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June 2018

Day 5 and 6 and a Few More Hours ....

I worked on getting the neckline and front bands of the Beekeeper Cardigan over the last week, and it took about 5 or 6 hours. Then I knit the left sleeve on Saturday, and I knit the right sleeve on Sunday. It took me a whole day to knit one sleeve! Like from 9 in the morning to 10:30 at night! I need to get faster.

Anyway, I succeeded in completing my Beekeeper Cardigan in about six and a half days.

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I finished it just in time. This is it, hot off the needles, with the ends hanging out, unblocked, like a newborn baby, all wrinkly. Blocking will help it considerably, as well as weaving in the ends.

This KAL was the biggest one that I have ever been a part of. More than 1181 people endeavored to knit the cardigan in four to eight days, depending on their size (my size required 5 days, oops). So what is the big deal? Why did so many people sign up for this?

  1. It was billed as the "4-day KAL" to make a whole sweater with DK weight yarn in a textured pattern. It was intriguing, it seemed impossible, yet Marie Greene assured us that it could be done. People had done it last year. Before the KAL, Marie Greene and another test knitter did it to prove it could indeed be done. And, in the end, lots of people knit this sweater in four days. One knitter even knit four beekeper cardigans in the duration of the whole KAL, which was a little over two weeks! 
  2. It is thrilling to watch so many people helping each other to be their best, to find that they could do something that challenged them. I challenged myself, and it felt good. It also felt good to help others.
  3. When you are part of a group all working on the same project, you feel dedicated to achieving the end. You cheer each other on, you commiserate, you make friends. You want to do it again after it is done. 
  4. It is good to use Facebook to do something that enriches the world in that way, to actually look forward to posts and find success stories and to cheer each other on. 
  5. I learned a lot about sweaters and how they are made! I learned that knitters can and will knit full  sized gauge swatches with different needles, as hundreds of knitters in this KAL did! I learned that blocking makes a ton of difference in the finished sweater! 
  6. I saw beginning knitters who had knit only a little while and who had never ever made a sweater, knit this sweater with the little bee pattern and they succeeded! Wooooooohoooooo! I was so proud of them!
  7. I got a glimpse of what Marie Greene did to organize a huge KAL like this one, make it run smoothly, make everyone feel good about themselves .... all while she was putting the finishing touches on a book that she has written about sweaters. She was pretty amazing. I pre-ordered her book.
  8. I miss knitting the little bees.

Day 3 and Day 4 Accomplishment

Hey everyone, it's the crazy bee lady buzzing in again! I knit all day on Saturday and Sunday, and I finished the length on the body:

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On Saturday I got about halfway down, and finished the body on Sunday. Sorry my picture is a bit fuzzy. I took it about 11 last night, and I was a little fuzzy too. 

So, I just have the ribbing on the collar and front bands (about 1.5 inches) and the two sleeves. I don't think I will make it in five days, but six days should probably cover it. I'm good with that! As Marie told us, it isn't about meeting deadlines, it's about the friendship and being supportive of everyone in the group. I haven't had any problems knitting this adorable little sweater, but I have loved seeing everyone's progress on their project and commenting when I can!! 

Speaking of the group ... holey moley!! There are 1130 projects for the Beekeeper Cardigan on Ravelry! And on Facebook (because not everyone is on Ravelry, and vice versa) there are 2394 members! This BeekeeperKAL is HUGE. Huge and really fun!

Marie has said that blocking your sweater is really important, that it makes such a difference to the fit. I agree. Look at this:

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On the top is my Swans Island Washable Wool DK coming off the cake that it is wound into. I knit with that. On the bottom is my cast on tail that has been "relaxing" as I have knit the cardigan for the past week (well, I only knit 4 days, but it has been a week). I am amazed at how much it bloomed just lying there! It seemed, when I did my Little Bee swatch, that the knitting was a bit loose, but I got the correct gauge with size 7 needles and DK yarn, so I trusted the designer and went with it. I am so glad I did. Some people went with a smaller gauge and a larger size because they didn't like the looseness of the knitting on size 7 needles, even though it was the correct gauge. I hope their knitting doesn't bloom out of control when they block it! 

