Cushman Sweater

When I first saw the Cushman Pullover on Instagram I had an instant must-have reaction. The pockets are adorable, plus it is knit up in Malabrigo Rios, an aran weight yarn–meaning it will be a cozy, super fast knit.

The pattern, which is written by Isabell Kraemer, is found in the Malabrigo Book Ten: Rios pattern book. This project is my first completed by Kraemer, but I have another WIP (Aila tank). Both patterns are well written, and the styles are very cute. I have several of her other patterns in my queue. To purchase and download the Cushman Pullover pattern, click here.

For my yarn choice I went with Rios Ilusion. It wasn’t an easy choice given that Malabrigo has dozens of rich colorways from which to choose. Much like its name, Ilusion has the mystifying effect of appearing quite differently in various light settings (see above). Furthermore, from a distance Ilusion appears purple to grayish purple; up close, however, the yarn reveals itself in muted jewel tones. This type of property involuntarily causes me to gleefully rub my hands together and open my eyes really wide like an excited monkey.

It took me over five months to complete this sweater, but that was mostly due to Christmas knitting and other projects. I’m a polygamous knitter, so I’m constantly bouncing around on various projects because I lack the focus to do otherwise. Needless to say when I was working on the Cushman it went quickly, as expected. The pattern is straightforward. The pockets were not difficult, and since I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time via magic loop, they were a cinch.

Instructions for Knitting Sleeves Two-At-A-Time

Knitting sleeves two-at-a-time enables you to knit them to a consistent length as well as maintain the same tones from a single skein. The negative is that you cannot try them on easily for sizing, so you have to knit them to your measurements. To knit identical sleeves two-at-a-time divide the held sleeve stitches roughly in half for each sleeve at the underarm and top of the shoulder, so that you have stitches for the Front Right (FR), Back Right (BR), Front Left (FL) and Back Left (BL). (The underarm will be the beginning and end of the round for each sleeve.) Then pull your needles for magic loop through all held stitches in this order: BR underarm to shoulder, FL underarm to shoulder, BL shoulder to underarm and FR shoulder to underarm. The BR and FL stitches will be on one needle and the BL and FR stitches on the other. In order to get the needles through all stitches the sleeves will have to be folded over each other and twisted slightly as shown above. You can then knit the pattern as stated, starting with the BR stitches and copying the instructions for each sleeve. All identical sleeves in which the pattern begins at the underarm can be knit in this fashion.

First sweater of the year complete! My only issue is that the bottom of the sweater is knit with a warmer skein, so as you can see above the bottom two-fifths is a slightly different shade. I forgot to check the dye lots before beginning, and I did not notice the gradual increase in warmth until it was too late (too late for my stubbornness). Oh, well. My husband thinks it looks better for it, and perhaps over time I’ll think the same.

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Saturday Matinees for Sophie

I must be in the midst of a substantial sock phase because I cannot seem to stop knitting socks! And making plans to knit more socks. And buying yarn for socks I haven’t even thought of yet.

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My latest pair of completed socks was begun on impulse. Last week I was idly flipping through Instagram when I unexpectedly came across a new pattern release by Orange Knits (Mara Catherine Bryner) called Saturday Matinee Socks. As though her Rose City Rollers pattern wasn’t cute enough, this talented and adorable lady had to go and create another quick and addictive sock project. I will most certainly be knitting myself a pair (or two), my daughter another pair (or more), and then I have all sorts of ideas for some Rose City Rollers (matching mother-daughter pairs, perhaps).

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I began these socks as I do all others: magic loop and two-at-a-time. It baffles me how so many knitters make one sock from start to finish, and then mind-numbingly knit the same sock all over again. Doubtless this method takes no more time than the two-at-a-time method, but patience is a virtue I lack almost entirely. For the yarn, my daughter selected a colorway from my stash, which is the unnamed February sock of the month colorway by Yarn Ink. So pretty! So precious!

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The Saturday Matinee Socks pattern combines vintage with modern aesthetics and satisfies my daughter’s love for cute pieces in which she can dress up, dance and lounge. She is currently 6 years old and wears a size 12T shoe, so I followed the pattern for size Small. My only regret is that I had intended to knit these a little big so they would fit past her next growth spurt, but I failed. Oh, well. They will be a thoroughly enjoyed treat throughout the summer.

Andy’s G-Rated Socks

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I recently finished my husband’s second pair of knit socks, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Firstly, he desired a great fit, so I tailored these to stretch around his big, wide feet with the perfect amount of negative ease. Secondly, he wanted them to look good without being too cheerful or flashy. In other words, he wanted them devoid of color.

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The yarn (he picked) is by Havirland Yarns. If you’re unfamiliar with this gifted Indie dyer, I pity you. Just kidding. Carol, the face behind Havirland, is an aficionada of the horror film genre, an interest that is patent in her work. In Carol’s Etsy shop, Halloween-esque colorways–such as “Toxic Ooze,” Fortune Teller” and “Who You Gonna Call?”–abound. She also offers lighthearted colorways that are just as rich and unique as their wicked counterparts, and she makes some darn cute project bags. For these socks, Andy selected the innocuous colorway “G-Rated Movie Macabre.” Perhaps it’s due to all the PG movies my kids watch, but I really wanted the R-Rated version, which sprinkles in a little red for the sake of gore, but alas, he craved less excitement. Still, it’s a stunner of a colorway and well suits my husband’s mostly black wardrobe. And they look so good on my sock blockers, which I ordered in a set from Burning Impressions, also on Etsy.

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I chose to knit these socks magic loop, two-at-a-time (always, for maximum efficiency!) and toe-up.

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And I used a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. My heel experience is a bit limited, but I favor this heel above all others that I have seen. It is quite simple and does not require picking up stitches. I think Sox Therapist is a genius for coming up with the pattern. (For more notes on this project, visit my Ravelry page.)

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Now, Husband Andy has a good pair of socks with the perfect fit that he can kick back and relax in. Look at that fit! Yes!
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