Monday, June 15, 2015

Ambrosia


Hi, Knitters,
I want to announce that I am hosting a giant giveaway later this week. About 10 days ago there was a retreat in Madison, my hometown, where almost 30 knitters from my Ravelry group spent a long weekend together. We had door prizes and retreat bags and yarn and gifts. Well, I have stockpiled a bunch of things, including the custom stripey sock yarn from Quaere Fibre, to share with you. I want to do a good job thanking all of the sponsors of the retreat and not rush through it so later this week that will happen. You won't want to miss this opportunity so be sure to stay tuned.

Now for today's big news. I finished a cardigan! It may not seem like big news but it has been a very long while since I knit a sweater of any sort so I am pretty excited about it. Has it been a couple of years? I can't remember. Well, the Ambrosia cardigan has been on my mind for several years. When Gudrun Johnston, the designer, released her book Knit with Me I immediately purchased the yarn to make Ambrosia, the cover cardigan. That was in 2012. Three years later in 2015 it feels good to finally get this project out of my stash and onto my shoulders.

Here is some information you might like to know:
Yarn: Quince & Co. Puffin in the Frank's Plum colorway

The pattern for Ambrosia is available for individual download and it is also in a book called, Knit with Me by Gudrun Johnston.  The book is wonderful and has many patterns I would like to knit and wear. In addition to the book there is a baby/toddler pattern for download called Wee Ambrosia which is in sizes 3 months to 3 years. I may have to knit this one at some point, too. It is super cute.



The Ambrosia cardigan is knit from the bottom up, starting with the body, then the arms are knit and attached to the body. The yoke slip stitch pattern is really fun to knit and is quite simple despite the complicated appearance. When something is easy but looks tricky that's always the best. The decreases for the shoulders are done after the stitch pattern section which keeps things simple again. The neck edge is bound off and then picked up for the hood. Since the yarn is a bulky weight and is heavy the bind off and picked up edge provides a seam of sorts for added structure for the garment. I liked the thoughtfulness that Gudrun ran throughout the design. It is designed for simplicity, function and aesthetics.

The hood is just the right size. It is not gigantic and heavy at all. There is some unique short row shaping on the sides of the hood which gives it a rounder shape and makes it not so pointy. I like that the hood doesn't cover the diamond slip stitch pattern on the back. It's all very clever and done with purpose.


After the hood is finished, the front bands and hood edging are picked up and knit in one long row from bottom edge to bottom edge. The buttonholes are placed by the knitter with general instructions, not specific placement. This is fine because you can try the garment on at before knitting the buttonholes to figure out the best placement for the toggles. There is a reference for buttonhole placement using the stitch pattern section as a rough guide, one at the top, middle and lower edge of that section. Using the patterned section as a guide made it easy.

I originally had only 8 skeins of Puffin in Frank's Plum. The size I wanted to make calls for 10 skeins. I thought I had better order a couple more skeins so I didn't run out so I went ahead and purchased two more skeins. Guess how many skeins I used..... 8. Now I have two more skeins of Puffin added to my stash. But that's alright, I'll make a hat or mittens or something from the extras along the way. 

Here are some in-progress shots for you.


Here I am trying on the fresh off the needles Ambrosia to see where I wanted to add pockets on the fronts. Pockets are not included in the pattern but I really couldn't envision my Ambrosia without pockets. I am planning to wear this as a layering jacket in the fall and winter and I know that pockets will come in handy for warming my hands, holding car keys, or for storing other odds and ends. I bet a ball of sock yarn will fit nicely in these pockets. Yes to that.


In 2012 when I bought the book and yarn for Ambrosia I immediately started searching for toggles. One of my favorite button shops on Etsy is Wooly Moss Roots. I have used these buttons on many garments in the past and they are beautifully handcrafted every time. Wooly Moss Roots uses different types of wood branches for their buttons and they are so beautiful. 

I love the rustic look of the reclaimed sassafras wood used in the three toggles on my cardigan. I love that the bark is still on the toggles. They are sanded down just enough so the surface is smooth and will not snag on the buttonhole. The ends and back are smooth as well. 


I used purple thread to stitch on the toggles and they work and look perfect.


For the added pockets I picked up stitches using the knit fabric as a guide. I wrote out the directions on an Instagram post if you are interested in looking there for my photos. I am using the hashtag #projectsweaterchest for my sweater photos which stemmed from my sweater chest videos last fall. There are over 1,200 posts in #projectsweaterchest already. Use this on Instagram if you are doing some sweater knitting of your own so we can all see what you're up to.


Here are my general notes on what I did to make the pockets:

~ I picked up stitches by inserting the tip of the needle under the right leg of 16 consecutive stitches, added in the yarn leaving an 8 inch end, and knit directly onto to the cardigan. 



~ I picked up the stitches on the fourth row up from the border and 8 sts over from the front bands on each side.



~ 16 sts wide measures about 5-inches 


~ I worked 18 rows in stockinette stitch


~ Work 6 rows of garter stitch at the top edge 


~ I used the ends to stitch down the sides of the pockets. 


