When You Really Love a Cable

I swatched some of the pretty Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed a few weeks ago. It makes such a good fabric, wonderfully light, and with that matte integrity that tweeds seem to acquire after blocking.

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I’m thinking of a compound raglan pullover, bottom up, the raglan lines marked with — you guessed it — these slipped stitch cables from my last pullover.

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The sweater is going to be stockinette with lace on the front and shaping on the back only. Perhaps a deep, scooped neck. We’ll see.

I found a lace pattern called “Wolf’s Claw” from an old pattern book, but the text-only instructions were mind-boggling. They were a mad jumble of wrn, fully written out left decreases, and other horrors. So I tried to figure out the lace pattern by electronically annotating over the accompanying photograph:

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I’m happy to say I got only two rows wrong! Well, actually, the same row wrong twice, since the pattern alternates diagonally.

Now to figure out how to actually knit the whole thing…

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As Beautiful As I Imagined It

 

It is done! I think this is my most well travelled knitting, started in London, knitted in Bangkok, finished in Johannesburg and photographed in Nairobi. It is everything I imagined it to be, elegant and casual, warm and light. And beautiful!

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I wanted a non-baggy drop shouldered pullover, with gentle side shaping and a hi-lo hem. With saddles starting at the  shoulder …

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…and running down the sleeves.

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I’m planning to write up a pattern eventually, so watch this space if you’re interested!

Details
Yarn: Lana Grossa Chiara, 7.5 skeins
Needles: 3.0mm for ribbing; 4.0mm for the rest (held lever style for effective needle size of 3.5mm)
Ravelled: here

La Bella

The Arabella is done!

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I’ve written about it before, so not much more to add. I started with a Brooklyn Tweed pattern size and merged it with a CustomFit generated neck, yoke and sleeves for best fit.

I do think it would have looked more structured in a woollen spun yarn, and find that the superwash, worsted spun, Tosh Merino Light makes an almost floppy garment because of its unusual length. But it’s still pretty. I did have to alternate skeins, though to prevent flashing.

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Also, the quaker ridging pattern is completely hidden in the variegation of the yarn; but I’ll live with it. Overall, am quite happy with this one!

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Details
Pattern: Arabella
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light; 3.5 skeins; “Pecan Pie”
Ravelled: here

Some Progress

The back of the ‘bella is done! Being mostly stockinette it goes at a decent pace, provided one actually works on it. Right now it looks like a squashed bat, but I can see the potential!

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As you can see, the faint traces of pink have flashed across the large bottom section in the most determined way. Which tells me I shall have to alternate skeins from now on.

I’m really not looking forward to making two full length sleeves after the gigantic back and front, but am not sure of how much yarn I’ll have left. Perhaps I can weigh the back and do some complicated calculations? After all I do know how much yarn the sleeves will take, since I’m making them from the same Custom Fit pattern as my Thermal Kitten. Ok then…

Weighed and calculated. Nope, cannot take the risk. Will have to finish the front and neck ribbing, then work sleeves to maximise yarn usage. Grrr.

Initiating Arabella

After moaning and complaining about knitting fingering weight sweaters, here we are again, with a fingering weight tunic.

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Another Brooklyn Tweed pattern, Arabella. It’s a simple, vented tunic, made special by the gores which push the fabric out into a playful, swingy shape. I’m planning to use CustomFit for the top of the body and sleeves, and am knitting the bottom with stitch counts from the original pattern which match up most closely to the numbers needed for the CustomFit yoke. This means I’ll end up with a front which is slightly larger than the back (as generated by CustomFit), but that’s what I need for good fit. I’ll also get a bit of negative ease in the bust, which is also something I prefer to the intended positive ease of the pattern. Finally, I’ll make full length sleeves (if I have enough yarn) and also add short rows to the front of the body, to ensure it doesn’t ride high as I’ve seen in many projects on Ravelry.

The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light (again!) in “Pecan Pie”. Let the moaning begin!

Natsumi

Or, fitting straight lines on non-straight figures.

