April 27, 2016

Le Scarabée Bleu

Le Scarabée Bleu

Le Scarabée Bleu

I've knit relatively few sweaters during my years as a semi-obsessed knitter, and I feel that's something I need to fix. I happened to spot a grey and white version of La Maison Rililie's Le Scarabée Bleu cardigan at the Wollmeise spring sale, and decided it was something I should definitely knit, as well. I also knew that instead of buying DK or worsted weight yarn, which I have very little of in my stash, I should go with doubled fingering weight, which I have more than plenty (my stash is almost comically imbalanced when it comes to yarn weight).

While most of the time I don't swatch when I knit stuff like shawls (because the size is not critical) or socks (because I'm already familiar with my gauge), I've learned the hard way to never knit a sweater again without a swatch. Luckily my first swatch was exactly on gauge after I figured I should probably knit the right side rows with a larger needle to compensate for my looser purling. Thanks to interchangeable needles I was able to do that with a single circular with different sized tips on each end!

The way the pattern is designed is quite genius. I love the fit around the shoulder area, which is often an issue for me. The pleated lower portion in bubble wrap stitch is very distinctive, and the way the neckband and hem are worked with short rows is just brilliant. Obviously a lot of thought has been put into how the cardigan will fit and look. The only modification I made was the 3/4 sleeves instead of full-length ones, because I figured it would be more practical for me (and also a bit because I was sick of knitting striped sleeves with doubled yarn, with a few too many yarn cakes to wield around).

I'm so happy with the finished item!

The Ravelry project page

April 16, 2016

Ceciliana

Ceciliana Test

Ceciliana Test

I had the joy of test knitting Lisa Hannes' new pattern Ceciliana. The colorwork is done by mosaic knitting, so you always work with just one color at a time. Once you get used to the rhythm, the repeating pattern is quite easy to follow. I like the way the colors are reversed for the two mosaic knitting sections. I went with my staple Wollmeise, because that gave me the most freedom with color selection. Even though I previously was not totally in love with the cold orange of the Gänsefüsschen colorway, I really like how it pairs with one of my favorite Wollmeise colors, Ooohm. In certain lighting the combination of those two colors and the particular mosaic pattern causes some interesting visual illusions. I'm pretty sure the photos are safe to look at, though!

The Ravelry project page

April 9, 2016

Peeping Cowl

Peeping Cowl

For some reason I've only knit a handful of cowls, even though I like the way they look on other people. Joji Locatelli's Peeping Cowl from the Interpretations Vol. 3 collection seemed like a perfect opportunity to correct my lack of cowls while allowing me to use several colors. I ended up making it a bit shorter than the original, leaving out two of the eight sections. The sport weight MCN yarns I chose seem like a good match for the pattern, even though it was written with a fingering weight yarn in mind. Besides often being a more practical option to traditional scarves, cowls are more fun to knit, so I'm pretty sure there will be more of them in the future.

The Ravelry project page

March 20, 2016

Cupcake Mittens

Cupcake Mittens

I'd had my eye on Spilly Jane's Cupcake Mittens for a while, and after they were included in her book, I decided it was time. The printed color knitting charts in this book are a delight; they are so big, clear and colorful. The charts alone make me want to knit more patterns from this book.

I combined a size S stitch count with more like a size M lengthwise pattern repeats. My round gauge in stranded knitting must be tighter than average, because mittens easily end up too short from thumb to the tip of fingers even though my fingers are anything but long (insert a joke about Donald Trump fingers here). I also used sport weight yarn instead of fingering, but that didn't seem to affect my gauge much.

Early on, when my sister saw a progress photo, she dropped a not-so-subtle hint that she would love to have them as a birthday gift, and while I made no promises, I made sure they would be finished in time for that. The deadline was actually a good motivator to finish the mittens, because about halfway through I'd lost some of my drive for stranded knitting (which comes and goes). They were, indeed, finished in time, and gifted.

The Ravelry project page

February 25, 2016

Jaunty

Jaunty

I was lucky to be one of the test knitters for Ririko's Jaunty, the first skirt I've ever knit! It was such a joy to knit that I finished well ahead of the deadline. I knit mine with Wollmeise Pure and Twin, and ended up choosing somewhat conservative colors, which I'm quite happy with. It's an easy pattern, and there is no reason to be intimidated by a skirt; it's easier to knit than the average sweater. The only "unusual" thing you'll need is a rubber band for the waist. The knitting is mindless stockinette stitch for the most part, with some increases. I definitely recommend!

