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!
March 16, 2019
I also had the pleasure of testing La Maison Rililie's latest hat pattern, Zipf. Her patterns often have a slightly unusual construction, and in this case it's short rows that shape the hat! The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, but my hat is knit with three yarns ranging from DK to bulky! I used the leftovers of Martin's Lab Tibetan DK for the contrast stripes, and actually ran out; the last stripe in this color is missing because of that. The grey yarn is some Berroco Ultra Alpaca from the bottom of my stash, and the fluffy Sandnes Garn Børstet Alpakka is something I haven't used before. I really love the contrast of the fluffy brushed alpaca to the smoother yarns! I knit the size M, and the fit is great! I like my hats to have a snug brim and then a looser body, so my hair doesn't get flattened.