Completed: My Central Park Hoodie

30 Nov

A funny thing happened last weekend – I celebrated (ok, I’m using that term very loosely here) my 1 year knitting anniversary! Crazy how it’s only been one year – I feel like I’ve been knitting an entire lifetime. And hey – I made 4 sweaters in the meantime (Agatha, Miette, Blagatha, and Chuck. Whew!), amongst other things. And here it is – my 5th sweater!

Central Park Hoodie
This is the Central Park Hoodie, which is kind of Ravelry-famous. I was really excited to knit this pattern; it’s been sitting in my queue for months. I put it off for so long because I thought it was be ~sooo hard~ with all those cables.

Spoiler: this was the most boring pattern I have ever knitted.

Central Park Hoodie
To be frank, I hated this sweater pretty much the entire time I was knitting it up. Isn’t that dumb? I don’t even know why I finished it; I knew it would be a UFO forever if I put it aside, and anyway, I guess I wanted to give it a fighting chance. I’m glad I finished it because – surprise! – I do actually like it, but we were definitely livin’ on a prayer there for a while.

Central Park Hoodie
I hesitate to blame the pattern for my h8 – although the pattern is not without it’s faults. First of all, it’s very dull. Apart from a few cables (which are easy as FUCK, don’t ever let someone tell you that it’s hard!), it’s all stockinette, all day. And since this hoodie is knit in pieces rather than the round, that’s a hell of a lot of boring purling! Speaking of which, I have learned that I do not like knitting in pieces. Seaming is lame. From now on, I’ll probably knit everything top-down in one piece. But I am glad I learned how to seam.

Central Park Hoodie
My real hate here focuses on this yarn. I used Ella Rae Classic Superwash – it was on sale, so the total ended up at around $35 (for wool yarn! UH HUH!). Hey guess what THIS YARN SUCKS ASS YOU GUYS. Sure, it’s soft and springy and it was cheap as shit – but it’s got some kind of weird agenda where it likes to grow the second it gets wet. I don’t know if that’s a quality of just the Ella Rae superwash (I hope so, because I found a heathered, non-superwash Ella Rae last night that was amazingly beautiful and now I want to buy large quantities of it), or all superwashes. Knitters, what’s the deal?

Central Park Hoodie
ANYWAY, the growing was an issue here. Thank god I properly blocked my swatch, so I knew the width would sort out (as each panel I knit originally looked child-sized. No lie, the ladies at my knitting group kept asking me if I was sure I was I knitting the right size haha), but length was an entirely different issue that I forgot. The sleeves, for example, should have blocked at 24″. Mine are 31″. I knit them to the correct size, I just didn’t account for them growing like teenage boys once they got in contact with water. Ugh.

Central Park Hoodie
I solved the sleeve problem by rolling back the cuffs. And look – sleeve cables! Whee! Oh, I knit the sleeves at the same time; partially because I wanted to try something new, and partially because they were boring as hell and I knew the second one would never get knit.

Central Park Hoodie
My other mistake (apart from the growing conundrum) was that I did not bind off the ribbing loosely enough. I tend to bind off very tightly – even using a larger needle doesn’t help much – so this is no surprise. But, oops, see how much longer the back is from the front? Even coaxing the fibers open with a blocking didn’t solve this issue. I ended up tacking down the bottom corners of the binding, to make the hemline look circular and what I hope appears intentional. Ha!

Central Park Hoodie
I mean, it’s sorta cute I guess.

Central Park Hoodie
Due to the ulta-tight binding, the hood doesn’t exactly sit comfortably. As you can see, I am very unhappy about this. OH WELL.

Central Park Hoodie
I would like to add (haha I just typed ass accidentally there, wtf) some closures to the button band. As much as I like the slouchy open look, I’m not an open cardigan kinda gal. I don’t know what to add, though! I think buttons are a no-go, since I can’t add buttonholes at this point (the stitching is very loose and open). I considered a zipper but I don’t think it will look right with the wide band. Snaps? Frogs? Toggles? What would you do?

Central Park Hoodie
I pinned it closed for the pictures. I do like the way it looks when it’s closed!

Central Park Hoodie
Overall, it’s a pretty cardigan. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I’m pleasantly surprised!

Central Park Hoodie
I’m just glad that it’s finally DONE and I can move on with my knitting life!

Central Park Hoodie
See how open the stitching is? Thank you, Ella Rae, for your shitty superwash yarn.

Central Park Hoodie
And here you can see my first attempts at seaming, to the right. It’s not perfect, but it’s not terribly bad either!

Central Park Hoodie
My whole outfit is handmade, btw! That’s my Plaid Clusterfuck top (see, it does look ace with a high-waisted skirt and a cardigan!) and my Denim Ginger (which is hands-down the me-made piece I wear the most – at least once a week!).

