Hurricane Lockdown = Studying, TV, and Knitting

Happy Halloween everyone, I guess…

Sandy kind of just came by and took an entire holiday with her.

All jokes aside, I hope that all of my readers who live on the East Coast of the US are all safe and well. I know some places were hit pretty badly. Here in Delaware, we lucked out.

UD students were encouraged to go home before the hurricane hit, but me and a few friends decided to stick it out on campus. I live only 40 minutes away from Newark, but I wanted to experience what I thought would be an adventure. As it turns out, all Sandy was here was a bit of rain and wind, nothing much different than a typical Tuesday (For some reason it rains basically every Tuesday here). Our power did not go out, and there were barely any trees that got damaged. I saw a few branches here and there as I walked around campus today but other than that, there was little evidence that a hurricane passed through. Students who decided to go home as advised might have fared a bit worse, especially if they were from New Jersey or New York.

What the hurricane meant for me was time to prepare for my two upcoming exams, time to catch up on some TV shows and Kdramas, and most of all time to knit!

Except that my Marketing exam that had been scheduled for this Thursday has been pushed back to next Thursday! Hoorah! My Accounting exam however is still on for Friday. I’m feeling pretty confident about it, although I felt the same way for the last one and got only an 80%… I’ll study more, I promise.

I finished Season 4 and am halfway through Season 5 of How I Met You Mother. I have to admit I don’t watch much TV, but television is such a huge part of college culture, so I have to play catch up, one show at a time.

And of course, if I listen to Kpop, I must watch Kdramas as well. I finally finished watching To The Beautiful You, which is the Korean version of Hana Kimi, a Japanese drama/manga. It was pretty mediocre for me. Maybe I’ll write a review later. Or maybe not.

The most important part of this post is about knitting! After I finished my sweater, I was in that awkward and uncomfortable period of time where I didn’t have any projects to work on. I’m not really one of those knitters who likes to start a million projects and have a million WIPs. So I decided to knit myself a cowl!

Starting off! I like reading patterns off my computer :)

Knitting while hanging out in one of my friend’s rooms.

And while I was watching Kdramas in my bed.

The pattern is Simple Cable Cowl off Ravelry. It’s really easy to memorize and quite fast to knit. I’m almost done and probably saving the last bit for knitting club tomorrow.

I hope all my readers are alive and well after the hurricane. If you got a lot of knitting done while cooped up in your house, let me know in the comments!

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Cropped Boatneck Sweater Pattern

Updated: December 25, 2012 with photos

Note: This pattern was adapted from the 1989 edition of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book. No copyright infringement intended. Pattern for personal use only. Do not sell or redistribute.

This sweater is constructed with two identical rectangles (front and back) and two trapezoids (the sleeves). That makes it easily adaptable for a full-length sweater, ¾ sleeves, or any shape and size. There is no neck shaping or any really advanced techniques so it’s a perfect sweater for beginners.

Techniques you will need to know:

Rib stitch (Knit 1, Purl 1)
Stockinette stitch (Knit 1 row, Purl 1 row.
An increase technique (Make one, Knit front and back, etc.)
Blocking
Mattress stitch for seaming

Materials:

4 skeins of worsted weight yarn (approximately 850 yards)
Size 7 circular needles
Size 11 circular needles
Stitch markers or safety pins

(You will not be knitting in the round, but using circular needles as straight needles is helpful because the project gets pretty long.)

Gauge:

4” = 11 stitches x 16 rows

(Gauge is not particularly important since this is an oversized sweater. Do not worry if you do not have the right sized needles to get the right gauge.)

Approximate Finished Measurements:

Armpit to armpit: 24”
Length: 15”
Sleeve: 20”

Instructions:

For best results, keep track of how many rows/stitches it takes to knit each step so the front/back and left/right can be exactly the same.

Front and Back (make two):

With smaller needles cast on 80 stitches.
Work in knit 1, purl 1 rib for 2.5”.
Change to larger needles.
Work in stockinette stitch until piece measures 9” from beginning.
At 9” mark each end for beginning of armhole.
Continue stockinette stitch until piece measures 7” from marker.
Change to smaller needles.
Knit 1 row.
Work in knit 1, purl 1 rib for 2”.
Bind off loosely in rib pattern.

Sleeves (make two):

With smaller needles cast on 38 stitches.
Work in knit 1, purl 1 rib for 3”.
Change to larger needles.
Continue in pattern as follows:
Row 1: Purl across.
Row 2: Knit across.
Row 3: Purl across.
Row 4: Knit across, increasing 1 stitch on each side.
Repeat rows 1-4 until piece measures 20” across.
Work in stockinette stitch until piece measures 20” from beginning.
Bind off.

Finishing:

Weave in loose ends.
Block all pieces.
Use mattress stitch to sew seams.
Sew shoulder seams together for 4.25”.
Sew top of sleeves to armholes between markers.
Sew sides and sleeve seams.

