While in Omaha last weekend, I happened upon some Malabrigo Arroyo in Lavanda, which just happens to be what I’m using to make my Riprap, the sweater with the unfortunate color change. I took a chance and bought the skein that looked the lightest, just in case I could use it to balance out the shift. In skein form, it looked lighter but once I wound it, I wasn’t so sure. Was it worth frogging over 4 inches of lace? Eh, what the heck, it’s DK weight and I knew the line would bother me forevermore if I didn’t at least try. So here’s where we’re at now:
As you can see, it’s not a huge difference but it’s enough that I’m glad I did it. At this point, I’m very glad this sweater does not have sleeves, and I’m looking forward to being done soon!
I’m disappointed in myself. Some of you may remember that I’m a big fan of Malabrigo yarns. Love their colors. I KNOW that they don’t do dye lots, that their yarns are kettle dyed in small batches. I KNOW that when you knit a larger object with multiple skeins, you really need to alternate skeins for a balanced color. I know all that and yet this is where I am right now:
Nothing subtle about that switch! I had four skeins of this, bought at three different times, and one skein is obviously quite a bit darker. Now here’s the thing: this sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up and then you split for the front and back and knit those individually back and forth. I did pretty well with the first side — I alternated skeins until the last inch or so of ribbing. One skein ran out and I figured I could get by with just the one color.
The darker color is there, but not quite as strikingly obvious as the other side. The problem is…well, the problem is me. I chose this pattern (the Riprap Top) because I could make it with just four skeins, but as I knit, I realized it was designed to be rather short. Oh, I can add a couple of inches to the length, no problem, I thought. And it probably would have been fine…if I hadn’t also accidentally made the front two inches longer. All of that means I now have one skein of yarn remaining, and it’s the disturbingly dark one. I don’t even know if it will be enough to finish the darned thing. Once I finish the back, all that’s left is ribbing around the armholes and seaming the shoulder closed, so those might not look quite as bad with the stupid dark yarn. I do have a small bit of a partial skein, so one option is to rip back those four inches and reknit, alternating as much as I can to at least ease into the dark and just assume that nobody cares what the back of my sweater looks like.
Another option is to buy another skein and try to color match the lighter skeins, but that defeats the stash-busting purpose a little bit.
The option I have currently chosen is to put it in timeout and work on something else. Before I choose either option for moving forward, I’m going to sort of try it on and see if I even like what it is so far.
So friends, if I have taught you nothing else, I hope I have taught you to alternate your skeins of Malabrigo if you didn’t buy them all at once!
No, I’m not even talking about yesterday’s mistake! I was working on a cabled hat on Sunday and realized my cables were messed up. Like, four out of five cables around the hat were wrong. Argh, right? How many of you would have frogged back, or gone super crazy and dropped the stitches down to fix the cables?
Yeah, not me. I decided the brim would cover most of the bad cables and just moved on. I am nowhere near advanced enough to want to attempt dropping cables back, and it just wasn’t worth it to frog and reknit. It’s a hat for me, and I know I’m never going to look at at sadly and say, “Ohhh, too bad I messed those cables up.” Especially since it ended up looking darn good!
My cable-novice brain is suggesting that I must have done a back cable as a front, see down there by the brim? But then the rest of the hat is good and it fits well and it will be colorful and cozy… if I ever need to go outside in these crazy single-digit temperatures.
Pattern is Hinterland Hat (Rav link), my new favorite, and yarn is Malabrigo Rios, my old favorite. I don’t think I’m done making these hats. They’re so good. Do you have a hat you knit repeatedly?
With my shawl done, I decided to sit down with my (analog) knitting journal and make an updated list of WIPs on my needles. I was pretty surprised to find that I only had three: the boy’s long gray sock, the Oxbow cardigan, and the scrappy sock yarn blanket. That’s not much at all, and there were some definite gaps in my knitting needs, so I felt justified in casting on a few new projects.
Of course I needed a fun sock for me, so I cast on a basic ribbed sock using my newest sock yarn from last week. And I wanted a delicate lace project in the mix, so I pulled out this gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Mora and cast on a Gris de lin cowl. It’s “100% pure mulberry silk” and I just recently wrote a piece for work about research being done with silkworms, which eat only the leaves of mulberry trees. Even the name, Mora, is connected, as the scientific name for the silkworm is Bombyx mori. It’s not often my work at a research institute overlaps with my knitting! And finally, I cast on the Mad Mini Wrap (Rav link) with the mini kit from Wonderland Yarns & Frabjous Fibers. It’s all garter stitch, knit until the yarn is gone, so that might be my favorite mindless knitting for a while.
The cowl was more of an adventure to get started. The pattern says to cast on 108 with size 4 needles. I chose 16″ circs, thinking that of course a cowl would be at least 16″ around. It was tight, so I knit the first round flat to loosen it up. Still too short for the circs, so I switched to 12″ circs. They were a better length but the metal tips were super slippery with the silk yarn. It was only then that I went and looked at project notes on Ravelry and discovered that the cowl is designed to only be around 14″ in diameter. (Yes, I would have known before if I had read my pattern more carefully. Whatever. Who designs a cowl to be so tiny?) Heck that! I’m not sure that would go around my head anyway. So I frogged, learning that of course the silk is quick to knot and tangle, and cast on again with more stitches. With any luck, that will be the only hiccup with that project. And now I’ve probably jinxed myself. Heck. Oh well. Happy Sunday, friends.
I was not in a sock mood last week, which is very weird for me. I think I knit about an inch of my current sock over the entire week, so there’s no point in sharing that. Last week was about bulky yarns, the bulkier the better, and for me, the best bulky yarn is Malabrigo Rasta. I pulled out a skein of gray Rasta the other day and within a couple of hours, I had a finished hat. I love that.
