Top down raglan in Taiyo

I’m so happy with this.

The yarn is expensive, I guess, $25 per 100g ball, but I only needed 4 balls to make this. In fact originally I’d intended something much shorter, but once I had to break into the fourth ball, I couldn’t help myself, I had to use it up.

In fact, I did have enough left of the fourth ball, if I’d wanted, to make longer sleeves or to add something around the neck. The brilliant thing about this pattern is that because it’s top down you can make everything exactly the length you desire – or exactly the length your quantity of yarn permits. There is no panic the way there is with bottom up knitting where there is always that fear of Not Having Enough.

Pattern Stephanie Japel’s Easy V-neck Raglan
Yarn Noro Taiyo. The suggested needle size is 4.5-5. I’m a loose knitter so I went for 4.5mm, but I was way out and had to start again with 5.
Modifications To suit gauge
Thoughts I love this, but am slightly worried about how robust the yarn will turn out to be. It is 70% silk/cotton with 15% wool and 15% nylon. But it was such a loose yarn, which broke a couple of times without any encouragement, that I wonder if the nylon is going to do its job. I wish there had been less ties in the yarn, a couple a ball, but worst is that at one point when joining yarn after a break they didn’t bother following the colour scheme and so way too much of one colour scheme came in a row which made that portion of the yarn unusable. Still, despite these criticisms, I have to say I would use it again. The colour schemes are lovely and finally Noro has come up with a yarn that is skin bearable for me. I can’t make myself buy a yarn on the assurance that it will become acceptable to the skin in the fullness of time. It’s now or never for me.

Cloud finished

If you love Rowan Summer Tweed, you really should check out The Kasbah Collection – far superior to their first dedicated Summer Tweed book.

Honestly, isn’t the back so cute? I’m thinking I’m just going to have to walk backwards all the time now so people see it.

Pattern Cloud by Martin Storey in The Kasbah Collection
Yarn Rowan Summer Tweed
Modifications Put edging all around the neck
Thoughts I knitted the extra-small, even though I’m bigger than that and I ended up with 2 balls not used, but it is still, well, certainly not small on me. Probably about perfect. Moral: ALWAYS knit summer tweed way too small. I attached the bow with press studs so I don’t have to wash and iron it when I wash the jumper. I’m not completely fond of this yet, but I think after I wash it, Cloud and I will become closer.

Finished: Twisted V-pullover

I decided to follow this one to the letter: Twisted V-pullover by Alice Halbeisen. It is available free from Interweave Press, though their site is so irritating to use, I can’t readily find the link.

V-neck pullover by Alice Halbeisen
V-neck pullover by Alice Halbeisen

Like others I added a little to the length…also like others, I still wish I’d added more!

Twisted-V Pullover
Twisted-V Pullover

I’ve never knitted something with so much negative ease – too much???

Twisted-V Pullover
Twisted-V Pullover

Pattern Twisted V-pullover by Alice Halbeisen
Yarn Zara. It’s not as good as Karabella Aurora 8, but still, I’m more than happy to use it.
Modifications Added length and really, unless you are a complete exhibitionist, you have to do this.
Thoughts Well written out pattern, fun to knit. I’ve spent a couple of years avoiding the purl part of twisted rib, but it is only on the sleeves and you could do these in the round as well. I found, however, that it wasn’t the drama I was expecting. I accepted the advice about negative ease and, although a super-tight sweater isn’t really my thing, I’m not unhappy!

Hannah/Laurie reprise

Hannah Laurie after surgery
Hannah Laurie after surgery

Well, Hannah Laurie, one of my more recent failures, (the gory details are here) has had a bit of liposurgery done. She’s gone in for the chop and come back not perfect…but I think the pictures show up her new scar lines unforgivingly. A bit of sun, a bit of time and they will merge into the rest of the jumper.

Hannah Laurie, isn't that seam neat?
Hannah Laurie, isn't that seam neat?

Lessons learnt from this experience. I’m not talking about the obvious ones like check your gauge. I’m talking about after the mistake is done and dusted. I had a friend with an overlocking (?) machine cut a couple of inches out from the front and back and sew a seam. The whole thing looked rather wobbly and obvious so next Christina at Woolbaa had the idea of sewing a further seam which largely buried the wobbliness while leaving a slightly bulkier seam underneath. That doesn’t seem to have mattered. BUT I should have done the whole thing by hand. Ie, cutting and sewing by hand from the start would have been neater all round.

Hannah Laurie
Hannah Laurie

If you don’t really want to see her scar, look away now.

The scar.
The scar.

I love the edging on the bottom of the body:

Close-up of the lace edging
Close-up of the lace edging

and on the arms:

The arty closeup of the sleeve edging.
The arty closeup of the sleeve edging.

I’m happy….it is wearable now and it really wasn’t before. I will update with a picture after it has been washed to see if that settles the scar line.

Does this count as one and a half sweaters?

I had the best of intentions….

Laurie/Hannah by Louisa Harding
Laurie/Hannah by Louisa Harding

Ms Jane, A Melbourne girl had already combined the Hannah neck with the body Laurie and it looked like exactly what I wanted….

8 trillion inches of ease
8 trillion inches of ease

But muck about with body parts and, well, you might end up like Frankenstein.

Imagine plaintive violins in the background.
Imagine plaintive violins in the background.

I mentioned a few days ago that I was in the gauge sin bin and this is why….It’ll be a home girl, this one. If it is lucky it’ll get a trip to the coffee shop. The ease factor is ridiculous and it’s turned a cute sweater into a minor tragedy.

Yeah, yeah, the closeups look good.
Yeah, yeah, the closeups look good.
But I am not a closeup. I am a human being.
But I am not a closeup. I am a human being.

