Simple Addition

Oh, I adore this shirt.

I have loved every pattern I’ve made by designer Stephanie Lotven, and, so far, I’ve made a few. My latest is Simple Addition, a simple sweater with lots of ribbing. This is the same sweater I finished two weeks ago but realized I wanted longer, so I frogged my work back and started again. It now measures about 14 inches from below the arm holes and sits just at my hips, a perfect length.

Ripping back how I did meant I could maximize the yardage in the skeins. I ripped back and kept track of which yarn was from the sleeve ribbing, from the front left, from the back, etc. Those yardages wouldn’t change drastically between the two versions, so I used up what was the left over yarn for the body (save a few grams, just in case), and then used the yarns I carefully labelled as each section.

I didn’t aggressively block the sweater, and I’m not sure how the cotton would have taken to being blocked aggressively. I like how the ribbing means the shirt is a little more form fitted than the pattern calls for with less ease. And that’s ok.

I chose this pattern because I had three skeins of Berroco’s Weekend, and the yardage all worked out. The fact that it was a Stephanie Lotven pattern gave me even more reasons to buy and cast on. She has a variety of patterns available, including a number (and a book, actually) all about different ways to use self-striping yarn. She also has a number of really fun colourwork cowls. If you haven’t tried one of her patterns before, please check her out! Safe to say, I’m a fan.

A Hard Learned Lesson

In an attempt to be a lazy knitter, I learned a lesson the hard way – if you want to make a bottom up sweater longer, it is unadvisable to try to undo a cast on edge when the fabric is 1×1 ribbing.

My latest project is another Stephanie Lotven sweater – Simple Addition (RAV LINK). I bought three skeins of Berroco Weekend from a LYS, the last three they had in black. This equalled to just over 600 metres. If I made Simple Addition as a short sleeve top, I should have had enough yardage to make this sweater.

I had a few days off from work, and the lovely weather gave me the perfect opportunity for some outside, dedicated knitting time. In what felt like no time, I cast off the sweater, and had only used around 2 and a quarter skeins. I tried on the sweater before blocking, and it was SHORT. I wanted more length to it.

In my attempt to be lazy, rather than frog back and start again, I thought I could simply use my needle to pick up stitches on the body and rip back the cast on edge.

So, fun story. This could have worked if my sweater was made in stockinette. It wasn’t. It was 1×1 ribbing.

After ripping back, the stitches on my needle seemed super twisted. I wondered if I had grabbed the wrong leg of the stitch when I was picking up. I tried knitting a few stitches, and it was just wrong. So I googled. It felt as though, when I was trying to knit those few stitches, that I was in between the stitches and not truly where I needed to be. And, yes, that is what happened. When you rip back from the cast on edge, you’re almost knitting in between the stitches. If it’s stockinette, it isn’t super noticeable – I had a pair of socks I had to fix a while ago, and I was able to pick up stitches, rip back, and reknit the leg where a hole had appeared. This isn’t so straight forward with ribbed stitches.

Ultimately, I frogged the whole sweater. Each section is carefully marked – the yarn I frogged from the sleeves, front, back, and body all labelled. I’ve re-cast on the sweater using the remaining yarn. Hopefully, this time around, I can get the length right and use up as much of the yarn as I can. Hopefully…

I also took zero photos of the previous iteration of the sweater. Zero. So here’s a picture of the new sweater in progress.

A little show and tell

I have not one, but TWO finished objects to show off.

First, let’s start with the BIG ONE. The last I wrote was near the start of my Temperance Shawl. I wanted to get it done before a wedding in early June. Well, I’m pleased to say, I met that goal.

The pattern is Temperance Shawl (RAV LINK) by Malabrigo. I used three skeins of SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock, and I really mean, three skeins. Two of the three I finished with metres to spare. I had quite a few grams left of the third. I am so pleased with how these purples work together, and the size of this shawl feels so luxurious. It’s so BIG!

Once the project with a deadline was complete, I picked up the latest cowl I was working on – Paris in Berlin (RAV LINK) by Joji Locatelli. If you’ve read this humble blog before, or if you know me IRL and also lurk on here, you’ll know I love me a bandana cowl. In late April, I cast on using some Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) I had in my stash for several years. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about the final fit of this cowl. It is rather long from the point where it joined in the round with little increases, and from a previous cowl I made by Joji Locatelli, I found it far too bulky around my neck. But, those worries were misplaced as I find this cowl wears very nicely. I think, perhaps, the difference is both in the weight of the yarn (Paris in Berlin is fingering while the other cowl was DK), and the feel of the yarn, with the Koigu being so VERY soft. It used quite a bit of the yarn, with 40 or so metres spare.

And now that these two projects are complete, I’m once again in that limbo of what to make next. Sure, I could keep working on the various sweaters I have on the go, or work a few rounds on a sock or two… but wouldn’t it be far more fun to start something new.

Some Patience and Temperance

I’ve started a new shawl. I fell in love with the Temperance Shawl (RAV LINK) when it was released last year. Maybe it was the shawl, maybe it was the colours of the yarn, I’m not too sure which. I’ve finally gotten around to starting my own, although the colours are a wee bit different from the pattern.

In the first wave in Spring 2020, a LYS had a mystery yarn option – there were three price levels to choose from, and they put together a surprise bag with items equaling that price point. I received two lovely skeins of Sweet Georgia – a solid purple and a purple/multi coloured speckled – and they’ve sat in my stash until last week.

Last Saturday was LYS day, so I went back to that LYS where I got my first two skeins and bought a final skein of Sweet Georgia, the colour of which was a variegated purple, one that worked as an in-between for the first two. Not quite solid, not quite speckled.

So, last weekend, I finally cast on the Temperance Shawl. And then, a row or so in, I realized I made a mistake, so I frogged and once again cast on the Temperance Shawl. Little did I know, I would end up repeating this at least three more times. I lost track of exactly how many thanks to time passing and the sheer annoyance I felt in the moment.

It was worth it though. Temperance is coming along nicely, and these colours work so well together.

I’m HOPING to have this shawl finished by early June to wear to a wedding. It’s always the start of a shawl that feels like it goes the quickest, so even though I’ve made progress, I know it’s once I have rows with even more stitches that it will start to drag along. But, I have a goal, a deadline, and sheer stubbornness on my side.

Sunny Baby Blanket

New finished item!

The pattern was Sunny Baby Blanket by Lucie Sinkler. It was so simple but engaging with the 12 rows of knits and purls forming the pattern. I used what might be my favourite, yet sadly discontinued yarn, Berroco Weekend. A LYS is slowly selling their remaining stock of this yarn, and I’ve been quite liberal with my purchasing of it! Six skeins went into this blanket, and it ended up being quite sizable!

It’s a gift, so it was knit with a timeframe. Once I cast off, I had that feeling of ‘What Now,’ as if I don’t already have two sweaters and two socks on the go. I also want to cast on another pair of “Michele’s Mittens” (RAV LINK) by Sarah H Arnold because I lost one while out on a walk. That one still stings…

But, this beautiful blanket, which occupied my mind for just over a month, is now finished and will soon be gifted to the mom-to-be. Very exciting indeed.