recycled yarn

Better Sweater No. 7

 

Better Sweater No. 7 is complete! As I mentioned recently, I loved knitting this sweater. Garter stitch, stockinette, cables--gah!--I'd knit it all over again!

For the first time ever I took detailed notes on the process and included them on both the project page and on Ravelry. The biggest mods I made had to do with needle size and decreases since I'm quite small. I also added a line of crochet on the right side of the neckline just below the cast on edge. This kept the edge from rolling too deeply in the back (all that stockinette stitch!). It looks like it's rolling a bit in the picture below but that's just because my shoulders were back. It normally lies completely flat.

In other news: I'm going to be taking a wee break from better sweatering in the to knit up Kate Davies' Epistrophy with legit yarn. We'll see if the project monogamy lasts. If I get too restless I'll start harvesting yarn for Better Sweater No. 8. I already have the sweater picked out and it's lace weight! Exciting!

 

2014 TBSP Year in Review & Plans for 2015

 

I should have posted this before New Years but...Sibella...so today will have to do! Here's my 2014 knitting year in review and my pattern plans for 2015!

Projects: 1. Campus Jacket // 2. Hypatia // 3. James // 4. Acer // 5. Sibella // 6. Woodland & Palmyre

It was a great first year for The Better Sweater Project! I knit five sweaters--six, if we're counting Uniform--and two shawls. I learned some new tricks like short rows and the mattress stitch, and improved my cabling and lace knitting skills. I also learned two important lessons:

  1. Fiber quality matters! While I absolutely love all the sweaters I knit this year, there are some that I love a little more than the others. Acer (a wool/acrylic/mohair blend) and James (cotton/acrylic) probably get the most attention when I'm reaching for something warm. No doubt it's because they're so soft and comfy! That said, Campus became a closet staple this December as the weather turned cold and Hypatia got a lot of use in the spring and summer months since it pairs so well with dresses and tunics. Still, I wish C and H were a wee bit softer to the touch. This year I plan to be more choosey with the items I frog.
  2. Swatching is a must! So I know I say "always always swatch" on my DIY page because, heck, it's important! But often one to ignore my own advice, I rarely swatch...or rather, I rarely swatch properly. Instead I'll cast on 30 or so stitches, knit a couple rows, measure, make sure I'm within the gauge limits, and then get going. If the gauge is off I'll go down a needle or two without re-swatching and hope for the best. This has led to some pretty serious gauge shame and frogging. Sibella was one of those gauge disasters. I had nearly finished the body and a sleeve when I thought, "Hey, this looks a little loose." To my nonsurprise my gauge was off. Rip rip rip. This year I plan to swatch properly. Any resources on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

As for 2015, I am very excited to embark on new knitting adventures! Some patterns I'd like to tackle include:

1. Bressay Dress by Gudrun Johnston // 2. Backbay by Jared Flood // 3. Ondawa by Michele Wang // 4. Stasis Pullover by Leila Raabe

The Better Sweater Project has been a real gift to me this year. It has provided me with a sense of purpose when I've felt lost, and highlighted a resourcefulness I didn't quite know I possessed. It has allowed me to further explore my passion for knitting and transformed the way I look at the craft. I am so happy to have stumbled upon the wonderful world of recycled yarn and better sweatering!

Looking forward to knitting the Better Sweaters of 2015, transforming meh into yeah!

 

Jerome Sevilla | Gridjunky

 

This morning I listened to episode 2 of the Woolful Podcast. First of all, what a fabulous addition to the podcast-sphere! Woolful is engaging, warm, and inspiring. The last few days have been rainy and I've listened to episodes 1 and 2 while putzing around the house drinking tea. The best. I highly recommend it (the podcast and putzing/tea drinking). In this particular episode, Ashley interviewed Jerome Sevilla of the blog/shop Gridjunky. Jerome takes fibre recycling to the next level, deconstructing garments and knitted items to produce the most beautiful projects. From knitting to Sashiko to weaving, Jerome does it all and with exceptional detail and skill. I am so happy that Woolful has turned me on to his work! What fabulous inspiration for recyclers everywhere. Jerome is also an incredible documentarian of his craft. I'm posting some photos below from his Tumblr and will add his name to the Resources page on TBSP. Along with many other things, he posts great examples of how to frog knitted items! Woohoo! For more great images, check out Jerome's Instagram feed. And for more on his process and tools, visit his Our Tools, Ourselves post on Fringe Association. Jerome, you rock!