Along with socks, I’ve been plugging along on my Apogean sweater, the one with the Manos del Uruguay Locura Fluo. I’m sill in the thick of the long stockinette body, just going round and round. After my last post, I got some suggestions to try helical knitting to help with pooling and that’s been both fun and helpful. Though my first effort at googling helical knitting didn’t lead me down the right path, Kath set me straight and shared a great video about how to do helical knitting with two strands (which she also calls the jogless join) and guys, it’s so cool!
The last inch or so is with the helical knitting, and as you can see, I’m still getting some pooling so I’m not sure it’s made a huge difference, but I love the look so I’m just going to roll with it. I have also discovered the secret to happily knitting a lot of stockinette: really fun yarn. I can’t believe I’ve done this much already and am excited to do more!
Darn it all, my fun and easy sweater is giving me grief. This is my simple pullover in the crazy-bright Locura Fluo yarn, and I thought I could just knit along and let the colors fall wherever they wanted to. That worked great until I got past the yoke and joined to work the body in the round. Two things happened at the same time: I started a new ball of yarn, and I settled into the body stitch count. I think my stitch count is just the right number to make the yarn start pooling in a stripe-y way, which isn’t how the yoke looks and isn’t what I envisioned.
At first I thought, oh I’ll just disrupt it, and I broke the yarn and rejoined a couple colors later. Duh, of course it fell back into the pooling after the first round. I joined a second ball and started alternating the two, and all that did was alternate the pooling colors. So now I’m fussing with it the whole time, trying to adjust my gauge enough with each row to prevent the pooling. Some rows I intentionally knit tightly, the next I’ll knit more loosely. In other words, it’s not the simple mindless knitting I expected.
Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind pooling (in theory) except that it seems like it would look so much different than the yoke. But maybe I should just give it a whirl, and knit several rows without trying to prevent the pooling and see what happens.
What do you guys think? Embrace the pooling, find a different pattern, what do I do now?
Today is my knitting anniversary! Eight years ago today, I finished my first knitting project, a mug cozy with a button. My knitting SIL taught me to knit, and this project taught me the knit stitch, decreasing, increasing, and a simple button hole. If I remember right, this was an inexpensive wool/acrylic mix, and I borrowed some bamboo straight needles from my SIL because I didn’t have any yet. That didn’t last long, though!
Knitting and I have been very happy together for the last eight years!
I’m not sure what motivated me, but I cast on a new project this weekend. I’ve been collecting Manos del Uruguay in the color Locura Fluo for a while now, planning to make a super bright, fun sweater. I started the gauge swatch months ago and then it went into hibernation for ages. Happily the gauge swatch, which was my second, gave me the right gauge, so I was able to cast on right away. I want the yarn to be the main focus so I chose a simple pullover called Apogean. I’ll do a long sleeve version but I haven’t decided if I’ll do a solid color, like gray, for the ribbing.
I’m almost to the part when I get to join in the round, and then it will just be lots and lots of colorful stockinette! I think I might enjoy it with this yarn.
With my cardigan done, I switched focus last night to the boy’s gray sock and I feel confident that I can get this first sock done today.
I have about half an inch left before I start the toe. No problem! Except I got distracted thinking about my next sweater. I want to do a colorful striped sweater so I started playing around with color choices.
I think I’m leaning toward number three. What do you like best?
My Oxbow cardigan is growing, and as it does, it is growing into a clearly identifiable sweater object. I don’t know that I’m doing the decreases the way the designer intended, but if anything is messed up, it’ll be by the edge and probably not as noticeable. The main body of the sweater I’ve managed to keep in pattern, for the most part. There is a section of about 10 stitches on one upper arm/shoulder that morphed into about six rows of ribbing but whatever, I’m not bothered. This is meant to be a cozy comfy sweater anyway, and the texture will help hide errors.
Looking at the photo now, I think I spotted another section that got a bit messed up. Oops. I’m hoping to get through all the decreases today and maybe even pick up for the ribbing. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get this done over the long weekend??
Sunday evening I went back to work on my Oxbow cardigan and yesterday I made it to the next shaping point. I had the lower body done and I needed to start decreasing for “neck and yoke shaping”. Y’all, this pattern is messed the heck up. I mean, not literally messed up, but it’s written very poorly. I noticed it first on the sleeves, when you’re working with 4-stitch repeats over a 4-row pattern, and when you need to start increasing, very little guidance is given about how to maintain the pattern as you increase. I figured that out and thought it was the worst of it. HA.
Now I’m working flat with a 4-stitch/4-row pattern and I’m decreasing two stitches every five rows, eleven times. No biggie, except zero guidance is given about how to maintain the stitch pattern as you decrease. The first couple of decreases were okay, but now I’m losing track. I printed out charts and blank charts last night and tried to chart it out and got lost. So now I’m just at the “winging it” stage. I can read the stitches better on the wrong side of the sweater, so I’m just checking that often to make sure it stays on track. But it’s gonna get worse, because after I attach the sleeves, I also have to start doing raglan decreases at a different rate than the yoke/neck shaping. And even all of that would be doable, if she had just done a better job of explaining how to maintain the pattern during increases and decreases.
