Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Belfast Hoodie Finale

Hi, Knitters,
I finished my Belfast Hoodie designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Quince & Co. It's so comfortable and cute. I just love it. I took advantage of my son being home and asked if he would take some photos of me wearing my sweater. We started at the kitchen table and then headed out to the woods for some outdoor shots.

Here is some general information for you:

Pattern: Belfast Hoodie by Carrie Bostick Hoge (on Quince and on Ravelry)
Needles: US size 8 needles, Signature Needle Arts, 32-inch circular
Buttons: Oak tree branch buttons from Wooden Treasures on Etsy 
Construction: Bottom-up, raglan-yoke combination, seamless

By the way, the green hat I'm wearing is my new design for a new alpaca yarn company called, Our Back 40 premiering at Vogue Knitting Live in New York on January 18-20th. Find Our Back 40 and my hat called the Ruche Panel Tuque at booths #807, 809, 811, 813 at VK Live. I'll give more details on it all shortly. The hat turned out super cute and the yarn is squishy, warm and soft. The yarn is being touted as cashmere quality alpaca and it is. I really think you'll love this yarn and hat pattern. If you are attending VK Live in NYC please go check out this new yarn company.

Now for the cardigan! After some snowy woodland photos of the cardigan I'll give some more details about the making of it.

Warning: Lots of photos ahead. To enlarge the photos just click on them.

Now for the step-by-step photos of the Belfast Hoodie:

Above the yoke was still on the needles ready to begin the hood. I was thrilled with the fit so far. Since it was bottom-up this was the first time I could try it on.

After the hood was knit I picked up 384 stitches around the fronts and hood to add the ribbed button bands and hood edging. 

This is the last bound off stitch of the front and hood edgings. A funny thing happened when I was binding off those hundreds of stitches. I got impatient and bound off the last 6-inches or so way too tightly. If only I noticed this right when I took this photo. When the cardigan was wet from washing and I went to block it I noticed the bottom front edge on the left side was pulling way up. No matter how hard I pulled it down to be even with the right side, it would not budge. 

One reminder to all, if you bind off too tightly there is no possible way to stretch it out later. It is what it is.

I was impatient once more and while my wet cardigan was laying flat on the blocking boards I pulled out about 6 to 7 inches of the bound off edge. It was interesting and kind of hard because it was wet. I grabbed my needles and was hunched over the blocking boards on the floor loosely re-binding off those inches when my husband walked by. He asked me what I was doing. It looked weird, I know. I tried to explain to him that I had bound off too tightly and therefore the bottom edge was pulling up a couple of inches. 

He shrugged and said, "Huh, rookie mistake." Then he just walked away. That really made me laugh at myself. There was no reason I could not have waited until the yarn was dry to fix it. I just wanted it to be right immediately. I didn't want to look at that pulled up bottom edge while the cardigan was drying. 

Note to self: Work on patience in 2013.

The pockets are picked up and knit on and then the sides are sewn on. I used a crochet hook and went through the center of each of the marked off stitches and picked up the yarn being held on the inside of the cardigan. Then I placed each stitch on the needle. The pockets were the perfect finishing touch.

The button sewing took me a lot longer than I thought it would. For some reason I struggled a bit to get the garter ridges on the yoke to line up. I had to remove and stitch back on a couple of the buttons more than once. In the end it worked out great. Perseverance pays off.

I also added three more buttons for a total of six. The pattern calls for three buttons. I like the option of being able to close this cardigan up. The cut oak branch buttons are the perfect match.

What a sweet cardigan it turned out to be! It is everything I hoped for, versatile and so comfy. The pomegranate colorway of the Lark yarn is so interesting. It looks different in different lighting. It is sort of a raspberry color but not exactly.  I like this color and will use it again. This cardigan just flew off my needles for some reason.  It is a longer length with long sleeves, and a hood, so I don't know how I got it done so fast. I am just happy to have a new handknit garment to wear. Hooray!

The Quince & Co. Lark yarn is 100% American worsted weight wool. It is smooth and fun to work with. The real magic comes in when you wash and block it. The stitches even out, the fabric becomes so soft and squishy. There is no itch to this wool at all. I have worn the cardigan with a short sleeve t-shirt and a sleeveless t-shirt underneath and it feels like butter next to my skin. To block this cardigan I just soaked it in Soak Wash for a bit and then laid it out flat to dry. That's it. 

Look how nice those stitches line up! I did learn a new twist on a buttonhole in this pattern. That's always fun to learn a new technique while you're knitting a project.

Well, I'm off to a good start on my sweater knitting for 2013. I hope I can keep it up. I haven't been doing as well with my sock knitting but something has got to give. 

Coming up still this week I will be posting the prize winners for the Waiting for Winter Mitt-along and the prizes. I have some good stuff lined up. 

Then at the end of the week I will be making the Opal Sock Yarn Bunny and Bunny Hat patterns available in my Ravelry pattern shop

Hold me to it! I hope you are all well and that your knitting is treating you kindly this winter.
best, susie