Cascades Pullover!

Hi guys! How the heck are you? I’m pretty pumped to show you my new sweater today, yay! I know that if you follow me on Instagram, it seems like I only knit hats, but, after resolving to finish up some projects in February, now I have a sweater!

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This is the Cascades pattern, by Michele Wang. It’s a bottom-up raglan that’s knit in one piece to the armholes, then the sleeves are knit separately and joined to the yoke. I find that I always learn something new when I knit up a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. For example, I learned the rib cable cast-on for this, which was complicated at first, but really looks nicer than my typical long-tail cast-on.

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I really love the stitch patterns in this sweater. It feels like the perfect mix of modern and classic, something that I’ll have in my closet for years to come, hopefully. And, after spending months working on a seamed sweater for Blake in fingering-weight yarn, this came together so much quicker by comparison! It was a fun and straightforward project.

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This was my first time using Shelter, the Brooklyn Tweed worsted-weight yarn. I’d been thinking and dreaming about it for ages, but it’s pretty expensive, so I had to weight until I’d saved up some pennies. I read the color stories for all the different colorways and had finally settled on “Truffle Hunt”, a soft grey-brown, but when I went to pick it up at Gauge x Tension, “Cinnabar” grabbed my attention and I had to have it! So this isn’t the goes-with-everything basic that I’d planned, but I really, really love the color, so I’ll wear it all the time anyway.

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Shelter is kind of a magical yarn… it’s warm, but lofty and light, and the flecks of other colors really make it feel special. It’s also completely impossible to seam with. The only seaming I needed to do was at the underarms, and while I was doing that, the yarn broke about 7 times. There’s just no way you could use it to seam a whole garment!

I really love this sweater, although it’s definitely not “flattering”. I could go down a size in the sleeves, and I should have checked the finished length against a favorite sweater because this is a tad bit longer than I would like. But that’s my fault, not the fault of the pattern- everything turned out the way the pattern intended. Lesson learned about making sure that the finished measurements are what I actually want them to be! D’oh!

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I’m also wearing a new handmade hat here! This is Fidra by Gudrun Johnston. This is actually my second version of this pattern. The pattern was released shortly before Christmas, and I thought it would be really cute on my mom, so I knit one up for her in just a couple of days. When I saw the BT Winter 2016 collection, I was desperate to knit Snoqualmie, but I can’t afford that much yarn right now. I still wanted to try out Quarry, so I bought a single skein, enough to make another Fidra. I don’t usually like bulkier yarns, but it looks really attractive in this pattern. This was super fun to knit and only took a couple of days. I should probably trim the pompom down a bit as it’s reallllly huge, but I kinda like it. 🙂

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The color I used for the hat is “Lazulite”, a navy flecked with purple and blue. It’s super pretty! I chose this colorway to match my duffle coat, which has been cut out for a while but needs to be sewn, once I finish up some upholstery projects and have room in my workspace to actually sew again! 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll just be over here knitting. 🙂

Have you guys been knitting lately? Any new patterns or yarns that you’re digging? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!

Ondawa Sweater!

Hi, guys! Hope your weeks are all off to a great start! And I hope you had wonderful Easter and/or Passover celebrations, if you celebrate!

Michele Wang Ondawa | Ginger Makes

Today I’m ushering in spring with, well, a sweater! OK, OK, so this isn’t really spring apparel, but I should still be able to wear this for a few weeks before the summer heat sets in. 🙂

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The pattern I used is Ondawa by Michele Wang. I’m a huge fan of her designs– they’re complex, unique, and absolutely beautiful. Obviously, Ondawa is no exception! I love cables, all cables, but these are extraordinarily pretty!

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The construction of this sweater is a bit unusual. The front and back are knitted as flat panels and are identical. Once you’ve knit the first panel, the second goes by in a flash because you’ve already got the stitch patterns memorized! The sleeves are also knitted flat and set in after the sides are seamed up. The front and back are seamed at the shoulders so you can decide how wide you want the boatneck to be, which is nice. Now that I’ve worn this a bit, I think I may bring in the neckline a touch more… it’s cool that I can easily do that!

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The pattern is fun to knit and kept me interested without being too complicated. I got confused a few times with the direction of the smaller cables and had to rip them back, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I also made a silly math mistake and knit an extra 12 rows on the first panel, so I repeated that on the second. As a result, the sweater is a few inches longer than the pattern intended, but I actually prefer it to be a bit longer (I just didn’t intentionally lengthen it because I was worried about running out of yarn). So I’m really happy with the finished length! I knit the second smallest size, which should have given me about 13″ of ease, in case that’s helpful to anyone.

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

I tried a new yarn for this, O-Wool Balance in graphite. It’s a 50/50 blend of organic cotton and merino, which makes for a really soft and wearable yarn. I love 100% wool yarns, but I’m hoping that the cotton content will make the sweater a bit cooler for spring and fall so I can wear it to death! I really like this yarn and will definitely use it again. I’m so happy to use a brand that carefully sources its fibers so you can be sure that it’s cruelty-free. The price point is higher than what I usually pay for yarn, but it’s worth it (to me) for an organic, animal-friendly yarn that’s produced here on the east coast.

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

Now, the sweater is really boxy, so it may not be the most attractive garment I’ve ever worn, but I really like it and feel quite cozy in it. I’m not in love with the back view (the fabric sort of flaps out a bit, like a built-in cape!) but I don’t have to see myself from the back, so that’s fine! Overall I’m seriously into this sweater and am so pleased that I was able to finish it up in time to get some wear out of it! Now tell me, are you knitting anything right now? Are you into fitted sweaters, or are you a “wearable blanket” gal like me???