The pattern is Nour and I love it except I made it a touch too long, so it slides down more than I’d like. If I were really crazy ambitious, I could frog back to the last pattern repeat and re-knit it smaller, but I don’t think that sounds like fun. If I end up really disliking it, I’ll give this one to someone else and make a new one for me! The pompom is one of the fantastic snap-on versions, so I can switch it out with other colors.
Today I go back to work, which means Duncan will be confined in the kitchen, wearing a cone, with a couple of Trazodone to keep him calm and sleepy while I’m gone. Here’s hoping all goes well!
I’m going to make a sweater! Whoa, right? No, I know, I’ve done this before. I’ve actually crocheted one sweater and knitted three. My first knitted sweater was a Harvest cardigan that came out HUGE but is super cozy to bum around in at home. My next two knitted sweaters were pullovers that actually fit the way I wanted. That cardigan I made with cotton; it was soft but still not a high-quality yarn. The pullovers were both made with acrylic yarn. I love them, but I decided that I’m ready for the big leagues now: I want to make a sweater out of GOOD yarn.
I’ve never bought a sweater quantity of good (i.e. non-acrylic) yarn before, instead choosing fun single skeins. So for my birthday earlier this month, I told the husband that I wanted a sweater quantity of yarn. He’s a smart man, so he gave me the money for it rather than trying to pick it out himself.
But what yarn? What pattern? What color? Well, the yarn itself wasn’t too hard: Malabrigo has been one of my very favorite yarns for years. For pattern, I wanted something interesting and pretty, a little more intricate than the basic pullovers I’ve made. It took a lot of browsing but I settled on Penny by tincanknits. And color? Well, at first I thought about a neutral. But then I thought, NAHHH! Let’s have fun!
This is six skeins of Malabrigo Arroyo in the glorious Fucsia, which might possibly be the most difficult color of yarn to photograph. Subtle, it is not! But it will make a gorgeous sweater and I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing some swatching this weekend!
I have four sad WIPs that I have been neglecting. I have allowed myself to become distracted by all the new, pretty yarn entering my stash. I want to knit ALL the things with the new yarn. I’m quickly filling up my Ravelry queue with potential projects and am slowed only by having to go back to work. I’ve already started one new project, with some yarn I bought right after Christmas. I got two skeins of Malabrigo Rios in Archangel, and wanted a simple pattern to show off the gorgeous colors. I love cowls and wear them almost every day, so that was the easy decision. After much perusing, I settled on the Hill & Dale Cowl, a generously-sized cowl that will make perfect lunch-break knitting.
As always, I’m loving knitting with Malabrigo. But I’m also itching to cast on a Chevrione shawl with my new Frolicking Feet gradient set. I haven’t done any fingering weight lace in ages and I’m craving it!
See?? So many beautiful projects just waiting for my attention! The pull of these yarns is so strong that I’m even ignoring a Malabrigo Hitchhiker already on my needles! That’s pretty significant…but hm, maybe I should get that back out…hmm, how many WIPs is a reasonable number?
I had such a nice birthday, with pizza and ice cream and chocolate cake, and I got such lovely yarny gifts this year! He picked out yarn by himself and did so well! That’s Malabrigo Rios.
Shorter DPNs for easier hat-making!
And a delightful book! I loved the first, and have already started reading this one!
I’ve got plenty of fun WIPs right now too. I started Silverleaf last week and I think it’s going to be gorgeous. I’m using Malabrigo Arroyo. I can only work on this when I can focus so I can keep track of all the repeats.
Yesterday I started a Kilter hat with Berroco Vintage in Envy. This is my easy lunchtime knitting, at least until I reach the decreases.
Finally, I finally have a Sockhead slouch hat on my needles! I know, it’s not much, but it’s a start. This will be another lunchtime/travel project. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Black Velvet. So far this is a yummy knit!
As promised, I have knitting to show you after our long day yesterday. Both kids competed in the regional National History Day so we were there from 9 am to 5 pm. The girl is moving on to state and is quite happy, the boy is not moving on but doesn’t mind too much because it means he can stop working on it and stressing out about it! So yes, lots and lots of knitting time but it’s not the Because I Love You Wrap. I did start that shawl, and I’m loving my yarn choice so far. It’s going to be quite lovely. This was knit with size 6 needles, as the pattern recommends. But it was too loosey-goosey for me so I frogged that and started over with 5s, and I like it much better. I learned how to do picots and those are pretty darn nifty. But guys, there’s a trick in this pattern that I didn’t discover until I started knitting. When you start the first garter stitch stripe, you do the first three stitches in the other color and then pick up the stripe color. Well, that left a big stupid hole in my knitting! That irritated me so I frogged back (and frogging picots are interesting) to before the stripe. A bit of investigating showed another Raveler recommending the intarsia technique of twisting the yarns at that point. I’ve never done intarsia but I’ve carried yarns up the side of my knitting; is the twisting the same as that? I’ll do more investigating before going back to knitting this but I’d love any advice you have!
After that rough beginning on Friday, I knew it wasn’t a good travel knitting project, so instead I cast on Karin Michele’s newest pattern, the Duality hat. It’s a classic ribbed beanie but with broken rib for the body, and the decreases are written so well! I love how she managed to carry the broken rib pattern all the way up. Best of all, it’s free through March 7th, so move quick, knitters! I got it almost completely done at the competition, stopped only because I forgot to bring my DPNs with me, so the last six rounds were done at home. I love love love this hat. I used Malabrigo Rios (the recommended yarn) in color Teal Feather, and knit to 8.25″ before decreasing. I think it’s the perfect amount of slouch and I’ll definitely be knitting this pattern again.
Now we have a quiet Sunday at home and I feel brave enough to tackle my shawl again. Wish me luck with my yarn-twisting!