Almonte!!... and finally MY PAINTING SWEATER!

Almonte!!... and finally MY PAINTING SWEATER!

Guys I am tiiiired.  I have to use four 'i's because one doesn't seem to accurately convey just how tired I am - and also I may have drifted to sleep momentarily with my finger on the button.  I can't lie to you though.  The truth is that it's all my own fault. In the spring I decided to enrol in a web design course at the college near my work and had such a blast I decided to take on not one but two certificate programs: Social Media Marketing and French.  Social Media Marketing because I really do find this stuff fascinating and French because I love the language and it has always been my dream to be a polyglot.  Could I have done them consecutively? Probably, but if you're asking that then clearly we haven't met before.  Hello, my name is Chantal and I serially forget that there's only so much a human being can accomplish in a single day.  I am the Queen of over committing.


(requisite Festival selfie)

That being said I really want to tell you all about Almonte and also about a couple of FO's I've been holding out on.  Guys, the Almonte Fibre Fest was amazing!!!  This year marked our fourth year at the festival and, per usual, Ash and I had a blast.   The volunteers there are super sweet and always look out for us so I want to say a huge thank you to them and the Festival staff.  They really make our time with them smooth sailing! And thank you to every one of you who came out and said 'hi' to us! You guys are the reason I love doing shows so much! (I know I've said that before but it gets more true every single time.) I don't think I'll ever stop loving an over crowded booth and you coming up to us to let us know you follow us on social media or you heard we were going to be there so you wanted to stop by.  It really makes me feel that sense of community that I have only ever experienced in the knit world.  Thank you guys for coming by and sharing your projects and your stories with us!  


(We have way too much fun with show prep!)

Almonte might be one of the smaller shows that we do but we really couldn't tell by the size of the crowd this year!  You guys came in droves!  A couple times Ash and I looked at each other totally baffled by the constant flow of the crowd.  We talked to lots of you guys that were at Twist in August and you told us it was pretty much the same thing there and I was even more jealous that we missed out.  I think I might have convinced Ash to go back next year! I'm definitely hoping so!


(Sock Drawer Mystery Sets! - Gotta come see us in person if you want one!)

Ash dreamed up these awesome show specials that even I didn't get to see until I showed up at the house on Friday night!  Aren't they gorgeous?  I was definitely tempted to swipe one but felt like I should give you guys first dibs.  See how much I think of you?  They'll be at Woodstock in a couple short weeks!  All of you guys in the GTA, I hope you can make it out to see us!  


NOW.  On to the other stuff.  First off, I've been promising you guys pictures and deets of my Painting sweater for weeks now so here she is.  Painting by Katrin Schneider in the Daytona colourway and in Cashmerino.  She officially only took three skeins of yarn which would have probably ended up as four if I had decided on full length sleeves. They may still happen as soon as the weather gets cooler and I can't wear it anymore.  It wasn't that I was too lazy to knit the sleeves its just I think the sleeves should knit themselves if I do most of the knitting in the body.  

I knit the size 38 bust and for once my gauge was actually on point.  According to the pattern this sweater has 3 - 4 inches of positive ease built in which is fantastic because it leaves lots of room for the girls and the extra SanRemo donuts that I like to wear around my midsection. (You Toronto people know about those SanRemo donuts!) I did have to go up to a size 5 needle (which is two more than the recommended needle size) to achieve my gauge and I also went up to a size 3 for the ribbing.


This was my first experience with German short rows which are officially my new favourite.  I didn't quite trust that I was doing them right when I got started.  There was a lot of chanting, "trust the pattern," under my breath when I initially started. Can you see them in the picture? They're pretty invisible.  The pattern gives pretty clear instruction on German short rows but if you'd like a quick video, take a look below.  When you're test knitting trusting the pattern takes just that little extra bit of faith but I haven't ever run into real trouble and the designers and other testers are always super helpful.


(This is what happens when your cat realises that you forgot to bring your knitting to bed and tries to help you out.)

As always when knitting with hand dyed yarn I always alternate skeins of yarn.  This prevents any undesired pooling and integrates each skein into the other so you can't tell where one starts and the other begins. For this sweater I introduced the second skein after the short rows because, like I said, I wasn't sure how those German short rows were going to work and because, MOST IMPORTANTLY, I didn't want the jog where the skeins were switched to be visible.  I made this mistake with my Granita sweater which is another reason that project has been temporarily shelved.  In the row after the short rows were finished I introduced the second skein at the raglan increase.  This makes it invisible down the side of the shoulder and then continues down the side of the body where it draws the least amount of attention.  I pull my stitches a bit snugger at the join but it's not all that noticeable.  Loose stitches make me nuts.


(Back side of the side seam)

(Front side of the side seam)

For the sleeves I really did not want to knit anymore.  I put them all back on the cable and immediately after decreasing the picked up stitches at the underarm I switched to my smaller needles and started the rib.  I briefly toyed with just casting off but I wasn't sure that I would be happy with the sleeves rolling on me.  I haven't ruled out trying it though.  One of the great things about this craft is that you can always change your mind and I'm pretty sure I'm going to with these sweater sleeves.  I'm just not sure which direction I'm going to go with.  


(Cast off!)

The pattern says to bind off with your favourite method and after trying a sewn bind off and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretch Bind Off, my favourite is still the standard bind off.  In order to make this a little more elastic, I just go back to the size 5 needle that I knit the body with and cast off loosely with that.  It has the effect of adding a bit more yarn into the bind off edge but doesn't pucker out like the others and so looks tidier.

(All done and ready for blocking)

There you have it.  My Painting Sweater is done for now.  If I decide to modify again the coming months I'll let you guys know!  Also, come back next week.  I have two more FO's to share with you: another test knit that I did for Mara Catherine Bryner (aka @Orangeknits) who you all know if you've seen her Rose City Rollers and How I Roll socks around, and my So Faded Pintsized that I knit for my niece Paige!  

Talk soon everyone.  In the meantime, PEACE to you and yours and happy knitting!

German short row video ... ya I put it at the end so you had to finish reading my blog post ;oD... xoxo 

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