Sweater Love

Sweater Love

Happy Wednesday!

We are having a sweater weather for the last couple of weeks in our corner of the world. It is a thunderstorm season, almost every night it is raining and the mornings are so fresh and cozy – you just want to wrap in a light sweater, drink tea and read. No wonder I am all in sweater knitting mood, but on second thought – when I am not in this mood? πŸ™‚

I am knitting away on the squishy cables of Gesture Sweater by We Are Knitters. It is such an addictive pattern! The back is almost done, I put it on scrap yarn to block and check the length, just in case. It looks like I need a couple of inches more to knit, but I’ve never worked with this yarn before and I don’t know how it will respond to blocking on a big scale. Better safe than sorry, right?

We Are Knitters sweater

While the back is blocking, I decided to switch things a little bit and start working on sleeves before the front part. I chose one of my favorite ways – work both sleeves at ones using circular needle to accommodate the stitches.

We Are Knitters sweater

This method has its pros and cons. The main “pro” – when you are done, you are DONE. If you suffer from the second sleeve syndrome, this might be the best way for you to knit sleeves. I also notice that this way my gauge is much more consistent in both sleeves and all my increases match perfectly. I can think of only one “con” – you have to watch your yarn balls, so the yarn doesn’t get tangled.

My knitting machine needles have been empty for several days now after the latest FO – Sand Sweater. And I am planning to make two more sweaters on it before I go to visit my family in Russia. I am going in a month, it still will be summer there, but you can never trust Russian summers! I definitely need knitwear, just in case. I love working with baby alpaca for Gesture Sweater, so I decided I need one more sweater in this fiber. I have Alpaca Cloud (100% baby alpaca) by Knit Picks in my stash.

Alpaca yarn

It is very thin, like a web. To knit a sweater with it by hand would take half a century, but it is absolutely perfect for a machine knitting project. It may be a little bit too thin for my machine, but the swatch turned out OK, so I’ll give it a try.

Alpaca yarn

This is one of the biggest advantages of having a knitting machine – you can make knitwear in such thin yarns that you would never knit with by hand! I am thinking a long cozy cardigan with the overlapping fronts and extra long sleeves. I hope I have enough yardage for it. If it turns the way I picture it in my head, it will be an amazing piece of knitwear for layers. And look at this color – so rich and deep!

Alpaca yarn

I hope you are having fun with your craft projects! See you at Yarn Along.



By | 2017-03-04T07:56:50+00:00 June 22nd, 2016|Knitting, Machine Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|48 Comments


  1. Tina June 22, 2016 at 6:11 am - Reply

    Such gorgeous knitting Alina! I love your sweater ~ cables are so lovely.

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 6:17 am - Reply

      Thank you, Tina! Love love these cables!

  2. Olena June 22, 2016 at 6:18 am - Reply

    It is amazing that your Gesture Sweater is almost half-ready. I can tell you knit very fast by hand. How many hours do you spend for knitting every day, I wonder.
    As for the chocolate Alpaca Cloud yarn, it looks amazing. Looking forward to see the cardigan made of it.

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 6:43 am - Reply

      Thank you, Olena! I would say I am a pretty fast hand knitter, well, at least I am much much faster than I used to be several years ago. If I really try, I can finish a sweater in a week. I can’t say exactly how much time I spend, but it is definitely every day, if nothing unexpected happens. I knit a lot in the early mornings – 5 a.m. – 6.30 is my most productive time. Everything is so quiet and I can relax before my day gets crazy.

  3. caroline June 22, 2016 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I knit sleeves and cardigan fronts together too. It’s a lovely feeling to get them done at the same time and I love that they match perfectly! I usually copy the pattern twice so I have one to mark off for the right front and one for the left front. I do love that Gesture sweater! Gorgeous colour.

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Caroline! It’s definitely a great feeling to have both part done at the same time! I love your idea of making two copies of the pattern to keep track of the progress!

  4. Donna June 22, 2016 at 7:34 am - Reply

    I have always wanted to try knitting both sleeves at once. Those cables are simply gorgeous!

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Donna! You should try that! It may be awkward in the beginning, but then you get into rhythm and everything goes smoothly!

  5. Ruby June 22, 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

    “Thunderstorm season” sounds awesome! We seem to just get a brief wave of incredible rain, wind & hail and then it just gets hothothot and humid again. These brief intense rainstorms just run right off the ground into area waterways so my garden is forever thirsty despite the rain. Cozying up with some tea and knitting to the tune of tapping on the roof sounds wonderful. Beautiful knitting as always, Alina!

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Ruby! We had a pretty hot May and now it is a nice break from all the heat! Wish you more rain this year, you are right – the sound of it is just wonderful!

  6. SarahD June 22, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

    What amazing knitting- you are so so fast! That alpaca cloud is going to be gorgeous; it’s such a beautiful color!

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Sarah! Color is what got me in this yarn in the first place – so deep!

  7. Christine N June 22, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I used to think machine knitting was kind of, uh, cheating. Please don’t take offense that! But you make it sound great, and your sand sweater was absolutely stunning. Your plans with that thin yarn sound like a perfect sweater to wear year round.

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Christine! Oh, no offense taken – I used to think this way about the machine knitting myself, before I got my own πŸ™‚ Boy, was I surprised! It is a fascinating craft to learn!

