De-pill, De-pill!

Remember my great green sweater?

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It’s far from perfect, but I’d like to knit it again, a smaller size, a tighter gauge. Right now it’s a housecoat and I bundle up in it in the evenings when it’s chilly in Santa Barbara. Chilly in Santa Barbara is anything below 68 if you’re a local. And too hot? That happens at 73. Spoiled?

Because it gets worn, and worn hard since I have two kids, two dogs, and a house, it’s covered in pills. For years I’ve used a Windmere Sweater Shaver. And by years, I’m talking 15+ since my little tool pre-dates my husband. It works pretty well, but it’s slow and you have to have the technique down: small circles, about 2″ in diameter in a back and forth pattern will generally get you where you want to go with the sweater looking almost new again.

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The new player on the field is a Gleener. I’ve heard it buzzing about the knit-sphere. No battery, elbow grease power. But supposedly the best thing since the knit stitch.

Pre-Gleen. Lots of pills.

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Post Gleener you can see it’s removed a lot of the bigger stuff. But there’s still a haze on the fabric. There is a finer Gleener head, I’ve played with it but not officially. (that lovely half button is thanks to the puppy. She’s a chewer.)

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The big pils is Gleener. The smaller is the Windmere going over afterwards. The Gleener is definitely faster for large area pill removal. For fine work, I’m leaning towards the sweater shaver. It takes batteries and is slower, but the fabric actually looks like new not just de-pilled.img_20170106_095508

Do I like the Gleener? Yes. And I’m going to keep trying it out. But I’m not going to be tossing my trusty sweater shaver.

Soon to come

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I want to be a sweater knitter. I’m not scared of the number of stitches, I’ve even made a few. But none have been just right. Too big, too floppy, not nicely finished, etc.

So I’m trying again. Because that’s what we do. And each one has gotten slightly better, so it’s coming.

This time I’m trying Granito by Joji Locatelli. I wanted to try a pullover, but I’m sticking with fingering weight since I do live in Southern California. I wanted something with a shoulder seam. But I do still love top down.

And pockets!

The pink yarn is not what the sweater will be out of. But it’s the same Knitpicks Stroll. I have 4 skeins in a golden yellow. And I’m planning grey accents. Wish me luck! You can see I’m being a good knitter and swatching. I’m doing 3s and 4s, the pattern calls for 4s. And since I’ll be doing knitwear laundry today or tomorrow, the timing is perfect.

Shiver Puppy

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When you have an adorable half chihuahua dog that shivers, you knit it a sweater in an evening.

Unfortunately I forgot that the other half was pug. And this little cutie is more a frankendog than a blend. She’s got pug ears on a chihuahua head on a pug body on chihuahua legs. The only blend is her tail. When she’s truly happy, like on a hike, it almost goes full pug.IMG_20170101_083523.jpg

Because of her franken body and the nature of knitwear, I should have made the collar much smaller and even the body hangs a bit low on her after a few hours of wear.

Knittin’ Little

Over the summer I got to review a collection by the group Knittin’ Little. I was certain I was going to cast on the whale hat. It’s adorable! But when I tried, the yarn just wasn’t having it.

Instead I cast on for the Summer Sunset. I had some appropriate yarn in my stash that wasn’t a color I would wear…but also was a bit bland. So I gently boiled it with some Kool-Aid and ended up with a nice tonal yarn.

A little winding and I had it ready to cast on.

The knitting was pretty straight forward. I opted to omit the lace on the front of the tank. And my first time connecting the “sleeves” to the body got twisted and I had to rip out. But it’s a pretty smooth, easy knit.

And it grew pretty quickly.

And went for a bath and then got laid flat to dry. I wove in the ends pre-soak but didn’t attach the buttons.

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Et voila!

I used this to participate in the Knittin’ Little Summer KAL and won a prize! I’ve sent off my address and am awaiting my yarn 🙂

What does it want to be?

I bought some Knitpicks tonal fingering weight yarn for my birthday. In 2014. It was supposed to grow up to be a cardigan. While I love the look of pullovers and the knitting of them, it’s just too hot here even for a fingering weight wool pullover (learned that lesson on the much loved Olive pattern, which I’d still like to re-knit, I just love that collar).

I first tried to knit an Impromptu. But that wasn’t working. So I tried a Decimal. No dice. Then I picked Grace. That hummed along for a bit but I couldn’t quite make it with the mesh.

I really wanted a new cardi to wear to BlogHer16 in August.

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But it may not be in the cards. This yarn may simply want to be broken up into multiple little projects instead of one lovely cardigan. It makes me so sad. I’m not sure whether to push through or to give up. Right now it’s in time out. Again.