Ok, a couple more questions to wrap up an OBNOXIOUSLY long post!
My grandma asked me to knit her a scarf. Yay! She said she wanted something very simple, not too long and of an average width. And she wants it to be an actual scarf, not a cowl or anything like that.
Knitters: What stitch pattern would you suggest? Stockinette is sooo boring, and anyway, the yarn is acrylic (at her request), so I can’t block it into laying flat. I was thinking of a simple lace pattern or something with a lot of texture, like a seed stitch. Any suggestions? I know she said “simple,” but I’m also mostly certain that she said that because she thought anything more would be too much of a hassle. Which, as a knitter, I would rather be engaged and a little challenged!
Non-Knitters: If you asked for a simple scarf and were handed something with a little more design to it (like lace, ribbing, or texturized) – would you be totally butthurt that the person did not take your request into consideration? Or would you pleased to get something fancy and really only requested something simple because you didn’t want to be a bother?

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90 Responses to “Completed: My Central Park Hoodie”

  1. Andi November 30, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    This sweater is super cute! I’ve had it in my queue for ages and think I need to get around to knitting it.

    As far as the bind off goes, next time try Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off (linky: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/FEATjssbo.php) . I used to have problems with the same thing until I learned to knit socks (toe-up) and learned a stretchy bind off. It works for everything!

    • KristiEllKay November 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      THIS TIMES ELEVENTY BILLION. I had the worst time with my very first knitted hat, because I bound off normally. Now my hats all fit magnificently because of the stretch bind-off. True effing story.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      I have been wanting to try this! Not with the Central Park Hoodie, just bc I hated it so much (and I had no idea the ribbing was going to be a problem – my other sweaters have BO in the ribbing and they turned out perfect, arghhh), but probably with the next sweater. Thank you!

    • Kelly April 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      Instead of the surprisingly stretchy bind off, I highly recommend the “invisible bind off” (and the best tutorial i’ve ever seen is by Liat from knitfreedom.com blog. Tutorials for 1×1 and 2×2 are both on YouTube. They’re beautiful and they’re INVISIBLE. The Super-stretchy will look like someone came along with a giant crochet hook and crocheted a big-ass chain along the front of your sweater. Srsly. It’s a non-starter.

      On your scarf front – I suggest a brioche or even better, mistake rib. Soft, cushy and fun to knit, but not “fancy” looking. My fave is another knitfreedom find – from Liat’s “man-rib scarf” pattern on the knitfreedom.com web site. I’ve done so many scarves and cowls in this since I found this pattern… it’s a great fit. Choose a Malabrigo or Manos of Uruguay super-soft worsted or bulky merino, and you’re good to go!

      Full disclosure: I don’t work for knitfreedom or anything, it’s just my fave blog, along with the technical knitter and knitty. As far as teaching new stuff goes, Liat from KF really is the best I’ve found though, for reals.

      Enjoyed your post! This hoodie has been in my queue foreva, so I guess it’s time for me to step up too!

      Cheers,
      SheepFetish

      • LLADYBIRD April 8, 2013 at 10:31 am #

        Ooh thanks for the head’s up – I’ll have to try that with my next sweater. I love learning new bind off techniques :D

        • GothamCityFiberArts (@SheepFetish) April 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

          It’s also called the “tubular” bind off, I understand, and is worked with a tapestry needle. The mantra “knit-off, purl, purl-off, knit” is the secret recipe :)

          Seriously though the videos are the way to go.

          Also, if you haven’t tried it before, I strongly recommend the “Old Norwegian” cast-on (also called “Twisted German”), for beginning ribbing (of any denomination). Basically you will be cast on with a row of the actual stitches (knit or purl – the cast on process is different, depending on which stitches will follow in the ribbing pattern) to begin your project. You can use it for plain knit or purl too. Since I learned it, I rarely use the long-tail anymore, but rather thisis my everyday go-to CO.

          Good luck, and please keep bringing us your lovely design work!

  2. Pam November 30, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Lots of yarns grow. But superwash–it always grows. Since you’re making the fibers smoother so that they don’t felt when you wash it (the fiber scales of normal yarn can mesh together, especially under the heat and agitation of washing machines) they’re slippery and don’t lock into place just a little (cohesion) like most wools. The yarn itself stretches and the stitches grow. Just have to take that into account if you want machine washables, especially bigger pieces that stretch under their own weight (less a problem in socks). Hope that helps.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Aha, I like your explanation of the superwash! I’ll probably just stay away from it from now on. I don’t mind a little growth, but this stuff bloomed out like a flower in the spring. No good, especially since the pattern had me knit to inches (as opposed to # of rows); it really threw everything off!

