn. I also would love to make another Miette cardigan though, and that is the pattern I originally intended this yarn for when I purchased it. Decisions, decisions ... I may have to swatch the yarn before I make my decision and see how it looks with all over lace verses in stockinette and that can be my deciding factor. I have plenty of other yarns in my stash that would suit these patters, but all of them are either acrylic (and not the soft kind) or wool (way too hot for Florida summer) or already set aside for different projects or cool colors.
While I'll be going rogue on the sweater for the OAL, I will be sewing up the official pattern: the Hollyburn Skirt from Sewaholic patterns. This was a fortuitous choice for this challenge since it was already on my pattern pile to be made up next. Huzzah! I just need to match up a fabric that will go with my chosen yarn. I'm sure I have something, but I haven't been at my new place to shop my stash yet. If I get more sewing time then is probable, I will also try to make a shirt. It will probably just be a simple t-shirt, but that is all tentative since I don't realistically have all that much sewing time right now.
So yeah, lots of project planning is going on 'round these parts. And this is just the sweaters :) I've planned countless animals and socks and whatnot that I know will be sometime in the far distant future. I'm finally using Ravelry's Queue function like it was intended, so I now have a list of about 16 sweaters waiting around for me to make them, lol. Considering I average about 5 sweaters a year if one of them is a smaller project (like a vest or a bolero), that should take just over 3 years ... except when you factor in how many are going to be in fingering weight and then you can add another 2 years to that, lol. Yeah, my stash is ridiculous, I'll admit it. I am constantly looking for new deals though. It's a sickness I tell you. I've fallen pray to the old adage that those who can't do, plan. I can't devote much time to my creative endeavors due to my living situation, but I am a crack shot project planner! I guess I'd better stop typing and get to work :)