Tag Archives: sweater

Sweater in 15 Minutes a Day – Complete!

It’s done!

Mandel Sweater

Mandel Sweater

I knit the medium size of the Mandel Sweater (Rav link), using around 1150 yards of Knit Picks Gloss DK in Admiral. I bought the yarn back when Gloss DK was a bit cheaper, so this sweater only cost me about $45 in materials. The pattern indicated that I would need 1250 yards for my intended size, so I kind of had to hold my breath and hope, since I was about 20 yards short of that. Thankfully I finished with around 85 yards to spare.

The pattern was quite clear and easy to follow. I would rank it at the intermediate level, with its saddle shoulder construction. Plus, the instructions are not written out line by line, it’s up to you to figure out which rows you need to increase/decrease/work the pleats on. Stitch counts are given, so you can work out at each stage whether you’re on track or not.

It fits!

It fits!

I disliked working the pleats and at times considered eliminating or reducing them. But really, at that point I might as well have just bought a blue knit pullover from Old Navy.

The body hem rolls, despite the garter stitch edging. I might rip out my cast off and add a couple of rows there this fall if it continues to annoy me.

Close up of the neckline and shoulder pleats.

Close up of the neckline and shoulder pleats.

Now for the stats. In January, when I started on this sweater, I remarked that I was inspired by Learning Japanese in Ten Minutes a Day and other books of its ilk. These books have always annoyed me – you can’t learn a language in ten minutes a day, especially not Japanese. Hell, the US Department of Defense puts their people through 64 weeks of intense study and classifies Japanese as one of the languages that takes six years of University-level study to master (it’s fellows are Chinese, Korean, Pashto and Arabic).

But a sweater? Meh.

Well, it turns out that a sweater broken into 15-minute chunks can take quite a while. In the end, this one took 46 hours and 45 minutes – just short of two days. If I hadn’t broken down and finished it off at the end of June (to put me out of my misery), it would have taken 187 days. Or from January 20th, when I started, to the 25th of the this month. I’m not knitting with a silk/wool blend in July. Heck, wearing the thing in June was bad enough. It’s going into a drawer for November.

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Sweater and Scarf

Sweater and Scarf

Sweater and Scarf

Sorry to all of you who stop by for the knitting. Turns out that having seven projects on the go is really fun, but doesn’t look all that impressive. Each week I found myself thinking, “Should I show them the half-finished creepy doll body? Or the shawl that has had an additional seven hours of work, but looks no bigger? Or perhaps the neglected sock?”

As it turns out, things are finally starting to move along – the shawl has been sent to time out, the sock has finally reached the heel, and the doll is only missing arms. I won’t show you the doll, because it’s naked little arm-less body really does creep me out, but it, the sweater, and the scarf are probably the next three things that will be completed. The scarf (above) is addictive – I find myself knitting ten more rows than planned, just to get to a color change. The sweater continues at 15 minutes a day (currently at 29h45m) and I cannot wait to get to the sleeves, which my lying little brain tell me will practically fly off the needles. Hah. We’ll see.

Hope to have the scarf done by next week’s knitting update, the sweater by mid-July.

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Inching Along

I’ve been really enjoying having six projects on the go. Because of various obligations, it’s something I haven’t been able to do for a long time and it’s fun to see how things shake out.

First, the Sweater in Fifteen Minutes a Day is back on schedule and proceeding a row at a time. At my current pace, I might be able to wear it in June. Whoops.

Mandel

Mandel

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about the specifics before – the pattern is Mandel, a saddle-shoulder, top-down, seamless sweater by Anke, a German designer. It’s a fairly simple design, with some waist shaping and ‘pleats’ at the sides (indicated by the red arrows) and shoulders (difficult to see). There are pleats in the sleeves as well, but we’ll see. I’m always caught between following the designer’s whims and my own. It fits quite well from what I can tell and it looks good, so for the moment I’m following the pattern as written.