  3. Sarah November 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    This is the reason I fell in love with Elizabeth Zimmermann–everything in the round no purling. She is so great to teach you to design your own patterns! And she is the perfect feisty grandmother I never had to teach me to knit :) can you tell I’m a little obsessed? Happy knitting

  4. Becca November 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Girl, you are a machine! Seriously though, I don’t know how you made so many sweaters in a year. It’s going to take me that long to make one sweater. :/ Happy Knitting Anniversary. The sweater looks cute, and I love the whole outfit.

    I agree, stockinette is boring to knit and boring to look at. I say you go with a simple lace pattern for the scarf. :)

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Well, my first sweater took 3 months! They get a little faster the more you knit them :) And I knit every day on my lunch break, as well as meet with a couple knitting groups twice a week. That’s why I can get these put together so fast – the knitting itself I’m not necessarily quick with!

  5. Claire November 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    It reminds me and my knitting history. I started last Christmas and I am about to block my 5th pullover/cardigan. We are about the same level I guess, except I don’t knit lace. If you enjoyed knitting Agatha, I am not surprised you found this project annoying! Lace is way more technical!!
    About the seam, I am exactly like you, I try to avoid them as much as I can, so when I knitted the Blackberry Cable cardigan, I knitted in round in one piece instead of separate pieces. It saved me some time but also some yarn (I was able to bring back one skein to the shop).
    For your grandma, I am not sure if lace is a good idea because of the blocking issue. The pattern would not be completely revealed. Color stripes or cables are great idea, I am pretty sure you’ll find great pattern on Ravelry.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Wow, that cardigan is beautiful! Another thing to add to my queue :) How do you figure your maths when you change to knit in the round? Does it affect the fit? I’m so curious!

      • Claire November 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

        well, that’s easy, there’s no maths!
        When you reach the seam of the right side panel, you keep on with the instruction of the back, and when you reach the seam with the left side panel, just knit as instructed for that panel. You just have to shift a bit with the instructions and longer rows. The fit is normal, exactly like for any other knit, except you don’t see any seam, so it’s even better!

        • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

          Well shit! I was under the impression that you had to do a tiny bit of math to account for the lack of seaming (since it does eat up a little bit of the width). If I’d known this, I would have knit that hoodie up in one piece. Ah well, live and learn!

  6. mommylap November 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    What about doing a checkerboard of 5 stockinette stitches 5 purl and so on? Every 5 rows you reverse it so you have squares of knit and purl if that makes sense. It stays interesting to knit, and looks simple,but fancy.

  7. mancunianvintage November 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I can’t believe you’ve only been knitting and year and yet you’ve managed to complete all these sweaters AND master cabling, which I’m still too much of a pussy to try myself :P

    Great work – cand congrats!

    http://www.mancunianvintage.com

  8. Carolyn November 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Your outfit is so cute! And I love the top. Hard to believe you’ve only been knitting for a year – you’ve got skills!

  9. Becky November 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    As someone already commented, superwash always grows. I don’t knit with it much for that reason, unless I am making socks. I think your bind off turned out cute. A lot of mistakes don’t, so lucky you. You could always shorten the sleeves by just unraveling them and then re-knitting your ribbing. It’s not hard. I love seed stitch and moss stitch for the texture. I really think seed/moss stitch with cables is really pretty in a scarf. Lace is not as warm, but that may not be a consideration. Seed stitch is a lot of that purling you don’t like – ACK! I am impressed with your level of knitting expertise. You know, superwash would be a good idea for your grandmother’s scarf, and it would be warmer, and she could just throw it in the wash. I don’t recommend Ella Rae yarn. I knit a whole sweater of it in this beautiful dark green, and it was a bitch to work with, did not have good stitch definition, and was rough, stiff feeling, which did not improve when washed. I don’t wear that sweater much! There are ways to go back and add buttonholes, but if I were you, I would think about toggles. I bet you get a lot of wear out of this sweater. It looks really cute on you.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Yeah, I guess I’ll be staying away from superwash from now on. Ew! Glad I learned it on a $30 sweater haha. I probably won’t do anything to shorten the sleeves – they’re knit from the bottom up, and anyway, I just don’t want to fiddle with this sweater anymore. I already started my next one tralalala.

      I’m also glad I’m not the only person who hates Ella Rae. Although the non superwash I saw was really beautiful… maybe I can find a similar color in a different yarn. My preference is Cascade 220, but the store by my house doesn’t sell it. I have to drive 20 miles to Brentwood :( WAH haha.

      • Becky November 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

        You need to look at WEBS/yarn.com. They sell everything, have great prices, and a discount program.

        • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

          Oh yeah, I do occasionally buy yarn online but I prefer to get it locally if I can :) I actually bought the yarn I’m using now from WEBS, since there isn’t any store in my area that sells Cascade Sport.

  10. KristiEllKay November 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    http://littletheorem.blogspot.com/2011/01/mae-geri-scarf.html

    This lace pattern is pretty simple for lace, so you can still talk/watch tv/yell at your cat/whatever, but it’s much better than stockinette. Plus the name is uber badass.