~ The pockets are about a 5-inch square which is a good size for pockets in general. 


I washed the finished cardigan in Soakwash in warm water and laid it flat to dry. 

I am thrilled with the squishy, cozy results of Ambrosia! It fits great and I love it. I made the 37.5 inch size. I usually wear a 36 inch size but I wanted it to be a little oversized. The sleeves are long-ish so I can turn up the cuff or if my hands and wrists need extra warmth I can wear them down. There is plenty of positive ease, at least a couple of inches which is perfect for a layering piece. I wouldn't want it to be fitted or snug.

Ambrosia is the epitome of comfy and cozy knitwear. I highly recommend Gudrun's lovely, well-written pattern. This is a fun and practical one to add to your wardrobe. Definitely check it out.

After Ambrosia flew off my needles I cast on another sweater called Solja by Anna Maltz


I'll fill you in on all of the Solja details very soon! 

Don't forget the giant giveaway coming later in the week. I hope your summer if off to a wonderful and sunny start.
xo ~ susan

57 comments:

Quinn said...

What a beautiful sweater! And adding pockets makes it perfect, I think...I have to have pockets.
Do you have to remove your wooden buttons before washing?

Susan B. Anderson said...

Quinn, The buttons can be washed.
Susan

Jodi Connors said...

Oh Susan what a fabulous sweater, just ordered the book! I just had t have it! LOVE this!

Andi said...

Beautiful sweater! The buttons really make it. Perfect pairing. :)

Julie Crawford said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! I love your button choice, and the addition of pockets is perfection- I mean, who doesn't need more pockets, right?

Pam D'Esopo said...

Super cute sweater! Looks very cozy.
Pam (pamelajd on Rav)

Esther said...

The sweater is gorgeous and looks fantastic on you! So cozy. No doubt you'll live in that sweater this Fall and Winter. About a year ago I purchased that book and have already made McIntosh in Quince & Co Chickadee and it's the most perfect sweater I've ever made because of Gudrun's impeccable instructions. I had to laugh when you ordered more yarn because you worried there might not be enough, the same thing happened to me when knitting McIntosh and in the end, I didn't need the extra skeins!! I'm saving them for when I get to making the Mary, Millie & Morgan. In my stash I have Chickadee in Frank's Plum to make Empire from the book and can't wait to start. Now I want to copy you and make Ambrosia with pockets. Looks like it's going to be a Gudrunpalooza this year!

Tricia said...

I just started my first Hiro. Now all I'm thinking is I have to hurry up and finish it so I can make an Ambrosia! Gah!! One could have bigger problems, I guess! ;) I love your Ambrosia and the pockets! So gorgeous!

Holly said...

Your sweater came out beautifully <3

sandi s said...

I love your sweater and the color! It looks wonderful on you. Hugs,

Kepanie said...

That is a terrific purple. You look wonderful in your new handknit hoodie. I'm interested in seeing how your new jumper will come out.

Jane said...

The sweater is beautiful. That will be so cozy this fall and winter.

Andrea @ This Knitted Life said...

Great cardigan! I love the buttons! Nice work Susan.

Kackie said...

I LOVE this sweater. The design is amazing, and that rich purple is delicious. This is definitely going into my queue!

Jessica said...

Can't wait to read your blog post about the retreat later this week and see what you've got up your sleeve for the giveaway!

Kimmy said...

I love everything about your new hoodie! The color and everything about it is spectacular. Well done!

rphilbeck said...

I love your sweater. Its really awesome purple and love the cables as well. Great job. I have knitted a sweater but have never put it together. Guess I'd better get to it. LOL. Thanks for the encouragement.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

I am so impressed with your finished cardigan. I am famous for knitting many sweaters but only up to the point of starting on the sleeves. Then someone else has to finish them. It is a gorgeous colour too and thanks for all the instructions and links; you are kind to share.

Marie Elizabeth D said...

I already tried twice to leave a comment. I would like to enter the sweater's worth of yarn giveaway. Thank you, Marie Elizabeth D

Anonymous said...

Susan:
What a beautiful sweater! You're an enabler... I might have to knit myself a sweater like that.... but the question lingers.... when will I see this gorgeous RED SOCKS pattern you had featured a year ago? I also would like to see the stuffed raccoon. When do you think the pattern would be available?

Sue

Jen Oki said...

What a lovely sweater! I ordered the book and can' t wait to check it out. Thank you for sharing!

Julie (Tanknit) said...

The sweater is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Susan:
The sweater is beautiful... Congratulations on great job! I am wondering when it will be when I will see gorgeous red socks you knitted last year? I also love the raccoon you had on display in the picture from the retreat!! Can't wait to see next project you have...

Sue

Jennifer said...

Your sweater is beautiful! It looks super cozy too, perfect for when fall arrives.

ChristiB said...

Susan, you have such a beautiful heart. I was really touched on this podcast to see your heart of love for your community. Thanks for honoring us with that in this episode. Shine on, Susan! You inspire.

Joyce Davis said...

Enjoy your podcast, Joyce

Joyce Davis said...

Enjoy your n podcast.