  8. thecrazysheeplady June 22, 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply


  9. pat June 22, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Oh I love that thin yarn! Yes, it’s best to knit some more sweaters just in case the weather turns a bit cooler in Russia. I agree that knitting two sleeves at once is the way to go. Works for sock knitting too. I speak from experience in the sock knitting department. How does your dog do with thunderstorms? My dog hates them. Then again, he does have Chihuahua satellite dish ears so maybe he hears the thunder more than his owner πŸ™‚

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

      Oh, my dog just can’t stand the thunder! Though it is not that bad for him as huge air balloons, for example – this is his greatest fear πŸ™‚

  10. Zeta June 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I’m so jealous of your sweater weather.
    Here it is HOT! I’m sweating all day long, and for someone who is almost never hot, it is crazy!
    Your sweater is as expected. Perfect!
    I think that you have reached a point where everything you are making turns out exceptionally beautiful. There are no surprises on this blog anymore. Alina, are you human?! You are too good to be true!!!!

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Oh, Zeta πŸ™‚ You make me blush, haha πŸ™‚ I love hot weather, though it is nice to have rain breaks once in awhile!

  11. Andrea @ This Knitted Life June 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    So beautiful. Each stitch. Each photo. I am behind on my blogs (traveling and sick), but I loved your last post also. And I am jealous you can work with lace weight on your machine. That’s actually pretty cool.

    And you’re traveling all the way to Russia! Hopefully you will have a lot of airplane knitting organized. Long flights!

    • Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you, dear Andrea! So sorry to hear you are under the weather, I hope you get better soon! I don’t like to knit on the plane – I always lose stuff πŸ™‚ It will be one looong journey, I have to get a good book for a trip.

  12. Christine June 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Those cables are gorgeous in that yarn!

    • Alina June 23, 2016 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Thank you, Christine! They are so soft to touch in this baby alpaca!!

  13. autumngeisha June 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    It’s thunderstorm season here, too. I love being cozy inside while watching the storm and rain. Love how the Gesture Sweater is knitting up. Such beautiful cables! Knitting sleeves two-at-a-time is also my preferred way since I’m prone to second sleeve syndrome.

    • Alina June 23, 2016 at 6:38 am - Reply

      Thank you so much! Enjoy cozying up πŸ™‚

  14. Carmela Biscuit June 23, 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Both of your projects are gorgeous! I like the thin yarn and its rich color and knitting with extra thin yarn has been one of the reasons for me to consider buying a knitting machine. Maybe one day …

    • Alina June 23, 2016 at 6:40 am - Reply

      Thank you, Carmela!! Oh, should definitely get a knitting machine one day! It is not as relaxing as hand knitting, but it is still fascinating in its own way!

  15. CathieJ June 23, 2016 at 5:59 am - Reply

    The cables on that sweater are so pretty. I love the ice grey color. I am looking forward to seeing the sweater from the knitting machine.

    • Alina June 23, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

      Thank you Cathie! I am looking forward to finishing the sweater as well – can’t wait to wear it!

  16. karen June 23, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

    love the cables going up each sleeve! I have never ever suffered from second sleeve syndrome but I have knit two sleeves at a time and liked doing that. By the time I get to sleeves it’s usually after the body of the sweater is finished so I know I’m nearing the end.

    Gorgeous pattern!

    • Alina June 23, 2016 at 6:43 am - Reply

      Thank you, Karen! Second sleeve syndrome was never a problem for me too, I actually love working on the second sleeve – you know exactly where you are going and they are no surprises. But I do enjoy this satisfying feeling of getting both of them done at the same time!

  17. sustainablemum June 23, 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    You are an inspiration to us all! Happy knitting πŸ™‚

    • Alina June 24, 2016 at 4:33 am - Reply

      Oh, thank you so much! It means a lot…

  18. Desiree June 23, 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Your sweater is amazing!

  19. Lindsay June 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I am so jealous of your description of rainy nights and cozy mornings spent with a cup of tea. Sigh… the weather never changes in Hawaii! I absolutely love how the We Are Knitters sweater is coming along. Such beautiful cables! I almost bought one of their patterns a couple weeks ago (a short-sleeved one) and then changed my mind in the end because it looked to be “one size fits all” and I don’t have the confidence to fudge a pattern to make it bigger. I’ll look forward to seeing how your lace-weight sweater comes out. That color will look great on you!

    • Alina June 24, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Thank you, Lindsay! I would love to be in Hawaii right now πŸ™‚ Did you check the final measurements of the pattern? Maybe it will work for you!

  20. Melissa June 24, 2016 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Absolutely lovely!!!

  21. Ravenna June 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    So beautiful. You’re knits are so inspiring every time. Beautiful colors as well.

    • Alina June 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Ravenna! I am glad you find a little inspiration here…

  22. andi June 25, 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Oooh those cables are yummy! Beautiful knitting as always, Alina. πŸ™‚

  23. Julie June 26, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    the alpaca will be great for when you travel to Russia, good thinking! And light knitwear that is also really warm will be perfect for travel. Man, as soon as I get a bigger house, I am totally getting a knitting machine!!! You’ve made me want one, but considering my house is awash in baby toys everywhere, we need a bigger house (or the kids to be older) before I can get one.

    • Alina June 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      Oh, I am so glad you are inspired to get a knitting machine! I hope it will make a huge comeback – it is such a great craft! I have a very simple machine and it doesn’t take much space, but I would love to get a new one soon and it is definitely gong to take over a big space.

  24. Sierra July 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    It’s really fun watching your knitting machine adventures, I don’t know anyone with a machine so I have no experience. This has been an excellent learning experience. How fun that you get to go visit your family!

    • Alina July 20, 2016 at 7:10 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Sierra! I am so happy you like my knitting machine experiments – I hope to see more people starting this fascinating craft!

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