    I think non-knitters don’t really know what counts as “simple”, though. Everyone I’ve ever knitted for loves a “simple” lace, even if it’s actually a bitch to knit up. I think “simple” means it repeats, or something, not sure…

    • KristiEllKay November 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Sorry, also: this lace pattern works really well for worsted-weight acrylic yarn that you can’t block. I made it twice (my dog ate my first one, and I had already made an awesome matching hat, so I needed a replacement) with crappy acrylic yarn. =D

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Ooh, I like that pattern. Thanks for the link! Glad to know it works for worsted weight; that’s what I plan on using.

      • Miriana November 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

        I’m obsessed by this scarf at the moment….. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-sprinkle

        I have no idea if it’s your grandma’s style, but it’s worsted.

        And even if the sleeves were knit bottom up, you can cut into it and knit down (you’ll have one stitch fewer). The cardigan is ace, despite the tribulations.

  11. MarrieB November 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I also recommend Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off. I use the for almost everything, but it works exceptionally well for ribbing. Love the sweater, and I agree it looks great closed, maybe try the snaps?

  12. Amanda November 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Superwash always grows, but it also is designed to be put in the dryer and that should get it back to gauge. I used to work for a yarn company and that was our standard superwash advice, however you should check with a swatch first cause I didn’t work for Ella Rae, so I have no idea how that yarn will react.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      Ooh, didn’t know that! Although this particular brand says to lay it flat to dry, so I wonder if the dryer would shrink it up too much. At any rate, the cables looked like shit before they were blocked. The yarn is like… too squishy or something. I dunno, I’m over it!

  13. Kate November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    You can totally do buttons. All you need to do is use snaps instead of making buttonholes – sew the snaps on, then sew the buttons on like you normally do. Just make sure to buy strong snaps, because if they are too weak, they will fly open at the worst possible moment.

  14. Lindsey November 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I’m glad you kept up with knitting the sweater, it’s really cute! I second (or hundredth) the super stretchy bind off, it really does work. Also I think it’d be really cute with toggle buttons!

    As for scarves…if you want to knit it in the round, I’d suggest finding something with colorwork. It keeps the endless stockinette from being boring because you’re focusing on more than one yarn. But circular scarves take forever (I have tried 3 times to make one, I have yet to succeed because they’re boring as hell), so if you want a flat scarf the Best Friend Scarf on Ravelry has a simple lace pattern that looks like it wouldn’t be too boring.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      Ohhh, I really like the Best Friend Scarf!

  15. Aleksandra November 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    I think the sweater is cute! I don’t knit, I just order a scarf from my mom (who loves to knit but only needs so many cozies lol) when I need a new one, but I love my ribbed scarf she made me. I wear it all the time! It lays really well and adds a lot of weight over a normal knitted scarf, I think.

    Also, I’m obsessed with that skirt. My denim skirt is dying and I’m going to make that exact skirt in denim as soon as I find some good fabric.

    Love your blog, btw! Found it last week and have been making my way through the archives. Your projects are awesome!

  16. LLBB November 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I made the falling water scarf on ravelry for my Grandma for this christmas. I think it would be a good choice if you end up determining she actually would like something interesting, not simple :) you can be flexible with yarn weight and needle size depending on what size you want the scarf to be in the end. I am always trying to find the sweet spot of not mind numbingly boring but not having to constantly refer back to the pattern. (falling water I had to look at the pattern a bunch but it’s a fairly short project and interesting to knit.)

  17. colleen November 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I am making this for my daughter’s boyfriend:
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/one-row-handspun-scarf
    It’s easy but not too boring. I like that it’s reversible without having to do a rib, which drives me really crazy when I’m knitting. This is sort of a zen knit….

  18. Erin B November 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Check out the Lacy ZigZag scarf by Jennifer Nelson on ravelry. I’m making it now for my mom. Simple but not too boring. Hope that fits the bill.

    • LLADYBIRD November 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      Holy shit, that scarf is beautiful !!!

  19. kristinm100 November 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Haven’t read the other comments so I don’t know if someone else has mentioned this but you can totally make buttonholes now. Just sew ribbon on the wrong side of the band and make the buttonholes by machine. It’s the only way I’ll consider doing knit garment buttonholes now that I’ve seen how much more professional the end result looks. And the band doesn’t stretch all to hell over time.

    And many long time knitters have explained to me that superwash (and highly treated) yarn grows because the properties of the yarn are changed by the process used to make the yarn washable. So an untreated yarn will always be easier to deal with – if not softer and lovelier feeling – than a superwash.