When I pay $9 for a pattern and it’s from fancy famous Andrea Mowry, I expected a lot better than this. (Side note: it’s cheaper on Ravelry than it is on LoveCrafts. Only by 84 cents though.) I’m not sure I’ll buy another pattern from her. The only reason I’m pushing through with this one is because I’m halfway done, the look is exactly what I want, and I know it can be done because Sarah has made it twice. So damn it, I’m gonna finish this sweater!
I hope your knitting is going better than mine this week!
Okay, so you know how my last post was about how I finally got to cast on for my Oxbow sweater and I’d made good progress on the sleeve? Ha. Just kidding! Turns out I was reading the pattern wrong and had done the entire sleeve in the wrong stitch pattern. There was no salvaging it; leaving it would have made it look completely different than the rest of the sweater. The next day, I frogged down to the cuff and started over. Thankfully it’s a quick knit and I’ve already got two sleeves done.
I might not have been the best at making sure the increases were at the exact same rate, but they’re the same length and I’ve tried them on and they fit, hooray! I like sweaters that are this fast. Today I’m binging Twilight movies and starting on the body.
I hope my US friends had a good Thanksgiving. The three of us celebrated with a full spread. We ate too much and still have plenty of leftovers, which will mean some yummy homemade turkey noodle soup soon. We got to FaceTime with the girl, and dropped some pie off at the mother’s house on Friday, so at least we got to be a little social. Honestly, I didn’t mind the quiet, lazy holiday, and now we can move on to Christmas! Happy Sunday, friends.
Finally, I got to cast on for my Oxbow cardigan! My fourth swatch, which was exactly like my first swatch, indicated that I did indeed get gauge with the recommended needle size, so it was off to the races!
Except. Heck. It starts with the sleeves and I’m really not a fan of how it’s written. It’s a two-row pattern, and each row has repeats of a 4-stitch pattern, but then you also have to increase every five rows, which gives you extra stitches, and the designer didn’t explain how to deal with those new, extra stitches except to say “continue in est pattern”. I resorted to going to Ravelry and searching through the project pages, and found a few that explained what I was meant to be doing. It took a little while to get in the groove, but I think I’m there now.
The yarn is Cascade Eco and I’m using size 11 needles, so it’s growing quickly. With any luck, that means this sweater won’t take me six months to knit. I’m getting some looseness between each DPN, but I tried doing magic loop and that was even more fiddly for me. Instead I’ll just be grateful that the pattern obscures any laddering.
I have completed my holiday baking: the pumpkin bread for tomorrow’s breakfast. Unfortunately, Grace’s reach is farther than I thought, and she stole about a quarter of each loaf before we discovered it. Naughty thing! But we have plenty left for the three of us. Now the boys are in the kitchen working on pies while I get to sit and knit!
To my American friends, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Don’t I feel silly! You know how I’ve been swatching for my Oxbow cardigan, and I just blocked my third swatch? When I checked my gauge on that one, I realized I was getting MORE stitches per 4″ instead of fewer. I have no idea how I had this kind of brain fart, but I know when my second swatch gave me 15 stitches for 4″ and I needed 13, I thought, “Oh, okay, I’ll go down a needle size!” Dummy. I have now done my fourth swatch which is really the first swatch done a second time. Cross your fingers it’s right this time!
While this dries, I’ll go back to knitting my happy Christmas socks and watching movies while I have a lazy weekend!
Some colors are almost impossible to photograph well, unless you’ve got a lot more photography experience and knowledge than I do, I guess! I’ve tried a few different times, places, and lighting scenarios to get photos of my finished Penny sweater and the vivid pink (Malabrigo in Fucsia) just resists all my attempts to show the true color. So this is what you get, and at least you’ll be able to see the pretty lace!
This experience taught me a couple of things. One: that shit does NOT always block out. The ladders on my first sleeve are still there. Whatever. And two: Malabrigo Arroyo, or maybe all superwash, grows A LOT in the bath. I knit this according to the pattern specifications and it was kind of huge when I first got it out of the water. I had to squish it back into a more normal size and it still seems very long. But it fits pretty well and that’s the important part!
The neckline is a bit lower than I expected, but it doesn’t bother me much since I’ll be wearing this over something else anyway. And I really like the lace detail down the middle of the sleeves.
I don’t know why but I didn’t enjoy knitting this one very much. Part of it was my confusion when it was time to join the body and sleeves for the yoke, and I felt like the instructions for the decreases could have been clearer. But I have to admit the final product is lovely, and I bet I’ll enjoy wearing it!