Pattern A combination of Laurie and Hannah from Louisa Harding Summer Classics.
Yarn Sublime Extrafine Merino DK. I prefer Karabella or Zara. I don’t think this feels as nice and the colour range isn’t nearly as good. Ms Jane did her gorgeous looking one in Zara.
Modifications Due to being way off – 3 st/4inches, if that is really possible – with gauge, I knew I was in great danger of running out of yarn. Hence instead of the full shebang lace edging for the sleeves, I did a seriously trimmed down model. Actually, I am happy with these couple of inches of knitting. If I’d knitted according to the pattern, I just would have ended up with something that I had to keep fishing out of my soup. Also, because the neck hole was now UGE, I repeated the lace around it, which just stops it falling right off my shoulders.
Thoughts This would have been a great project if I had been in cooee distance of gauge. Actually, I’m tempted to give it another whirl with Zara like the sensible Ms Jane did.

Possible up side: I’m in a group in which you have to knit a sweater a month….and I’m hoping this counts for more than one!

laurie-8-1

In the gauge sin bin.

I am speechless. If I used speech recognition software this would be a short post. Fortunately I can still use a keyboard.

The bad news:

There I was, cruising along on my Louisa Harding Laurie, well aware that I didn’t seem to have nearly enough yarn, even though 10 skeins of Sublime DK should have been more than ample. So, I modified as necessary to cover the yarn deficiency while muttering darkly about designers who can’t do simple maths. Finished it. Put it on. Maybe eight inches of ease…about 5 inches more than the pattern planned for.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. FIVE inches too much ease. So, about midnight I hopped out of bed, I took my new jumper down to the kitchen, got out the tape measure and took a look at my gauge. 19 st/4 inches rather than the called for 22.

There has to be a lesson here somewhere. I don’t doubt the lesson will contain some or all of the following words: Arrogance. Laziness. Overconfidence. Presumptuousness. Asininity.

Having said all that, however, I must say the reason I don’t bother with swatches is that my gauge is usually spot on. The idea that it will be out by 3 stitches/4″ is pretty much inconceivable. Which just goes to show…always expect the unexpected

The good news:
Clarissa will not be borrowing this one. She likes things to be fitted, feminine. These things my new sweater is not. Of course, it MIGHT be fitted on her soon enough. Ever since she got released by the Somalian pirates (see here) she’s been eating like there is no tomorrow. ‘The food they served up’….even now it makes her shudder.

I think when I get back from Surfers this weekend I’m going to suggest to her that I need to go on a diet, a bit of a get-fit campaign. Not that I need to myself, but I know how Clarissa’s mind works. She’ll hop on board ‘just to give me the support’. Who knows…it could do us both some good.

Drops 46-7 modified and finished.

This one sat at the bottom of my jumper drawer for about a year I guess. It was supposed to be this: Drops Sweater in Paris with Structure

Drops 46-7 Jumper
Drops 46-7 Jumper

I decided to do it in white without the contrast edging, which Sonia thought made it look dangerously sporty.

Having not done anything with quite so much cable to it before, I hadn’t realised just how it would suck up yarn. Once I finished the body I was looking at doing the sleeves in another dyelot, difficult, since I’d bought the yarn a couple of years back. Thinking about this made me realise how much the thing wanted to be a vest. It was begging for it.

Drops 46-7 modified
Drops 46-7 modified

I had in mind a winter vest, to be worn over jumpers. But the girls down at Woolbaa wanted to see it down as a summer top. So, some unpicking and re-ribbing of the armholes and it is as you now see it.

Drops 46-7
Drops 46-7

Pattern: Drops 46-7. A really enjoyable cabled project.
Yarn: Rowan All-Seasons Cotton in Bleached colourway.
Modifications: No sleeves.
Thoughts: Although I was discontent with this when I first put it away a year or so ago, I’m now really pleased with its new image.

Drops 46-7 closeup of cable detail.
Drops 46-7 closeup of cable detail.

Sandalwood by Jo Sharp

Sandalwood by Jo Sharp
Sandalwood by Jo Sharp

In the book this appears in wool, with the main colour quite dark….I imagine that doesn’t particularly show up the stitch detail to good effect. Since I was planning on a spring version I wanted to use cotton and shorter sleeves too.

Sandalwood
Sandalwood

Originally I had intended to use stash Soho cotton but when I sat down with all my yarn in hand I read the errata for the first time. Major error: the yarn quanities for the main colour need to be about double those indicated in the original pattern: 11 instead of 6, I think, for the small size I was knitting.

Sandalwood
Sandalwood

Hmmm. Not the first time this has happened to me this year. I ended up using another yarn I had in my stash as the main colour: RYC Luxury Cotton.

Sandalwood
Sandalwood

I love the colour of it: a pistachio green which I thought would go with everything, but maybe in truth it’s a much fussier colour than that. My many advisors were anxious about the combination I chose…but in the end I think it has turned out pretty well.

Pattern: Sandalwood by Jo Sharp
Yarn: RYC Luxury Cotton – the limitless space of the internet isn’t enough for me to begin to tell you how much I hate this yarn and in how many ways.
Modifications: I knitted this in the round, partly because the colour pattern at the bottom has so many colour changes in it, including after only one row, that I thought it would be less messy this way. I also decided that the enormous amount of ease written into the pattern wasn’t what I wanted, so after the bottom band of colour I decreased a whole pattern repeat (11 stitches) each side. I was worried I might have done that too quickly, but it seems to have turned out okay. I knitted the sleeves in the round as well.
Thoughts: I think I would have really enjoyed knitting this pattern if it hadn’t been in a despicable yarn. I could imagine doing another one in wool sometime and keeping the extra ease in it in that case.