And you’re done!

As I mentioned earlier, the pattern is really easy to customize. You can make the length longer or shorter, make the sleeves longer or shorter, add some colorwork such as stripes or intarsia, or add some more complex knitting stitches like cables or bobbles. This simple sweater is a blank slate for your creativity!

sweater2sweater1sweater4 sweater3
For more pictures please look here and here. And in case you were wondering I’m a petite little Asian girl and I usually wear size small.

 

A Sweater For Myself: Cropped Boatneck Sweater

Edit: You can now find the pattern here!

Over the summer I bought a whole bunch of yarn on clearance at Michael’s with the intention of making myself a sweater. At that time I had never made a sweater before and for all you knitters out there, you must have some understanding at how some large project like a sweater might be a little intimidating, especially if it’s you’re first of its kind. I wrote up this inspiration post and started my journey on finding the perfect pattern. As it turned out, I had to do a little improvising like a lot of my knitting because for some reason, me and knitting patterns aren’t really close friends. We hang out every once in a while but I like to go my own ways a lot of the time.

I ended up choosing the pattern for the boatneck sweater in my vintage Vogue Knitting, however, I didn’t have enough yarn and since the yarn I bought was in clearance, there was no way of knowing that there would be any of the same kind left. Lesson #1: Pick a pattern before your yarn (and needles, too) if you want to make something exactly as it says in the pattern. Otherwise you end up improvising and modifying like I always do.

So I had 3 skeins of the sparkly, beige yarn. My first thought was to knit it on bigger needles for it to knit up quicker and to use less yarn. Now I had to modify the pattern. The cool thing was that this Vogue Knitting is full of modular sweater patterns, which means you take your measurements and fill in the number for a perfect fit. I had to do one of my most often skipped steps of knitting and measure my gauge. The details are very fuzzy now, since I fixed the pattern over the summer, but somehow I went from there and decided that with my gauge, following the Children’s size (for stitches) rather than Women’s would make for a sweater that fit. And since I still wouldn’t have enough yarn, I decided to make a cropped sweater rather than a full length sweater and I had the option of either going 3/4 sleeve or full sleeve depending on how much yarn I had by the time I got to the sleeves. I was aiming for an oversized sweater, but when you improvise, you have to compromise. And it worked out, thankfully! Luckily, I was able to find the same yarn when I went to a different Michael’s to buy some other things and bought another skein so I was able to do full sleeves.

So I started the sweater over the summer and got interrupted by one of my high school friends asking me to make her a sweater, band camp, marching band, and school in general. One of the great things was that the newly created knitting club at my university allowed me to have at least one hour every two weeks to just focus on my knitting. And after one long, hectic week last week, I was happy to just sit in my room, relax, watch some TV, and knit. Oh, you know me, party all night long! That led to my sweater update. Now that I was on a roll, I wasn’t stopping. At knitting club last Thursday I finished knitting the last sleeve and went back to my room wove in the ends instead of finishing an essay I still haven’t finished. I blocked it, with the intention of finishing the sweater that night but seaming, my least favorite activity wouldn’t cooperate.

As you can see all it takes is 2 rectangles and 2 trapezoids.

Lesson #2: Mattress stitch is the best stitch ever. It allows for invisible seaming and works like magic. I began seaming my sleeves but I’m not too careful with it so my ends did not match so I undid it and finished my seaming Friday. Here are some photos of the gradual process.

Say hello to my arm because I only have one sleeve sewn on!

Oh hey it’s me again, wearing the completed sweater.

TA-DAH! I’ve garnered some interest for the pattern on my Tumblr when I posted an Instagram of this sweater so I’ll be working on writing an understandable pattern. This is also an exciting new step in my knitting – writing patterns for other people to use!

I can’t wait to wear this sweater! Unfortunately the weather in Delaware has been unpredictable and it has been feeling very un-fall-like lately. Hopefully the weather will cool down and I’ll be able to show you guys this sweater in action.

My name is Vi, and I’m a Goodwill shopaholic.

My first thrift store haul blog post ever!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve visited Goodwill and finally with a relaxing and free weekend without anything to do, I took the opportunity to visit the neighborhood Goodwill. I love that I can find awesome, unique, vintage pieces to add to my wardrobe along with brand new basics that no one wanted to buy in stores. Oh, and yarn. I can’t forget that Goodwill is an excellent place to fuel my yarn addiction.

A Mini and A Maxi Skirt:

An “Alligator” Belt

Two Brand New V-Neck Tees (From Target, I Think)

A Brand New Mohair Throw (Also From Target)

YARN and lots of it

Looks like someone was trying to make a sweater and gave up. I’m actually pretty excited about this yarn because I’ve used a self-striping yarn before. I need to knit myself (and I am emphasizing myself) a hat and some fingerless mitts for marching band rehearsals.