April 25, 2019
I've recently had the chance to test knit for two Finnish designers, Anna Johanna and Leeni Hoi. The Verso cowl based on Anna Johanna's pattern is a pleasant knit that keeps you interested with varying stitch patterns and two colors. The pattern is primarily written for gradient-dyed yarns, but based on what I had in my stash I decided to go with speckled and semisolid, and fingering instead of sport, and I think it works well with those, as well. The single-ply yarn makes the cowl very drapey and nice to wear against the skin. For some reason I haven't knit that many cowls, even though I'm constantly thinking I should knit more. They are just so appealing, small or medium sized projects that can be knit in the round utilizing various stitch patterns and colors.
The Narni sweater based on Leeni Hoi's pattern is actually the first colorwork yoke sweater I've knit, unless you count the bit of colorwork in Majestic Mountain. I decided to try out the new West Wool Bicycle yarn, a non-superwash yarn I was very curious about, and I really like how it worked out. Due to the rapid rate of increases early on in the yoke, the sweater requires some fairly aggressive blocking to smooth out the fabric. Being knit with fingering-weight yarn makes it a very light garment, and I think it'll get a lot of wear. I really enjoyed the stranded knitting, and I find that I actually enjoy colorwork the most in a larger project compared to something like mittens. The will definitely be more colorwork yokes in my future!
April 7, 2019
I had the pleasure of testing another Lisa Hannes pattern, Moonlit Path. The pattern was originally written for worsted weight yarn, but since the size can be easily adjusted, so can be the yarn weight. I went with a strand of sport weight yarn knit together with a strand of lace weight mohair. I used a 5 mm needle thoughout, but the mosaic section in my shawl turned out pretty dense; I think madelinetosh Tosh Sport is closer to DK! The Wollmeise Blend I used on the blue border, also a sport weight yarn, is signifigantly lighter. Blocking helped make the fabric a bit drapier, but it's still pretty thick.
I've knit a few shawls with some mosaic stitch, and I would say this pattern was probably the easiest! I only needed to glance at the pattern at the beginning of each right side row, and was good to go. So, if you're new to mosaic knitting, I'd say this would be a good beginner project! In addition, Lisa's patterns are always easy to follow, very well written, so I can give my warm recommendation!
March 18, 2019
Back in January, when the opportunity arose to test knit a Stephen West sweater with welts, I was like, heck yeah. The deadline also seemed like a very forgiving distance away, not that it ever means I will finish a project ahead of time, be it a test knit or a lecture.
Fast forward to the day before the pattern launch, and I still have the second sleeve to knit. Blocked the sweater overnight and through a day of work, but the welts still aren't completely dry as I'm writing this blog entry. That doesn't stop me from wearing it, though. I have to say the welts were not my favorite part of this project to knit, and I had to use some markers to be able to pick up the correct row of stitches since I knitted all the welts in the same color. However, it was worth it! The rest of the yoke was easier, and then the broken rib (and garter stitch) for the rest of the body and sleeves was pretty relaxing.
I held together two strands of superwash fingering weight yarn for most of the time, apart from the black bits where the other strand of fingering was replaced by two strands of lace-weight yarn. I'm quite happy about the subtle fade! The broken rib goes well with the speckled yarns. The sweater grew quite a bit when wet, which was a plus, since before blocking it was smaller than I'd expected. I knit the size M, but I think my gauge was off, and there were also some issues with the stitch counts with the test version, which may have had some effect.
Despite the excentric construction, it's extremely comfortable to wear!