I have accepted the NaKniSweMo 2015 Challenge. This month, I will be knitting Denali by Norah Gaughan. It’s a sweater full of lovely, swirly cables.

Denali by Norah Gaughan Published in BT Men Volume 2 Image © Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood. Click on the photo to link to the pattern page on Ravelry.

NaKniSweMo stands for National Knit a Sweater Month, inspired by NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to knit a sweater of 50,000 stitches (or more) in a month. This sweater should do it, no problem.

I am knitting this sweater inStudio Donegal Soft Donegal in the Turquoise colorway.

My husband picked both the pattern and the color. Husbands who like color and texture are to be cherished, don’t you think?

Pregame report: Prior to November 1, I got to work swatching. Studio Donegal Soft Donegal is a bit heavier than Brooklyn Tweed (the yarn in the pattern). I knitted two different swatches of the cable section and ended up getting gauge by going down two needle sizes to US 5.

Yep. I think I finally got gauge. Had to go down two whole needle sizes.#NaKniSweMo

A photo posted by All She Wants To Do Is Knit (@caityrosey81) on

Day 1: I started with the sleeves. The goal is to be virtuous and get the boring bit done first. I used US 4 for the cuff and US 6 for the main sleeve. I was going to use Ysolda Teague’s long tail tubular cast on, but I tried the rib cable cast on the pattern recommends and found I liked how it looked. So I’m using rib cable cast on after all.

Cast on my #NaKniSweMo sweater. I'm knitting the sleeves first. It feels virtuous. Like eating my veggies before the cake.

A photo posted by All She Wants To Do Is Knit (@caityrosey81) on

What are you knitting for #NaKniSweMo? It’s not too late to join in.

I started this sweater for my husband (then boyfriend) almost exactly three years ago. This week, I finished it.

They say you shouldn’t knit a sweater for a boyfriend because you’re likely to break up before you finish (or soon after). But maybe it helps if you marry him part way through. The curse gets a little confused.

It probably also helped that I reknitted this sweater three times. Hard for the curse to know which version of the sweater to focus its evil mojo on.

  1. The first time around, I was new to sweater knitting and did not check my gauge. The resulting sweater might have fitted a Harlem Globetrotter, but not my slender husband. Rrrrriiiip.
  2. Time number two, I reknitted about half of the sweater, then got distracted by other things and let it sit for about a year. When I returned to it I noticed that, in the intervening time, my gauge had changed. Some part of me thought that the whole gauge changing thing was a myth, the knitting equivalent of an urban legend (like unto the Sweater Curse). Nope. It happened to me. And it looked hilariously bad in the poor sweater.  Rrrriiiip.
  3. The sweater sat for quite a while before I mustered the motivation for round three. I knitted everything but the trim/collar, then set it aside (again) for months. Yeah, I know, you’d think I would learn not to do that. Thankfully, no one can tell if the gauge in your ribbed button bands or ribbed collar is different. So I’m saved.

The sweater fits him wonderfully well. And hopefully it will last for years.

Pattern: Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in the Green Olive colorway

Modifications: Instead of sewing in a zipper, I knitted on a button band. Lots of tiny buttons (10 in all). What can I say? I’m still afraid of sewing in zippers. And I know only the most rudimentary use of a sewing machine, so I don’t trust myself. Maybe someday I’ll brave it.

Today I finally got around to photographing a pile of projects that had been waiting for attention since midsummer. Many of them have been worn, particularly the lightweight, warm weather garments. So, while they’re not in pristine condition, I can vouch for their wearability.

  1. Second Story Tee by Debbie O’Neill: I knitted it in Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy. I am really enjoying the drape of the fabric. The original pattern was knitted in wool, which also looks great, judging by all the project photos I’ve seen. Hempathy is fast becoming one of my favorite yarns. It’s very versatile and is extremely comfortable to wear, particularly after a few washings.

2. Sweet Dreams by Boo Knits: A total “wow” of a shawl that’s surprisingly easy to knit. I enjoyed the heck out of knitting it. I was going to bring it with me on my trip to France, but at the last minute decided I didn’t want to risk having something terrible happen to it. So I left it at home. It was just as well. There were very few days on our trip when I wanted more clothes to wear. Temperatures in the 90s on many days. I knitted it in Wollmeise Lace-Garn, a yarn that was de-stashed by a friend. It has a good home at my house. I just adore green.

3. Ginny’s Cardigan by Mari Chiba: Yeah, like I said before, I like green. I’ve had this cardigan on the needles for almost a year. I’m not a big fan of the yarn, I’m sorry to say. Wool and nettles just aren’t my thing. I’m talking about the experience of knitting with it, not wearing it. I dare say, it’s no more prickly than a hearty Shetland wool sweater.

The sweater turned out too small for me. But that’s ok. I’ll hold onto it until find the right person to give it to. Someone who will appreciate all the trouble I went to to pick out just the right iridescent buttons for the front.

