Oh now here’s an idea…

Okay, so–that Prada knit.

And this knit purse from & Other Stories (as seen in this gift guide).

Those two things would go well together, wouldn’t they?

I know I said that Eddie’s Prada sweater is not my kind of thing, but that stitch pattern really is a slow burn. No wonder Farwell-Clay went to such lengths to figure it out!

Plus Prada has other colourways in the same stitch pattern.

Sorrynotsorry for chopping off Mr. Redmayne’s head. For once we are not focusing on the manflesh here. Eyes on the knitting, folks.

I don’t like orange/brown bits here, but the subtler blues and greens up around the collar bones are doing it for me. I must have something in my stash that I can use to whip up a little Prada-inspired knit purse.

And, on the subject of Prada

 

 

Link 50: Cracking the Code of a Prada Sweater

Personally, I loathe the Prada sweater in question–I can appreciate it, but it is utterly not my thing–but Julia Farwell-Clay’s dive into its construction on MDK is such a good read. At first I was’t seeing it, but then when I saw her final multi-colour swatch, I totally went “oh.”

It is a neat looking pattern, and choosing to just knot the yarn ends looks so freeing… Maybe in a cowl or hat, with a more subtle colour pattern…?

Finished Object: Improv #1

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And… clocking in at just under four months of knitting, my (first) #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 Improv sweater is now done! I couldn’t be happier. It does have some quirks, like those not-quite-100%-symmetrical pockets, but I refuse to let my perfectionist tendencies destroy my pleasure in this accomplishment. (I’ll… revisit those pockets someday, haha.)

There is so much to love here: a snug (perhaps even a little sexy?) fit (#sweaterpuppies); the splash of pink in the pockets; the firm and crunchy but not itchy fabric; the graceful curve of the collar. Now that this sweater is done, it reminds me a lot of my beloved Stanny–the texture of the Jamieson & Smith wool, and the feel of the knit fabric, is highly reminiscent. Except that this Improv is so much cuter!

When first planning this sweater, I considered copying this cute pink sweater worn by Chelsea Peretti as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine:

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But as I thought more about what I really needed in my wardrobe, I realized that what I should knit was a new-and-improved copy of a grey Joe Fresh sweater in my closet that I had worn to death.

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I wanted a better fit, long sleeves, and a sturdier, less pill-y fabric, and I think I achieved all of my goals. But I also didn’t want to lose sight of Gina’s no-fucks-given-endlessly-confident attitude, hence the little pink pockets.

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And so, as Gina would say: “Oh dang!

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One little detail I particularly love is my decision to do split hems on the sleeves as well as on the body. I am constantly pushing my sleeves up, and having that little notch on the cuffs means that they look nicely fitted when the sweater is pulled down to my wrists, but there is plenty of space for my forearms when I push the sleeves up.

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And… I am SO PROUD of how well my rolled and sewn down collar turned out. It looks perfect on the outside–and perfect on the inside! I just love how the cast-off edge of the collar snugs up so neatly against the little ridge that was created when I picked up the collar stitches.

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So good! Such a success!

And I loved using KT’s Improv tutorial to make this sweater happen. It is full of excellent advice and techniques… Right now I have a little bit of a “my knitting is forever changed after this” feeling, having learned so much about fit and construction.

My project details can be found here on Ravelry.

And… I am still working on my second Improv sweater. It is, at the moment, less than perfect. In retrospect, the long silhouette of my inspiration doesn’t suit my body type, and my planned sweater doesn’t fit into my wardrobe all that well. So there will be some frogging, and on-the-fly re-planning, but I’m sure I’ll get something wearable out of it. (At least, that’s what I’m telling my internal perfectionist accomplishment monster…)

Links 27 through 32: On Many Things

Link 27: Surprise fireplace! I have been reading Manhattan Nest for 3ish years now, and Daniel’s posts never disappoint. I can’t imagine what it would be like to demo your kitchen and find a freaking fireplace. So cool.