 

Happy Tour de Fleece for those participating in it! I was going to do that this year, but I got waylaid by a huge swarm of bees. Maybe next year!


Day 2 Accomplishment

I made it to the sleeve divide. It's beginning to resemble a sweater! 

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Yayyyyy I finally made it!

Now I will buzzzzzz down the body making only bees and NO MORE RAGLAN SLEEVE INCREASES! Do I sound bitter? A bit. Those increases and figuring out how to place the bees took lots of brain power, and it was hot out, very hot. It seemed to take me forever to figure out how many stitches to cast on for the underarm to get the bees to line up properly. I was putting in a stitch, then counting and counting, but every time it came out wrong. (Knitting with literally half a brain after my stroke is annoying sometimes.) Finally I did it correctly, and the raglan increases are behind me now!!

I love my little bees; they make me happy.

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Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I'll knit Day 3 and Day 4 on the weekend, and Day 5 the following weekend. Marie Green, the designer of the 4-day KAL, said it was easier to spread the days out instead of doing them all together, and she is right. You keep the excitement of the project, and you never lose your mojo because you are tired of it. Hmmmmm, I should try doing that with my regular projects! I see a scheduling app in my future ....

 

 


Day 1 Accomplishment

It isn't much, but it's a start!

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I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get further on it. I wanted to get to the division of the sleeves, but I am about 20 rows from there. Did I mention that this sweater is knit from the top down, there is no seaming, and no buttonholes and buttons to frig with? Yayyyyyyy!

I had to take a nap. I went up to northern Maine for my brother and sister in law's 50th Anniversary on the weekend, which was fabulous! But I was more tired than I thought when I got back, and I simply fell asleep for most of my quality knitting time in the afternoon. It was so nice, on my porch, sun streaming in, not too hot (it only got to about 70°F I think) .... nice napping weather. I do not regret it.

Day 2 will commence tomorrow. Oh, did I mention that I can pick any 5 days that I want to knit? They don't have to be consecutive. I'll take a break today, knit tomorrow, take a couple days off, knit on the weekend, then see how much I have left to do. Knitting the whole sweater in four days would be awesome, five days would be great, but even if it takes more time .... I still have a sweater!

 


It Beegins.

Hehe. 

I finished knitting my Tor Grass shawl; it needs to be blocked:

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So pretty ❤

And I knit 95% of a sweater for my nephew's son, but it needs to be blocked before I can sew it together and knit the neck to finish it:

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Tommy loves tractors! This time it's a Farmall :)

And I knit the beginning of a shawl/cowl thing called  Clarissa by BullyWoolies for someone's birthday that has already gone by:

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Happy Birthday Lynne!

The yarn is Marrakesh, 70% silk/30% Camel from Handmaiden Fine Yarn, a wonderful Canadian company that I adore! (Happy Canada Day a bit late Canada! ) Pictures really don't do this justice. It is gorgeous. The color is called Tourmaline, a beautiful blue green that looks just like the ocean. 

However.

Everything came to a  screeching halt at 7:00 this morning as I started my Beekeepers Cardigan!!! 

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Pattern: Beekeeper Cardigan by Marie Green. Yarn: the unbelievably luscious Washable Wool DK by Swans Island, 100% organic, hand dyed merino wool. So soft! So squishy! I don't usually get wool that is superwash for my sweaters, but Marie Green recommended it because the pattern requires superwash or a silk blend for getting the correct fit after blocking. This yarn feels so incredible! It is a joy to work with. I am a happy BeeeeeeeeKeeper!

The color is called Sunlight, and it is a perfect soft yellow which I really wanted. Who doesn't need a little sunlight on a gloomy day, or any day?

I have 5 days to knit this (my size is a little bit larger than the 4-day sizes). The clock is ticking. I'm crossing my fingers (except for when I am knitting ... or typing). We will see how it goes!!!

Note: Nothing will explode or otherwise disappear if I can't get it knit in four or five days. If I do get it knit in five days, Extreme Gleefulness and Possibly Ice Cream will occur. 

Other note: Blocking. It has to be blocked to fit. YIKES!