4. Cedar Leaf Shawletter by Alana Dakos: Yep, more green. The center stockinette portion is knitted from some handspun polwarth. The leaves are knitted using some leftover Sun Valley Fiber Arts MCN. Normally this shawlette is knitted using a DK. My handspun was a light fingering/heavy lace and the MCN was fingering, so I added a few more leaf repeats in the cast on edge. I didn’t end up with  much more width, but lots of length, which suits me fine.

5. A Hitchhiker from Handspun. The pattern is the ultrapopular, ultrasimple shawl by Martina Behm. I wanted to use up some handspun leftover from another shawl project. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn before I hit 42 teeth. So this Hitchhiker reached the end of its trail a little early. That’s ok. It makes a very pretty scarf.

6. Boxy by Joji Locatelli: I think of this as my Groupthink Boxy. The sweater that happened because everyone else in the knitting group was knitting one too. I actually like it much better than I thought I would. It’s very comfortable and easy to wear. And the fingering weight makes for a lovely drape. Normally I’m not a pink girl, either. But I just adore this Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat in the Plum Cake colorway.

7. Twig and Leaf by Anne Hanson: You remember the Sweet Dreams shawl I mentioned earlier? The lace shawl I knitted for my France trip but left behind at the last minute? Well…I actually knitted two different shawls for the trip. Because I couldn’t make up my mind which one to knit. So I knitted both. This one didn’t get to go on the trip either. Sorry little shawl. I really led you on.

8. Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy: I’m officially a Bristol Ivy fan girl. Her aesthetic and mine are likethis. She just knows what I like. And she keeps pumping out designs I want to knit. This Linum tee is a perfect example. Fairly simple, but with a killer asymmetrical design element at the neckline. It just slays me. This top is also very comfortable to wear. Hats off to Quince and Company. They’ve managed to make a 100% linen yarn that is comfortable and doesn’t shed (I’m talking to you, Louet Euroflax Sport).

Gauge is a lying liar who lies to you.

This Ginny’s Cardigan isn’t going to fit me. It’s just plain too small. But I bet it would fit someone I know. Someone who’s about a size 2-4.

So I’m going to finish this cardigan. Because it’s pretty and it’s bound to be useful to someone.

Besides, I have come to the conclusion that, as pretty as the cardigan is, I dislike the yarn. The though of taking the cardigan apart and re-knitting it, or re-purposing the yarn for something else fills me with distaste. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that the texture isn’t for me. Sorry Classic Elite Yarns Woodland. I hope you don’t take it personally. I think I’m just the type of person who doesn’t care for single-ply wool/nettle blends.


Blocking Ginny's Cardigan

A photo posted by All She Wants To Do Is Knit (@caityrosey81) on

My UFO list of shame

As suddenly as my summer spinning fever descended, it has now lifted.  Now all I want to do is knit.

However, I’m trying to be disciplined. When the spinning fever hit back in June I set aside several large knitting projects. Now, I am not allowed to cast on any new ones until I finish some of my lingering UFOs. On the docket right now:

  • Boxy by by Joji Locatelli. All my sweater has been lacking, all these long months, is a three needle bind-off, some neck trim, and some small sleeves. Not that hard. Really.
  • Second Story Tee by Debbie O’Neill. Again, a simple matter of doing the finishing. Some seams and some sleeves.
  • Ginny’s Cardigan by Mari Chiba. I have quite a bit of work to go on this one. Mainly sleeves. Then finishing. I may complete this one and give it as a gift, or I may frog it. I’m not wild about the Classic Elite Woodland yarn I used, but I’m unlikely to repurpose it for anything else.
  • Squirrelly Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch. So cute. I was going to knit them for my brother last Christmas. Then I discovered a bad mistake in the colorwork that required ripping out the entire second mitten. So I retired this UFO to the penalty box. Maybe it’s time to pull them out again. I have one good mitten. Seems a shame not to give him a friend.
  • Pi Shawl. The classic Elizabeth Zimmerman, easyeasyeasy shawl. It really is. And it’s gonna be gorgeous because of the yarn I picked. But this unrelieved stockinette is driving me up the wall. I can only knit a few rows at a time before I have to put it down. Why oh why did I decide to knit this in lace weight?
  • Noodle by by Susan Claudino. I started a Noodle almost a year ago. So cute. Then I lost interest. As a result, I have a headless doll lolling around in my project bag. Bad karma, that. It’s bound to attract demons.
  • Evenstar Shawl by Susan Pandorf. I started this two summers ago. Then Christmas knitting got in the way. It’s gorgeous. I have some lovely silk yarn to motivate me. Just need to get back at it.

That’s my current UFO list of shame. What are you shame-knitting right now?

Four Little Yarn Turtles

Four little yarn turtles

All in a row

Two big ones

A small one

And baby without a proper shell

Cat crashes the photo

Great furry body 

Dwarfing the frightened turtles

It’s an irresistible compulsion 

To follow the turtles

Wherever they go 

Sweater inspiration

This bowl of tomatoes, peppers and chilies screams be translated into colorwork. 



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