Link 28: My Karen Templer fangirling is unending. I had planned to have thoughts on Slow Fashion October, but this week I had to throw some money at Old Navy (*sigh*) to get kitted out for the resort vacation I’m going on next week, and I haven’t quite worked through the guilt yet.

Link 29: Personally I would say this goat has nothing to teach us. We can only watch the goat, and know we are looking at something familiar.

Link 30: If I didn’t already have my vacation knitting planned (I’m bringing my Improv #2 sweater), this would make for a fun beach project.

Links 31 and 32: I don’t feel qualified to really comment on either of these last links, but it was interesting to read these two pieces on the Watts neighbourhood in Los Angeles one after the other. Can the area’s long-standing issues be alleviated by some form of benevolent capitalism (if there even is such a thing)?

The People’s Cheeseburger (Eater)

A Journey into the Mind of Watts by Thomas Pynchon, 1966

Also, here’s Frank Zappa inspired by the Watts riots/Rebellion:

Filing This One Away for Later: Improving Saggy Sweaters

While I’m not anticipating any problems with either of my Improv sweaters falling off my shoulders, thanks to Karen Templer’s good advice about things like faux seams and picking up collar stitches from a cast-on edge, I do have a few sweaters in my closet (knit from patterns that I paid for!) that wear terribly due to floppy sloppiness in the shoulder area.

I definitely don’t wear these sweaters as often as I might, and fixing them is seeming (seaming?) like a better and better idea every time I think about garment construction. This post from TECHknitter on stabilizing the shoulders and back-of-neck on sweaters to improve wear is advice that I am going to use.

Improv #2, Take 2

After writing the other day about the start of my second Fringe and Friends Knitalong sweater, I pretty much immediately scrapped the first few rows I had knit. I worked another two rows, and realized that my raglans were looking like the dog’s breakfast. I was adding Irish Moss stitches on the front, cable stitches on the sleeves, and different cable stitches on the back. It was a mess.

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So after a quick check to see that I liked my chosen number of cast-on stitches, I pulled out the needle and started to rethink things. The problem was my decision to centre my cable layout on the sleeves and back–so how to rethink the placement of the layout?

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I ended up inputting my cable layout into Excel (the different colours representing the different stitches, of course), and printing off a few copies to play with. The solution was to cut the cable layout in half, and then insert the required number of sleeve stitches (and back stitches) into the centre.

I did consider adding additional cables in the centres of the sleeves and backs, but instead opted to just work more Irish Moss stitch (the pale green). Since this is a sweater for me to wear at home, I feel fairly relaxed about the back: no one’s going to see it, so I might as well take it easy back there, lol.

But–if I did care more about the back, I think an even better way to approach the design of the cables/ stitches on a raglan cardigan would be to design the back first. Then you’d just have to cut it in half to get your two fronts. And then, to get the correct stitch count on the sleeves, just remove stitches from the centre of the sleeves. This way, your stitches would line up nicely along the raglans, and things would be pleasantly symmetrical.

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I am much much happier with this second take on my second Improv sweater. In addition to looking much better, it is also easier to knit.

Despite this progress on Improv #2, I am not neglecting my first Improv sweater.

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Yesterday morning, I cast off the hem–leaving just the pockets and sleeves to knit, plus the faux seams to sew up and all the ends to weave in. I have decided to finish the body–pockets, seams, ends–before proceeding on to the sleeves, so that I’m not left with a ton of finishing work to do at the end.

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I knit the HOT PINK!!! pocket lining last night, and am going to take advantage of the daylight now to weave in some ends.

On Ravelry: Improv #1 and Improv #2

Is Karen Templer Reading My Mind?

Thinking of adding a pocket to your Fringe and Friends Knitalong sweater?

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Karen Templer’s got you covered with a little tutorial!

Thinking that your next sweater should involve some cables but you always screw up the crosses?

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Karen Templer has a fix for that!

If the Fringe Association blog starts to fill up with genius solutions for tackling that stack of dirty dishes you want to avoid, and how to balance your desire for all the cool Craigslist finds with the space available in your one-bedroom apartment, I’m going to start worrying.