  20. ainhoa November 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Lauren, esta chaqueta es preciosa, es tan juvenil con la capucha… Realmente el color de la lana está muy bien, porque así te combina con toda la ropa!!! Me gusta el dibujo que le has hecho a tu sudadera, los ochos siempre quedan tan bonitos…
    Ánimo con el proyecto de bufanda que tienes para tu abuela. Yo creo que ella te pidió algo simple por no molestarte, pero si le haces una bufanda con un dibujo más complicado tu abuela estará encantada y le gustará mucho más. Me gusta particularmente el dibujo de lace (encaje). Sin duda es el más bonito, aunque creo que también el más difícil… ;) En general me gustan mucho más los puntos calados que los simples como el jersey que es muy muy aburrido para una bufanda!!! y quedaría demasiado gruesa… Además, tú deberías ponerte retos cada vez más difíciles no???

  21. Jennifer November 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Cute sweater! Yes, some superwash tends to grow with washing. When they make wool “superwash” they strip off the ‘scales’ on the wool (the scales help trap heat but also cause wool to felt, so removing the scales facilitates machine washing), but removal of the scales also can interfere with the ability of the yarn to maintain the structural integrity of the knitted piece.

    Anyway, too bad your bind off is so tight. My favorite stretchy bind-off is the Russian Bind Off as follows:

    K2, * (insert the left needle into the front of the 2 sts on the right needle and knit them together–1 st remains on right needle), k1, * until all sts have been bound off.

    This is what I do for top-down shawls; it might be too loose for your sweater.

    I am very impressed that you have only been knitting for a year and that you’ve been tackling such complex projects (as in, not completely beginner projects) and seem to be wanting even more advanced projects. Yay!

    As for gift knitting, there are so many free scarf patterns out there, but if my grandma asked me to knit her a scarf, I would make the Haruha Scarf (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/haruha-scarf). It has little cascading leaves that I think a grandma would love.

  22. Coco November 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Ever onward! The Honey Cowl on Ravelry uses a really nice 4 row stitch pattern that you might enjoy using to make GMum’s scarf. Very pretty and would not drive you too bonkers. I ‘m with you, cannot stand boring knitting…don’t think I could knit anything longer than a cap sleeve shrug :-)

  23. Lizzie November 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Agree with one of the comments that you should give the stretchy bind off a go, the only issue I find is that it isn’t as pretty on the edge. If you are looking for something more interesting I am not sure I would go seed stitch, it is just like ribbing, don’t know about you but I can’t stand rib! Have you checked out the Emelie cardi it is really cute http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/emelie

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Oooh, that is a pretty cardi! Adding to my (mile-long)favorites :)

  24. Carlee McTavish November 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    a) The circular look of the cardigan looks like you meant it to be that way. At least, that is what I thought!

    b) Toggles, but definitely little ones. Or snaps if there are no little toggles. No frogs.

    c) I would be happy you made something by hand, but honestly, I like my scarves to be more simple, so even though I would be grateful, I might not actually wear the scarf if it was too detailed. Just being honest! Though, if it was a solid colour then I would be okay with the funky texture. But that is just my personal opinion?!

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      No no, honest opinion is exactly what I want to hear! I don’t want to make her something that she doesn’t like (and potentially won’t wear). I may end up with something that is just textured. The yarn in question is a solid dusty pink (at her request, btw!), so it wouldn’t be too crazy color-wise.

  25. Sarah W. November 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    This is my favorite simple scarf pattern. Still boring though, The great things about it are that it is reversible and lays flat: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/one-row-handspun-scarf

    The hoodie turned out cute! I looooooove that skirt!

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      You know, I think I might actually go with this pattern. Thank you!

  26. macstabby November 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    OH EM GEE, stop knitting so fast- you’re giving me a complex! I’ve never tried superwash- I don’t have a lot of confidence in my knitting skills, so I use a lot of acrylic. II CAN TOTALLY BE BLOCKED!! I just finished an acrylic sweater, and looked it up- you need to steam block it. It totally did the trick!
    Ch-ch-check it out! http://beadknitter.blogspot.com/2009/03/you-can-block-acrylic.html

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      Interesting! I never would have guessed steam-blocking, although in retrospect, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the link!

      ps – try some wool for your next project (there are cheap wool yarns out there!). I hated knitting and thought my stitches were sooo ugly until I started using wool; it really makes a huge difference in the quality of the stitches, since the fiber is more elastic :)

  27. Liz November 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    I made my so-called scarf a few years ago. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/my-so-called-scarf. It was a simple, but interesting stitch pattern and lies nice and flat. Acrylic yarn doesn’t block so well so I wouldnt knit a lace pattern for her. Most rely on aggressive blocking to achieve the right effect. Good luck!

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      Oh, that pattern is really pretty too. Dammit, so many beautiful options to choose from… may have to knit her like 30 scarves lol :)

  28. Megan November 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    If you want something interesting that’s still pretty basic, I would recommend a basic basket weave scarf. I’m making one that has 16 rows of k1p1, then 16 rows of k2p2, then 16 rows of k4p4 and you do it all in a grid (so the k2p2 rows are followed by another of the same and then switch, etc). I get a lot of compliments on it every time I’m working on it. Everyone wants me to make them one :) Oh, the k1p1 section is only at the beginning and the end (not repeated throughout like the other two). It’s interesting enough to keep you attention but still very simple and basic.