The Ravelry project page

February 21, 2016

Winter's Fern

Winter's Fern

This lovely hat pattern from Trin Annelie practically turned into a large Létt-Lopi swatch, because I still have issues combining stranded knitting with other kind of stitches in a single project, at least when it's something that also needs to fit my larger than average head. Even after semi-aggressive blocking the stranded knitting section is too tight, while the hat overall is too long. But that's OK; I accept that not every project turns exactly the way I visualized it, particularly when working with unfamiliar yarn (SO different from the yarns I usually work with) without swatching. I'm aware this is the price I pay when I want to keep my hobbies spontaneous, no meticulous planning required if I don't feel like it. One thing I am quite happy with is the color combination, and I have some more experimentation left to do with Létt-Lopi.

The Ravelry project page

February 17, 2016

Take It All

Take It All

Lisa Hannes' Take It All mystery shawl KAL was fun to knit, I'm just not completely happy with my color choices. In hindsight, something more harmonic, for example some kind of a gradient, would probably have been better. The pattern was very well written, I'm especially a fan of Lisa Hannes' charts. I hope she keeps writing mystery patterns along regular ones, and I believe they will turn out to be quite popular, because she's already such a pro at pattern writing!

The Ravelry project page

December 28, 2015

Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar 2.0

Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar 2.0

One thing I learned from the previous Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar was not to mix stockinette sections with stranded knitting, because one thing I don't quite have a handle on yet is gauge in stranded socks. So, this time I went exclusively with tried and true stockinette. I also stuck to just Wollmeise Pure and Twin to keep the look as consistent as you can with random colors and changing stripe width. Still, the end result isn't something that exactly soothes my soul; the legs are relatively harmonious, but the feet are... not. Still, I think this time I got a pair that I actually can wear, since at least the fit is right. And it was fun to take part in the KAL organized by the Missä neuloimme kerran bloggers, whom I thank for coming up with yet another creative way to use up yarn scraps!

The Ravelry project page

December 14, 2015

A Very Cloudy Nuvem

A Very Cloudy Nuvem

A Very Cloudy Nuvem

Since my second Nuvem turned into my favorite shawl to wear, it wasn't a hard decision to cast on a third one. And while knitting it I also broke the recond previously held by my second Nuvem: the WIP that was worked on the longest and yet finished. I'm generally not the kind of person who casts on a project and still feels like finishing it a year later; those projects usually end up in the frog pond. However, while there were numerous periods of time when I lost interest in my third Nuvem, I was pretty sure all this time I would eventually finish it. It was something that was comfortable to return to even after a long break, and I knew I would like the finished product.

As the last time, I replaced the ruffled edging with 2 x 2 ribbing. The yarn is Wollmeise Lacegarn as usual, this time in one of my favorite Wollmeise colorways, Wolke. I also used slightly larger needles than before, for a looser gauge and large size, and I can see and feel the difference. Part of the reason might be I've put my second Nuvem through a tumble dryer and I may not remember what it looked like before (it did not felt, just shrank slightly, which was my intention after it had stretched out a bit in use).

This is definitely going to be an everyday shawl. Based on my previous experience, Wollmeise Lacegarn wears amazingly well; after my previous Nuvem has been through the washer a few times (on wool cycle) and the dryer once (also on wool cycle) and still looks as good as new, I'm convinced about the quality of the yarn.

The Ravelry project page

December 3, 2015

Squircle 2.0

Squircle 2.0

Squircle 2.0

During his workshop in Finland Stephen West mentioned, possibly jokingly, that he doesn't knit socks for himself because his feet are so big, but that if someone wishes to knit him a pair of socks he can give his address to send them to. I figured I'm not intimidated by large feet, so I asked him for his foot measurements. I ended up knitting the biggest socks I've ever made. There aren't many sock patterns that come in his size, so I had to calculate the stitch counts to fit his foot as instructed in the Squircle pattern. We still don't know if they actually fit him right, but we should find out in a week or two when the socks reach him.

The Ravelry project page