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FO: OWLS Sweater

Look what I’ve got. . .

A whole row of owls…

And a sweater to go along with it!

I don’t think I have ever been happier with a finished sweater than I have with this one. It was quick, relatively simple, and it fits perfectly.

I absolutely love myself in this sweater.

It is very comfortable. I am looking forward to wearing it this winter as a casual, everyday pullover.
I even like my belly in this sweater–and that is not something I normally say.

OWLS Sweater Specs:
-Pattern by Kate Davies
-Knit out of 5.5 Skeins of Wool of the Andes Bulky in colorway Stormy.
-I used size US 10.5 needles for the ribbing and size US 11 needles for the main body. I knit in the round on 32″ metal knitpicks interchangeable needles, using magic loop for the sleeves and modified magic loop for the neck.
-I used stitch markers on the yoke to mark where each owl was meant to begin and end. It really helped the project move along quickly, because I wasn’t afraid my owls would come out crooked.
-I used three different sizes to create a sweater that fits my body as I loose weight. The lower half of the body is knit in pattern size 7, while the upper half of the body is knit in pattern size 5. The sleeves are a modified pattern size 3. (The sleeves were only modified by adding stitches as I attached them to the body so they would match pattern size 5.) Don’t forget to measure, measure, measure!

I haven’t made my mind up about button eyes yet. Do I want any? Should I leave it how it is? I am thinking, that if I can find the right buttons, I might give one owl on my right shoulder a pair of glinting eyes…maybe.

What do you think?

And if you’re in NE Kansas, I start teaching a class about how to knit this sweater on Thursday night–and there’s still time to sign up!

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Sweater Class!

Remember last week when I showed you this?

It’s pretty exciting. Not because I magically knit an entire sweater in a week, because I didn’t. In fact, the sweater still looks exactly the same. What’s exciting is that this is my pre-work for a sweater class I will be teaching in September!

Here is everything you need to know!

Project Class: O W L S by Kate Davies Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner – Intermediate
Six Week Class Meets Thursday, September 13, 20, 27, 2012 and October 4, 11, 18, 2012 from 7-9 pm at Potwin Presbyterian Churn in Topeka.
Cost $45

This iconic sweater by Kate Davies would make a great first sweater project, or a fun way to explore new techniques for an intermediate knitter. O W L S is a women’s sweater knit in the round from the bottom up. It include waist shaping and a ring of cabled owl around the yoke. Knitting this sweater will teach you how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, knit in the round, cable, bottom-up seamless sweater construction, and short rows.

The student is responsible for purchasing their own pattern and supplies. (If this is your first sweater, I highly recommend purchasing your yarn from The Wicked Stitch, The Yarn Barn, or other local yarn store where the employees can answer your questions.) The pattern can be purchased online at ravelry or from the designer’s website.

Supplies needed: enough chunky yarn to knit the sweater in your chosen size, 32-inch (or longer) circular needle in US sizes 10 and 10.5 or size to achieve gauge, cable needle, stitch markers in two colors, tapestry needle and waste yarn. Optional supplies, 5mm buttons, needle, thread.

Homework: please have your gauge swatch knitted by the first night of class.

I have long been wanting to knit this sweater. It is fun and simple. I hope to have a good, every day pullover when I am finished knitting it–and some cool weather to wear it in. (Right now I am pictured myself pairing it with a flirty skirt, my black boots, and the socks from the cover of Sock Knitting Master Class, knit in a grey instead of brown. It’s a funky outfit, but oh will I ever be warm!)

If you’re a local and on the fence about the class, take a look at all the projects on the ravelry project gallery page. It’s full of inspirational photographs, yarn ideas, and helpful hints. I guarantee you will fall in love. And if you aren’t local, download the pattern anyway. Kate Davies is a brilliant independent designer, and I promise, the $6 (or whatever the current exchange rate from the pound is) is entirely worth it. If I hadn’t been so focused on the pineapple socks, I would be well into the sleeves of this by now. I am not exaggerating, that’s how quickly this knits up.

So happyknittingfriends, I have 8 spots open for this class and you have one month to collect your materials. Won’t you join me?

(Also, check out what other classes the PFA is currently offering!)

