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.

Feel the Bern Sweater

If you’re looking for a quick knit that will use up a decent amount of stashed worsted/Aran weight yarn, look no further than Feel the Bern (RAV LINK) by Caitlin Hunter. In a month of passive knitting, I went from playing with colour combinations to a finished, blocked and worn sweater.

I was drawn to this pattern because it used four different colours, and I had enough yardage in similar yarns to make it. This is part of my 2022 endeavour to try to knit more from my stash. All yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers, except for the light grey, which is Briggs & Little Heritage. All together, Ravelry is telling me I used 635 metres to make this sweater, and I made the Size 4 (44″ bust). That said, I don’t think I ended up with the ease that this size was supposed to have. That is very likely a knitter’s error and not a pattern error. I did the thing that a knitter is not supposed to do: I knit without doing a gauge swatch (Gasp! Shock! Horror!). I also know that my tensions varied GREATLY between the single colour knitting and the colourwork – I was MUCH tenser knitting the colourwork, and it shows. I’m sure more practice will eventually help me with this.

I also could have knit the body longer, if I wanted to, because I didn’t use nearly as much yarn as the pattern called for and I had enough yarn to do so, but I like the length of the crop. It looks good when worn with my high rise jeans or with a skirt/dress.

All in all, a lovely, FREE pattern and a great way to use up some left over yarn in your stash!

“Bern”ing through the stash

After inventorying all my stash and helpfully getting it all onto Ravelry, I turned my attention to trying to find a pattern that would use up a good chunk of stash yarn. I’ve also been a little twitchy for a heavier sweater – heavier meaning heavier weight yarn. The two I currently have in progress are both made with sock yarn, so I was hoping for something that would knit up a little faster.

After refining my search, I cast on Feel the Bern (RAV LINK) by Caitlin Hunter. It’s a free pattern (yay) using between 591 – 1256 yards (yay) of worsted yarn (YAY).

I played with a few colour combinations of Cascade 220 and Briggs and Little Heritage. My dark heathered purple was a must as it had the most yardage left for one of the main colours, and I loved how the grey of the Briggs and Little was more subdued than the other colours I was toying with. I settled on the dark purple, the grey and two more Cascade 220s: a mauve-y heathered pink and a heathered green. I had two different blues I was tossing around, but the blues were more vibrant, while the combo with the mauve and green felt more natural.

As I cast on and got to the colourwork yoke, I sent progress pictures to my friend Victoria. We were both in agreement. This colour combo was the winning combo indeed.

Now, excuse me while I keep making progress on this 50 round colourwork yoke… RIP my patience…

Last Sweater of 2021 – Ranunculus

Ok. I finally get it. I get the appeal of the Ranunculus (RAV LINK) Sweater. You know the one – it’s a sweater that’s ALWAYS on the Ravelry Hot Right Now top pages. With over 10,000 projects associated with the pattern. Yeah, that one.

My friend Victoria made a Ranunculus months ago and was singing the praises of this pattern. I believe, to date, she’s made two of them. After I bought some yellow Leo & Roxy Basics, I thought, why not give Ranunculus a go. After all, over 10,000 people thought it was knit worthy, and Victoria’s knitting opinions are held in exceptionally high regard by me. So, this summer, I cast it on.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing.

They recommend a Double Twist Loop cast on, something I hadn’t done before. So I sat through YouTube videos and stumbled through this new-to-me technique.

The yoke of the sweater is utterly stunning, with textured twists and simple lace details. There are no charts for the yoke, so I was reading along for the stitches, not my preferred way to work.

The yarn, oh my. I ADORE Leo and Roxy. I’ve made several projects with their yarn, including a pair of socks, the Doctor Who inspired cowl I made this summer, and the marled set I made for my nephew. I love this yarn. The sweater I made only took one skein of yarn. I knit the body for a few extra centimetres, and I knit the bottom ribbing until I (almost) ran out of yarn, maximizing the skein. I love the yarn.

But…

The yarn was fingering weight. The needles were 6mm. This made for awkward knitting for essentially the whole project. The yoke details were awkward work, the stockinette was awkward work, the twisted rib hem was awkward. I’ve learned I don’t love light yarn and big needles. It’s just… awkward.

The sweater is cropped on me, falling around/just below my natural waist. If I wanted to have used more yarn, I could have easily made it longer. I’m also, I think, lucky with the final fit. The pattern is unusual as it doesn’t offer a variety of sizes. Knitters can choose any weight of yarn and simply cast on the sweater, make it according to directions, and block to dimensions. (There is a second file with your purchase for directions of making the sweater for a larger bust). I’m rather lucky that making the sweater as per directions is, I think, rather flattering on my figure. The sweater does give a few design options: You can choose for wider or smaller neckline, and you can choose long or short sleeves. I went wider neck and short sleeves (obviously).

Despite not loving the process, the final product, well, the final product was 10000% worth it. I tried on the sweater, and it was that lightbulb moment. It was the “yes, now I get it” moment. I understood why it is so darn popular. It’s because it is stunning.

Finished Object Friday

Last weekend, I was able to FINALLY get my Vatsland Jumper (RAV LINK) off my needles! It only took months and months of knitting and then sitting idle, realizing I didn’t have enough yarn, buying more, sitting idle again, and then more knitting until it got complete!

The yarn, well, the yarn is itchy. It’s 100% wool, and it’s rather wooly wool. Wool is itchy. Such is life. But a warm, albeit itchy, sweater is perfect for fall and early spring. This one has 3/4 length sleeves, so it is paired nicely with longer gloves.

Just in time for sweater weather.