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Christmas was a whirlwind, but I’m slowly recovering.  And I promised that I’d be able to show you my Vine Yoke Cardigan soon and here it is.

Pattern: Vine Yoke Cardigan (ravelry)

Source: Twist Collective Fall 2009

Yarn: Madelinetosh, Tosh Worsted

Needles: US 8

Started: September 16, 2009

Finished: November 26, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

The second this pattern was released I knew I wanted to make it.  But I could also tell from the get go that the bell effect created by the vine lace edging on the sleeves and hem just wasn’t for me.  So I decided I’d make it but with some mods to the cuff and hem.  I went ahead and ordered a boat load of Tosh Worsted and set out scheming.  At first I thought maybe I’d put ribbing on the cuffs and hem, to give the sweater more of a close fit, but then I decided that plan was likely to screw the whole thing up.  So I came up with the idea to use perpendicular garter bands as a sleeve and hem edging.

I did this by simply leaving off the vine lace edging when I worked the sweater and picking up around the edges at the end.  The pattern is worked back and forth from the neckline to the bottom of the sweater, creating the vertical garter stitch.  The vine lace edging is worked at the end of the rightside rows.  For sizes 30-42 the edging is worked over 10 stitches.  So the stitches had to be accounted for in the length of each row.  When I cast on, I cast on 10 fewer stitches than I was instructed to and continued to work 10 fewer stitches throughout the sweater, including when casting on later for the sleeves. I worked in garter stitch right up to the bottom edge, since I had eliminated the edging.  Then after knitting the whole sweater but before seaming i picked up stitches around the bottom of each sleeve and the bottom of the body, one stitch for each garter ridge.  I worked in garter stitch until each band measure about 1 1/2″ and then bound off.  It was actually quite simple and gives the sweater a sleeker look that I think suits me better than the original.

I’m incredibly pleased with the result, thanks in no small part to the yarn.  This was my first time working with Tosh Worsted and I often felt like I might never need to knit with any other yarn again.  Of course I’m far too fickle to ever truly devote myself to one yarn, but it is seriously beautiful stuff.  The colors are of course to die for.  This one is copper penny, which I bought as the perfect Fall color and am now wearing as a way to spice up the slightly dreary winter world.  And the yarn feels great in your hands.  and creates an incredibly soft, sleek and smooth garment.  My only complaint is that during blocking, despite being incredibly well supported it grew like crazy after being pulled from the water.  I had to push the sweater back in on itself while on my blocking mats to keep it from turning out 8 sizes too large.  In the end it dried in it’s original size, having gotten only a little longer.  Which I actually think was a blessing in disguise.

After blocking, I waited for some time for buttons to arrive from Beijing.  They were slow, so it sat round for a few weeks.  But I wore it for the first time to Thanksgiving dinner and I’ve been wearing it loads since.  It gets loads of compliments, which certainly makes a girl feel good.  So my first truly successful sweater is truly a success.  Yay!

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Just a short post today while I’m snowed in (should be sledding soon!).  The other day I made Sparkling Ginger Chocolate Cookies from this recipe.  Boy are they good.

If you are a ginger person, this recipe is for you.  I’ve never been one for super chocolatey cookies, but the blend of flavors here is really awesome.  It’s a pretty simple recipe relying mostly on quality of ingredients and the interest of the flavor combination.  Next time I might use just a little less chocolate.  In some of the cookies which ended up with bulkier chocolate bits, the ginger flavor gets overwhelmed to the point where you mostly taste chocolate.  But other than that it’s totally perfect.  So if you’re looking for a non traditional Christmas cookie to make, I vote for these!

Fear not faithful readers (if indeed there are any of you left)!  Finals are over!  I’m back in DC for a month!  And I have plenty of free time!  Which means my little blog will get a decent helping of the attention it deserves.  So stay tuned I’ve got plenty to show you.

Socktoberfest is long over, and these socks have been finished with for a month, but I’m still so pleased with the results that I can’t help but want to show them to you.  So here are this years Mystery Socks from Through the Loops.

Pattern: Mystery Sock ’09 (ravelry)

Source: Through the Loops

Yarn: Sundara Sock

Needles: US 1

Started: October 1, 2009

Finished: November 14, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

I know I mentioned in passing that Kirsten was doing another Socktober Mystery KAL this year.  I of course could not even live with the idea of not knitting-a-long.  Just like last year,this years KAL was a real blast.  So many people participated again this year.  There are currently 575 projects listed for the pattern on Ravelry and I think most of those were at least started during Socktoberfest.  I know I’ve said before that I just love a good KAL.  And my thoughts on the matter have always been the more the merrier.  This might have something to do with the fact that photos are my most favorite parts of KALs, I love to see what everyone is doing, and the more folks involved the more version you get to see.  What could be better?

The pattern itself is awesome, of course.  Kirsten hit another home run with this one.  Super fun to work on and brilliant end results for just about every version I’ve seen.  I love the change in direction from leg to foot.  The way the pattern extends down the back of the heel flap is another especially nice detail.  The chevron cuff is so much more interesting than plain old ribbing and the way the toe looks like flower petals is so sweet.  Here take a peak:

This was actually my first time using Sundara Sock.  Compared to some other sock bases I’ve been working with lately it was a hair stiff for my taste. It feels perfectly soft once knit up and blocked, but it could be a bit softer running through the fingers.  Thats said the colors are so lovely.  And her yarns do seem to yield gorgeous end results every time.

So there you are!  More FOs to come & much, much more.  Like a finished Vine Yoke Cardigan as soon as I get some good pictures.  See you soon.