  29. tiffany November 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Toggles!! Toggles would be crazy cute.

    And holy crap woman, you’re a knitting machine! I downloaded Agatha like a year ago, but haven’t managed to buy yarn or needles. Maybe next year, in time for your twentieth sweater unveiling, I’ll have a row or two knit. You’re my hero!

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      The Agatha was a really fun pattern to knit! DO IT!!! :D

  30. Rachelle November 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Great work Batman! i totally thought that was a circular sweater bottom! And, I vote for toggles. That would be very cute. Also, I was researching blocking acrylic the other day and there are loads of different opinions – apparently it can be done! Ie. http://beadknitter.blogspot.ca/2009/03/you-can-block-acrylic.html and http://a-modicum-of-ingenuity.blogspot.ca/2012/03/tutorial-blocking-acrylic-yarn.html

  31. Jo November 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I reckon there are some great scarf suggestions here. Why don’t you send/show a few to your grandma and let her choose?
    I made this one for my husband:
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/staggered-rib-scarf
    It’s simple but has a bit of texture. Your Grandma is very lucky! :)

    Oh and well done on finishing your knitted project even if you’re not in love. Learning process, eh? Totally agree that closures will help. I think toggles would be adorable :)

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      I wish I could ask her, but she’s such a grandma that she doesn’t own a computer :) And she lives in a different state, so I can’t just pop over there with a handful of printouts. I’m sure she’ll love whatever I make her, though :)

  32. Sarah November 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Hello, there! I am one of your readers who neither sews nor knits (I enjoy other crafty pursuits), so all I have to say about the sweater is that it looks fantastic!

    I can say that from your examples, both ribbing & texturized could fall into the “simple” category to the non-knitter on viewing — not that they ARE simple, but they are all one color & in the same style throughout the piece. We rarely see anything out there that is just knit-purl (and that’s the end of my knitting terminology!), so “simple” often does not mean boring, just not overdesigned. I actually love lace & find it beautiful, so although I would never consider it simple, it can be a beautiful gift (especially if warmth is not a factor, & you think she would enjoy showing it off to friends).

    Whatever you do, I am sure that it will be lovely!

    • Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

      Oops! Put my email address in the name field (so used to having name come first, apparently — and not paying enough attention), & I do not see a way to delete & repost. Eep! Help?

      • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:31 am #

        I think I fixed it! Sorry bout the delay :)

  33. Marlene Hiestand November 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    You crack me up…love your wit, words, sense of humor. I’ve tried to like knitting and I just cannot enjoy it as much as I enjoy crochet, although I think knitting makes a more delicate product.

  34. beneath the apple tree... December 1, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    As someone who can’t knit to save herself – I’m jealous ;) Love the shirt and the skirt too!

    My mum knitted me a plain scarf in moss stitch (or possibly double moss stitch, I’m not sure) and its really nice – plain but with texture. I love it.

  35. annanicole December 1, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Another vote for the surprisingly stretchy bind off. Unless you’re binding off 1×1 ribbing in which case a tubular bind off is my fave hands down. You have to be careful to watch your tension so that it’s not too tight but it’s by far the best looking bind off I’ve found for ribbing and it’s quite stretchy. Techknitter usually has great tutorials so: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2008/01/tubular-cast-off-its-pretty.html

    To reiterate superwash stretches out when wet but snaps back in the dryer. (There’s actually a debate on Ravelry about this, though. Apparently Europeans don’t have dryers? And they use superwash so ymmv). Those problems aren’t so serious you couldn’t fix them pretty easily, but then again I know how you feel. After all that knitting sometimes you just don’t want to look at that shit anymore! Sometimes I will go back and fix those things after awhile though.

    I wouldn’t use lace pattern for the scarf, especially if you’re using acrylic. In my experience lace is pretty high maintenance anyway since it needs to be blocked to look decent so I don’t usually use it for gifts. I really like the look of this scarf http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holding-hands-feeding-ducks. Whatever you decide on I’m sure she’ll love it!

    By the way you should be super proud of your sweaters! When I started knitting (back in the days of dial up!) I had a couple of seriously awful sweater attempts using yarn and those free pamphlet patterns from Joann’s. I have yet to see you produce anything so terrible. And if you haven’t seen this it might make you feel better http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-love-of-ravelry/708992/1-25 or at least it’s pretty good for a laugh.

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      I think a lot of my success with knitting has to do with the AMAZING support I have access to at any given time :) Even support in the form of YouTube videos – any question I have can be immediately answered. Not quite some simply with some of y’all who were knitting long before the internet really blossomed into what it is today. But, oh man, I love that Ravelry thread. I guess my Ugly FO contributions are all sewing-related – although I don’t have any of those anymore! HAHA!!