Wolf Mittens

Wolf Mittens

They’re done! No, that’s a lie. That’s one mitten – the left picture is it blue side out, as I knitted it. The right picture is the mitten turned to the white side. I’m debating with myself about knitting the second mitten because I know now that I will never wear these. For starters, the yarn is Malabrigo Sock and MadTosh Tosh Sock. So, expensive and 100% Merino. Lovely for hats, liable to felt and pill the first time I touch a steering wheel. So I’m thinking these might just be show mittens. Of course, do I need two mittens in that case? Decisions, decisions.

Noro Scarf

Noro Scarf

The Noro scarf grows thin and thick, thanks to the yarn. This has become my drunk knitting, for work parties. Progress is made quickly and it’s hard to screw up.

The beginnings of the doll shown in my last WIP round-up post has continued as well – it’s down to the waist at this point. The shawl and the sock are generally ignored at this point, the shawl because it requires my complete attention, the sock because it is boring. However, their stars might be on the rise – the sock is the only suitable think I have for bus/train knitting at the moment and the shawl makes good plane knitting. And I do leave for Tokyo on Saturday…

 

 

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Knitting Spree

I kind of lost my mind last night. It was somewhere around the 30th time I had passed the marker indicating the edge of the sweater without so much as a decrease or a color change.

I went and cast on two new projects, along with digging up all of the WIPs.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

From left to right, top to bottom: The Noro Striped Scarf some people might remember from my post back in December, a slouchy hat using Rowan Lima,* the wolf mitten from the same post as the scarf, half a sock foot, most of a striped shawl, the beginnings of a doll, and, of course, The Sweater. Which is up to 19 hours and 15 minutes, by the way.

I’m hoping to turn all of these into a parade of finished objects by June, as mad as that sounds.

 

*This kind of kicked off the spree – started the hat, noticed it was the same color as the sweater, went yarn hunting, found a couple of WIPs and the doll yarn.

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Double Update

Both projects continue steadily. I’m headed home to America tomorrow, just for a week. (Though because of how international travel works, I only spend three days at home)

Here’s what another hour and forty-five minutes added to the sweater:

Creeping along…

What you can see here are both saddle shoulders and the back of the neck. The open space is the v-neck that I foolishly hoped to have joined in the round by now. Alas.

The blanket has entered its green period.

Also creeping along.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to churn out Friday’s regular blog post this afternoon, but I’m not super optimistic. I leave on my trip tomorrow and I keep thinking about how lucky I am to have a seven hour layover in San Francisco International Airport. :/ I don’t suppose anyone knows if you can get a hot fudge sundae at SFO? My first hot fudge sundae in six months would go a long way towards distracting me.

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Sweater in 15 Minutes a Day

The beginning of all sweaters - yarn snot.

The beginning of all sweaters – yarn snot.

Last week I posted about being inspired for a knitting project by a book called ‘Japanese in Ten Minutes a Day’. Those kind of books always drove me nuts back in the day. I mean even now, more than ten years after I started studying Japanese, I still study at least 30 minutes a day just to keep my skills up and to learn new vocabulary. Sometimes it’s more like two hours, when I’m studying for the JLPT (just passed N2, whoot!) or the Kanji Kentei. Ten minutes? Not going to cut it, especially if you want to live here.

Despite that, it was that book that I was thinking of last week when I was overcome with the urge to start a sweater. As you may have noticed, my knitting blog posts have been a tad single-minded recently – blanket, slightly larger blanket, even slightly larger than that blanket. That’s not my usual MO. I much prefer to have multiple large projects on the go, along with a couple of smaller, more portable ones. Unfortunately, work limits my time to the point that all of my knitting time has to go to the blanket to finish it before March 31st.

But I really needed a break. And I haven’t knit a sweater in two years (gah).

So I worked it out – there were fifteen minutes a day that I couldn’t knit on the blanket anyway: when I’m giving my daily sacrifice to the stationary bike. I tried working on the blanket while chugging away, but now that it’s half done it was much too cumbersome. So. A sweater. In fifteen minutes a day. What you see above is 2.5 hours of work, over ten days. I decided on Mandel (Rav link), a simple sweater that I’ve been wanting to knit for…about two years. It’s the first saddle-shoulder construction I’ve ever made (I’m a top-down raglan kinda girl), so I’m having fun.

Expect to see a sweater in about two years, at this rate.

What's an update without a blanket shot?

What’s an update without a blanket shot?

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