June 22, 2016

Dotted Rays

Dotted Rays

Dotted Rays

Lately I've found myself more drawn to garter and stockinette stitch instead of traditional lacy shawls. The shape and colors of modern shawl designs seem more interesting than complex stitch patterns, not to mention the more relaxed knitting experience. Probably inspired by the recent Westknits class I took part in, I suddenly felt like knitting Stephen's Dotted Rays pattern. I also couldn't wait to try the new Hedgehog Fibres acquisition, and it was my first time knitting with speckle-dyed yarn. Garter stitch seems like the perfect match for this trendy dyeing technique. The more solid madelinetosh that I'd bought years earlier turned out to be a good match for the speckled yarn. I accidentally went with a larger needle size than planned, so the shawl turned out very drapy and enormous despite leaving out one wedge out of the larger size option. I love the airiness, though, and I think I'll opt for larger needles more often with garter stitch shawls in the future.

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May 28, 2016

Kappa

Kappa

Kappa

Lately I've found myself drawn to knitting endless stockinette. I find it addictive instead of boring. I also love the kind of fabric you get with Wollmeise Lacegarn in plain stockinette stitch. A few segments of different color add enough interest to the plain stitch. Veera Välimäki's Kappa was the perfect pattern for that kind of need.

I made some minor modifications, starting with a slightly larger number of stitches and doing the increases every nine rounds (or so), so that I'd still end up with approximately with the same circumference for the wider end. I also didn't exactly follow the pattern with the color changes. I loved knitting it so much I think I'm going to start a second one immediately, just with three colors instead of four.

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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