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Socks and Sweaters

After swatching on Sunday, I found that my usual gauge for the assymetrical cables socks worked perfectly. Hooray for not having to buy smaller needles! I used my same old trusty long tail cast on. I happen to cast on really loosely, so if you cast on tightly, I might recommend a slightly more elastic cast on.

So far, the cable pattern is pretty straight forward, and I am loving the yarn. I would be further along, except I got a little distracted by OWLS.


I love how charming a little 2×2 ribbing can be as it transitions into stockinette. Very simple. Very classic. The instructions for this sweater so far are clear enough for me to keep up with all the decreases and still chat with my sister all night–until I gave her my tablet to read something funny–and I then I didn’t have my pattern anymore. Between chunky projects, I always forget how satisfying it is to work with this weight yarn. I feel like I am doing so much with so little effort. I can’t wait to teach this class. Details are coming soon, I promise.

And just because it’s pretty.

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Sundays are for Swatching

I have felt a bit aimless in my knitting lately. I have been knitting a lot of simple things, stockinette socks, stockinette sweaters, garter stitch bags. While all of them are relatively easy, they are all also relatively simple. I like a good simple knitting project for stressful times, when the hands just need to be producing and the mind needs to be relaxing. I will still tell you, if you ask, that a plain stockinette sock is the best relaxation knitting in the world. But every now and then, there comes a point where a woman needs just a little more to do. Taking on the Pearl Street Pullover was part of that. I have never done a cabled sweater before, and I am enjoying the heck out of it, even if I am afraid I am going to run out of yarn. I think it was also my motivation for the ill-fated moth man scarf I blogged about last time. Ill-fated? Yes, it is already in hibernation. I have a record with lace yarn and it seems I am doomed never to ever finish a project made out of it. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I am a cable and color girl, and that while the occasional lace is nice, I prefer the solid to the dainty.

Which brings me to today’s topic. You see, I have plans. Big plans. Plans that almost scare me a little bit when I think about it too much.


This is the pile of things I am going to work on today, because it’s Sunday, and if I can’t sit on my butt and knit all day, I don’t know what else Sunday is for. In the middle you see the beginnings of a sock. This is my control project. A simple pair of stockinette socks on the needles that I can pick up when my brain needs a break from all the new things.


This particular pair of socks are my little brother’s birthday present. (His birthday was a month ago, but I am consoled by the fact that it has been 100 or more degrees every day since then and he wouldn’t have worn them anyway.) They are some self-striping t-rex yarn that he picked out of my shop. He might have just turned twenty, but I am proud to say he couldn’t pass up having Air Bender inspired socks.

Why do I need a control project you ask? Well, mostly because I made two knitting decisions in the last week that prove I have obviously gone quite insane. Two things happened to me last week. I stumbled across Ann Budd’s blog where she challenged herself to knit every sock in her Sock Knitting Master Class book. Second, I was finishing up teaching my beginners sock knitting class, and was thinking what other knitting classes I should schedule for the fall. Some how, the amalgamation of these two ideas in my work-stressed brain led me to make two very ill-conceived decisions. One, I need to learn more knitting skills so that I can be a better knitting teacher, therefore I too shall knit through the sock knitters master class, and blog about it. Two, I will teach a sweater knitting class, because I love knitting sweaters and would like to pass the bug along. Of course, the pattern I chose, O W L S, I have never knit before. I don’t feel comfortable teaching something I have never done, therefore I need to knit this sweater. I don’t have any illusions about knitting it all before the class starts, especially given my insane sock undertaking, but I would like to stay at least one step ahead of my students.


The yarn I am going to use for O W L S is just some knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky I bought ages ago. I have a ton of this stuff laying around. I am not sure what my plans were anymore, but I have enough of this steely grey color for a sweater. Today I am swatching for the sweater.


I am also swatching with this lovely golden protoceratops sock yarn for the first pair of socks in The Sock Book (this might be how I refer to the Sock Knitting Master Class for the duration of the project.) I do have to confess, that I have not swatched for socks since probably the second pair of socks I knit. I have not had a problem thus far, but I figure when socks are patterned and offer different sizes, it might be prudent to get a good idea of what my sock gauge even is these days.

First up is Assymetrical Cables by Cookie A. Wish me luck.