Just Sew Sue said...

I enjoyed the video and will come back to enter the fab giveaway.

Just Sew Sue said...

I enjoyed the video and will come back to enter the fab giveaway.

Kelley said...

Your Ambrosia turned out absolutely gorgeous!

Linda Eckloff said...

What a beautiful sweater and it looks fabulous on you. I also love the color you picked. Always a pleasure to see your podcasts.

Pat Howes said...

Susan, I love your podcasts. That retreat sound like it was fabulous. Hope some day to meet you and take one of your classes. Thanks for all you do for the knitting community.😘
Pat

Cheryl said...

Your sweater is wonderful! And the hood is really nice. I think hoods are tough to get right, but you did a great job.
The retreat sounds awesome, what a wonderful group of friends. Thanks for the giveaways, very generous.
Cheryl

Sarah Gautreaux said...

I love that Ambrosia sweater. I think I'll make one with Cascade Eco Wool. Thanks for the chance for such a great prize.

Anne said...

Love your sweater and what super giveaways! Love the podcast too.. Rav ID. Annealden

Hedy Nelson said...

Gorgeous sweater, Susan. Your kindness, generosity and engaging personality - not to mention talent - are what win over so many of your fans. You just have a way about you that makes others feel good. You deserve all the accolades. Wish I had been on that retreat. - Hedy

Janie Stultz said...

Hi Susan!! You brought tears to my eyes when you told about our retreat!! I would do it all again in a split second!!

Ratch

eboston said...

I really enjoy your podcast and your patterns. What nice giveaways you have. I've tried repeatedly to get some Lillipop yarn, but found it imporssible to get.:-(
Wish I could win some. LOL!

nanaknows13 said...

Enjoy your podcast, love the cardigan!

RunnerJudy said...

My goodness, what a gift bag that is! I enjoyed seeing the Instagram pictures and hearing about the gathering on the podcast. Glad the camera finally let you finish! Thanks for the generous giveaway!

Judy W said...

Your sweater is just gorgeous. I love the added pockets and the buttons are perfect!! The giveaway is so generous and I really love that Lollypop yarn!

LInda said...

Would love a chance to winnnnn I never win anything and I am 65 so it would be great if I did! just wanted to tell you that I love your sweater and your video you are sooooooo sweet! take care.

Marie Elizabeth D said...

Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing your retreat experience with us, I'm glad you have many happy memories from it. Your sweater is beautiful as are all of the sweaters in the 10 favorite sweaters video which I also saw on Youtube, I enjoyed that. You looked like you were having fun dressing up in all of that wool, who wouldn't?! Thanks, Marie Elizabeth D (Revelry ID)

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the give away! amyknit40 on Ravelry - thank you!

Jenn MacDonald said...

Please enter me in your contest (jknit onot Rav). The retreat looked like it was a blast!

Lisa Wright said...

Susan the sweater is beautiful and perfectly knitted. Someday I aspire to be able to knit well enough to knit a sweater. Right now, I'm just trying to get through a pair of socks! One day though........

Christine carpenter said...

Great video podcast ,would love to go to a knitting retreat in Madison
Would love to win a prize they all look wonderful
Thank you

Taryn Kae Wilson said...

Hello Susan,
I'm Taryn from WoolyMossRoots. Your sweater turned out beautiful! I've admired that pattern and had the pleasure of meeting Gudrun at a yarn shop in Oregon last fall. I adore her patterns. The sassafras buttons look so perfect on there, thank you SO much for linking to our shop! I've had requests for similar buttons so my husband will be making more. :)

Love,
Taryn

Louise Heerschap said...

I just started watching your pod casts and enjoy you so much. How blest you are to have so many good friends. I am lzh on Ravelry and I am going over right now to join your group (I think I already subscribed to your pods). The get together sounded like such fun!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! Great podcast as always. Love your frank's plum ambrosia sweater. I hope to someday be in one of your classes :-)
Please enter me in your contest.
(nanranda on Ravelry)

iHanna said...

Your purple sweater is adorable Susan!

kaneez merali said...

Susan, I loved your article in the Spinning magazine. I just subscribed and it was my first issue and it was a lovely surprise to see your article in it .

Love the Ambrosia sweater and will definitely knit it.

kaneez merali said...

Hi Susan
I just left a comment regarding your appearance in the spinning magazine. Please enter me in your contest. I am princetonmamma on Ravelry

Knitsta said...

Hi Susan,
Your Ambrosia sweater is beautiful! You are so inspiring and I love your video cast!I need to knit faster!!

Knitsta on Ravelry

Knitsta said...

Hi Susan,
Your Ambrosia sweater is beautiful! You are so inspiring and I love your video cast!I need to knit faster!!

Knitsta on Ravelry

EBS said...

Another great contest!
Thank you,
RAV: WintonB

Sharon Keller said...

I enjoy everything you share on your episodes. Love your sweater. I love purple! I will have to go see your other projects you have made recently. You are so inspiring. Have a lovely summer. Hope to see you again soon. Go enjoy your family while they are all home.
On Ravelry I am Elvensknits and my name is Sharon