  36. Kerry December 1, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Wow, you’ve made some great items in your first knitting year!
    For the scarf I think a lace pattern could be nice and interesting. Personally I don’t like stitch patterns where you swap between knit and purl frequently in one row as it’s hard to get a rhythm going, that’s why I hate rib.

  37. Amber Kozlowski December 1, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Non-knitter! I love the last two scarves. If I asked for a scarf, chances are that I want a winter scarf, not just a fashion piece, which is what the first looks like to me. I might be a little disappointed with that one, but I LOVE the last two. As long as the yarn isn’t crazy, I think both of those are “simple” enough!

  38. sallie December 1, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    The sweater is adorable! I’m with you, I really like it closed up. I think some toggles would be perfect!
    And as a non-knitter, I’m also totally all for something a little fancier than just a straight knitted scarf. For practicality, the first one, while totally pretty, might be hard to wear. I think the second one looks a bit masculine (is it just me? Or maybe I had a boyfriend that had that scarf…?) But I LOVE the third one. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to receive that as a gift. It looks so pretty and heirloom and also cozy and shit.

  39. Nothy December 1, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Oh, it’s lovely! I’m just not a knitter. I am trying my hand at crocheting though….

  40. Lucinda Campbell (@sewwrong) December 1, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Your Central Park Hoodie looks fantastic! I knitted it about six years ago and learned a tough lesson: always do a gauge swatch. After I knitted it and stitched it up (which, btw, I’m with you on how boring it is to knit and I hate seaming), it could have fit a 12 year old boy. Waaah! No CPH for me.

    Have you looked at a stitch dictionary yet? I have some Vogue Stitchionaries that are great inspirations for stitch patterns, the Barbara Walker stitch dictionary is great as well. I’ll also plug my own scarf pattern – granted it was for my boyfriend, but I think it could be a good match for what you’re looking for. It was knit in a wool/acrylic blend too that I couldn’t block:

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boyfriend-2

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      I definitely always swatch when I start a new sweater – it’s so freaking boring, but better than the alternative (I’d cry if I had to rip out weeks of work because it didn’t fit!). I even block them properly before I start knitting. This yarn was so weird, though. The swatch barely grew height-wise, just width. But then when I blocked the individual pieces, they got super super tall. I guess the swatch must have grown a little and it added up after 100+ rows. Ugh, oh well, not stressing about it anymore! :)

      The scarf is lovely! Hmm, I wonder if Landon would like that… :)

  41. rehanon December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Holy smokes! Girl you’re knitting like your life depends on it! Well done you and I’m glad you made peace with this pesky pattern and it does look real cute on you. If was your Nanma I’d be super pleased with any creative touches towards a gift for me.

    Also you’ve made me brave enough to attempt my first knitted clothing. I’m making the tangerine Aran cardigan from Knitting Vintage I maybe fricking crazy but I figure if i’m gonna put the effort in it may as well be for something totes amazeballs hey :)

    xxx

  42. meredith December 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    You know what might be cool? Fabric covered snaps! (like these: http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/review/1259 ) That way you can use heavy duty snaps, but it will look a lil classier!

    Also, for superwash I usually lay flat to dry most of the way but pop it in the dryer when it’s just a bit damp. It helps it spring back into shape without running it through the dryer for too long. (I don’t know about your laundry habits, but I try to avoid using the dryer as much as possible because it seems to shorten the lifespan of my clothes — and you worked too hard on that sweater to risk any life-shortening!)

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      Fabric covered snaps!! Yes!!!!

  43. Maya December 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I definitely thought that the rounded bottom edge was intentional- I think it looks hip. So I say- enjoy your unpredicted style feature.

  44. Marchelle December 2, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    For me simple isn’t stockinette, it’s just not something that’s really loud and visible. So not cables, but a sweet lace pattern or basketweave (I’ve seen this but never knitted it, so that may not be what it’s called) would work.

  45. sewtigersew December 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    You ~can~ add buttonholes, if you are brave. Elizabeth Zimmerman explains an afterthought buttonhole in her Knitter’s Almanac, and I’ve managed it. It’s just scary to clip stitches, but quite possible!

  46. Pam December 3, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    So, you’ve got all the superwash grows comments already. And yes, shorten the sleeves – You’ll be amazed how easy it really is, and will be worth it.

    The Central Park Hoodie I made for my daughter has a zipper. I think it worked ok. Check it out here: http://ravel.me/Pam/f3o5c

    Or alternatively, you’ve got some good suggestions on afterthought buttonholes, or buttons over snaps.

    I will just go on record – this sweater would be worse without the seams, at least in this yarn — seamless has its attractions, but seams add structure. Structure can be good.