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So pretty!! There’s something so light and refined about this colour, which perfectly complements the restrained cable, delicate lace and elegant lines of Natsumi. I won’t spend too much time describing how perfect this pattern is, over 200 people have done so already. However, let’s talk about my mods.

First, I knew I had to change it to a scoop neck. The boat neck, although elegant, would have been really unflattering on me. So I calculated the BO, CO and decrease rates (since this is worked side to side), and threw in a 1×1 ribbed trim to match the cuffs and hem.

I also lowered the pattern strip so that the bottom lies a little above the underbust, which I thought would be the most flattering position. This means that the sleeves come only halfway through the pattern strip …

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… but structurally, this makes no difference.

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Then I did some thing clever, which I’m quite proud of. I added a line of shaping along the top of the pattern strip on the front only. This gave me more fabric to accommodate my scoop neck, and, crucially, pushed the strip down in a very gentle U shape. On a flat garment it looks distorted, but on the body…

 

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… straight!! I had nine extra stitches in the centre of the garment thanks to the shaping, without which the strip would have curved upwards and made me an unwitting model for that elegantly named phenomenon, waist boobz. 

Apart from that: reduced overall ease to 7inches at upper bust (= 4 inches at full bust), made full length sleeves, and threw in 1×1 ribbing everywhere, finishing those with tubular bind-offs. Oh and added about an inch of short rows to each side bottom, to create a more swingy, a-line shape.

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I think that’s all; I love the design, the colour and the yarn.

Details
Pattern: Natsumi by Yoko Hatta
Needles: 4.0mm for all (lever style); 3.5mm for ribbing.
Yarn: TML “Dusk”; 2.5 skeins
Ravelled: here

Dusk in Summer

I started Natsumi (Jp = “beautiful summer”, one of many meanings) in Madelinetosh Merino Light “Dusk”. The colour is gorgeous! A very delicate salmon pink, more dawn than dusk in my opinion!

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As usual, I tweaked the pattern heavily.

I Kept
– The lovely cable and lace strip
– Dropped shoulders
– Curved hem
– Sideways construction
– Positive ease

I Changed
– Amount of ease; I’m aiming for 6″ upper torso ease (equivalent to 3″ full bust ease)
– Circularity of hem; recalculated to make a gentler slope
– Ease at hip; added short rows to make a swingier shape
– Position of pattern strip; lowered it so the bottom edge covers the bust
– Bust shaping; added another line of shaping above the strip only on the front
– Neck; changed to scooped shape with bind offs and decreases
– Neck finish; will probably apply an i-cord
– Sleeve cuffs; will probably add ribbing to match the hem

Essentially, I charted the shape I wanted, and recalculated everything according to my gauge. I’m dealing with millions of markers: 2 for the hem shaping, 4 to define edges of pattern strips, 3 for the shoulder and bust shaping.

Have split the neck, now working my way slowly across the back.

Warm Little Kitten Sweater

‘Tis done!

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love this colour. It’s a brownish grey, and that sounds dirty and smoggy, but is actually very delicate and beautiful. The brown also makes it a warm grey, perfect with warmer skin tones.

Not much more to say here beyond what I’ve already mentioned. I generated an hourglass shape, close fit, scoop neck pullover with CustomFit, using my stockinette gauge. I worked the body only in the stitch pattern, keeping the sleeves in stockinette. I haven’t decided on the buttons yet, but made the holes anyway. And finished all the twisted ribbing with tubular BOs to maintain the refined feel of the sweater.

Also, have you joined the #howiknit hashtag party on instagram? Here’s how I do it!

Hashtag party!! #loop2loop #howiknit

A post shared by @onkuri on

Look at those delicate princess seam shaping lines. I love!

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Details
Pattern: Thermal from Knitty
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light, 2.60 skeins, “Kitten”
Needles: 4.0mm and 3.5mm. However, I knit lever style for most of the sweater, so the effective needle sizes are probably a size down. If you watch the video above, you can see how the yarn holding position doesn’t allow the loop to go as much around the needle as ‘regular’ knitting would, leading to the creation of smaller size stitches.
Ravelled: here