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Oh wow, your hoodie turned out lovely! That’s such a pretty yarn!

      The point you made about structure makes good sense. And I’m glad I learned how to seam, so I guess there’s that too :)

  47. Librarian Tells All December 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Your sadface poses are hilarious, but I like it! If I didn’t know better, I’d think the longer length in back was intentional. The only thing I’m not sure about is the color. Is it yellow or cream?

    As for knitting ideas for your grandma, I’m smitten by the Petra scarf pattern: http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/09/petra-lace-scarf-pattern.html I think making it in a solid color satisfies her request for something simple, but the pattern will keep you interested.

    • LLADYBIRD December 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      It’s a creamy off-white – I guess more like an ivory? Taking indoor pictures at night changes the colors so much!

      And aiieeee, that scarf pattern is beautiful! Looks like something my mom would love. Too bad she’s allergic to wool ;)

  48. sewbusylizzy December 4, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Lordie – I don’t think I could knit a hoddie. I nearly faint after the back, the fronts, the button bands, and the sleeves – to knit the hoodie as well!!! I would keel over and die!

  49. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! December 4, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Okay clearly I don’t need to tell you from the other comments that superwash grows.One thing I do to keep sleeves in check between soaking them and blocking them is handling them extra super duper carefully, basically carrying them in a little ball to the towel to lay them flat, press out the water, then carry them carefully to the blocking mats supporting both ends and the middle so they don’t have any opportunity to sag or get extra long. But wait, 24″ long arms? I must have midge arms, I block my long sleeves to 18″, eep. lol

    Anyway all that aside, I do think it’s super cute and you’re being extra hard on it. :D You you could totally add buttons to one band with a snap closure on the inside, and snap closures on the opposite. So you get the look of buttons but the work of snaps. I just saw Kate Davies do this on a sweater pattern in her upcoming book!

    And 5 sweaters in your first year, you kick butt!

  50. grace December 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Super wash is the problem. I stay away from it for fitted things. Try popping it into the dryer with a damp cloth to see if it will tighten up a bit.

    As for the scarf…. I suggest making a feather and fan scarf. I made a shortish one for the BF’s grandma with a 1×1 ribbed keyhole thingy-do at one end to stick the opposit end through. It only took like two average skeins of LB Baby alpaca.

  51. megthegrand December 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    You are a cabling QUEEN! I long for the day when I can say cables are super boring because right now, they take some serious concentration and willpower. I love it, and can’t wait to see how you finish the front – I vote for toggles :)

  52. Kristen December 5, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Love the sweater! Spicers-autumn-leaf-scarf on ravelry is very pretty. I also friggin love the Leda scarf by Flint Knits. It looks like feathers!

  53. SplitStitch December 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Congrats on the hoodie! I’ve added and removed it from my queue at least five times. Also, the fact that your entire outfit is handmade is super awesome. I’m inspired. Okay, so about the scarf for your Grandma. I am the sort of person who constantly says I like simple, unfussy things, and who somehow consistently ends up with frilly, ruffly, fussy accessories from people for gifts. I don’t want to be ungrateful or a jerk, so I ooh and ahh, then take to Goodwill (unless it’s handmade, then it gets put on a shelf in the closet, never to see the light of day). Only you know your Grandma and whether or not she is trying to not be burdensome. But if you look at what she wears and she typical sticks to classic pieces, use that as your guide. I recommend something like the rickrack scarf from purl soho (free pattern!). It’s simple, but gives visual interest. Good luck! Love your blog, btw!

  54. zilredloh December 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Seriously, lady. When did you knit this?! I read all of your posts and follow you on twitter but this one must have slipped by becuase as soon as you finished a sweater and some stuff here this one pops up! You must be crazy-speedy. :)

    Despite the sleeve fiasco, I think it looks like a comfy travel sweater. Cheers on another great project.

  55. Deborah Alperin October 15, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Hi!I think you did a very good job. I made the sweater too. I used Rowan aran. It’s great and I used basically the same color you did. I don’t like buttons. I decided that it called for more of a zipper. So that is what I did. I paid the guy at the cleaners to do it and he did a very nice job.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Completed: Velvet Thurlow Shorts « LLADYBIRD - December 7, 2012

    [...] and my whole outfit is handmade! The top is my Mustard Renfrew and the sweater is my Central Park Hoodie (and I guess you all realize now that I still haven’t added any closures, [...]

  2. Completed: From A to Z Cardigan | LLADYBIRD - December 2, 2013

    […] Anyway, pattern talk time! This is From A to Z by Andi Satterlund. A little different from what I usually knit – the construction is bottom up, with knitted-in pockets and a few bits of intarsia for contrast, plus that monogram at the front (it’s duplicate stitch, not intarsia. FYI!). I used Valley Yarns Northamton worsted weight yarn for the main color, and the contrast is leftover bits from my Central Park Hoodie. […]

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