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Posts Tagged ‘colorwork’

Anemoi Mittens

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Lovely pattern and fun to work. The pattern is to be found on Eunny Jang’s blog. The pattern occasionally took some guesswork and interpretation, but as is usual with this designer, the finished work is quite nice. I particularly like how DSCN0403 the thumb is in an anatomically correct position. One of my serious gripes about many other mitten pattern is that they either position the thumb right on the side seam, so the pattern on the back of the hand gets pulled around, or the thumb is placed flush on the palm, which can be uncomfortable and again distorts how the pattern sits on the hand.

I worked these in Regia 4-ply sock yarn, so they should hold up well and are machine washable! I’ve still got just over a skein of each color, so I’m sure that at some point in the future I’ll work something else in lavender and chocolate brown. The mittens are a little long, so I might try re-blocking them before I give them to the intended recipient.

Onward, to more mittens!

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Back in April, I knit up a sweater using the Lite Lopi pattern from The Best of DSCN1171Interweave Knits. I wanted a deeper yoke than the pattern called for, so I added some colorwork and did the decreases as called for in the pattern. Somehow, I wound up with too much yoke/too large an arm, but not enough decreasing. I bound off, blocked it into wearability, and headed off to Boston with my husband for a long weekend. After we got home, I folded up the sweater and stuck it in the closet to rest until I felt like fixing it.

Now that the weather is turning cool again, I thought that it would be nice to have a more functional sweater. So I pulled the sweater out of the closet, dug out the pattern, and started thinking about what was wrong with it.

I looked up the pattern on Ravelry, a knitter’s networking site, to see if any other knitters had my problem. Not too many other knitters seem to have done this one – only 32 projects came up on the Ravelry search. (By comparison, more popular patterns have been entered hundreds or even thousands of times.) Looking at the photos of other Lite Lopi sweaters, I decided that I really didn’t like the shaping or proportions.

DSCN0381 I did, however, still like the colorwork, and especially liked how my color choices turned out. So, I decided to keep the colorwork charts and instruction, and scrap the rest of the pattern. Instead, I pulled out the Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage system. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sweater “pattern,” nicknamed EPS, this is really a set of mathematical formulas for generating a sweater pattern. I didn’t even really do any math for this sweater. I measured a few other sweaters and blouses that fit me well, figured out where I wanted the yoke to start, and ripped out the previous yoke, back to the join at the armpits.

I started the colorwork again as stated in the pattern, knit for 1/2 the depth of the yoke, did the first set of decreases, and realized that I was out of colorwork charts. So, I started the charts over again, improvising some color changes and at one point totally making something up because I realized that I had made a mistake, and was tired of ripping things out. So far, so good.

Garments that are constructed with identical fronts and backs – such as the Lite DSCN0384Lopi pattern – tend to feel like the are always pulling back; this is because human bodies are not symmetrical from front to back. The EPS solution to this is to add some short row shaping. I started thinking about this as I got close to completing the yoke. I looked at the EPS directions for the shaping… and discovered that I was supposed to insert half of the short rows before starting  the yoke. At this point I uttered a few words that I will not repeat on this family-friendly blog.

Not wanting to rip back again, I picked a plain knit row and threw in a short row along the back. About an inch later, feeling adventurous, I found a not-too-complex colorwork row and added another short row. I tried on the sweater. Still looked good. So I finished the yoke, added another short row while knitting the collar, and bound off.

And, it looks nice! I’m not totally sure about the rolled collar; I might yet rip it out and do something different. But, at this point I am much, much happier with the sweater than I was 3 days ago. Yippie!

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I suppose that when every other thing I’ve knitted this year has been on fingering or laceweight yarn, anything I make on size 7 needles and Aran weight yarn is going to go fast. So all at once, here it is!

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This is the Lite Lopi Pullover, from The Best of Interweave Knits. Except that I subbed out the yarn, to Araucania Nature Wool, and changed the colors. And the neckline. And the cuffs. And the colorwork patterns. And the hems. And the shaping. Ok, so the pattern DSCN1171was really a point of departure. Sometimes, the pattern serves more as inspiration than a stitch-by-stitch guide to crafting a garment. Patterns are nice that way.

I’m planning a bit more tinkering, still. I’m not totally happy with the neckline and I want to add facings to the hems. However, you see my smiling face? That’s because the sweater is wearable, and I’ll be wearing it this weekend, because…

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Yep, it’s our anniversary! So we’re taking off tomorrow for a little romantic getaway, in sure-to-be-chilly Boston, where a nice wool sweater will be handy.

It’s been a good three years. See you next week!

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I’m still plugging away at Lightweight Mountain Peaks. Just 17 more border repeats to go…

In the meanwhile, I’ve been working on the Lite Lopi Pullover, from The Best of Interweave Knits. This is a yoke sweater, worked in aran-weight yarn. I’m using some Araucania Yarns Nature Wool. The ball band stated that the yarn would yield a gauge of 14 st/4 in., but since I can’t get anything less than 18 st/4 in. without creating an unacceptably loose fabric, I did a little math and figured that all should be well if I knit two pattern sizes up. I’m doing the body on US 7s and probably will do the colorwork for the yoke on size 9s. Yes, it’s true: I do own needles larger then US size 4!

DSCN1133I swatched in the round with the colors I chose one way, swapped two colors and swatched again, and decided that I liked the first combo better. This is “Bohus-inspired” sweater, which means that the colorwork uses both knit and purl stitches to create different textures. It had been challenging (I’ve never needed to purl with my right hand before!) and tends to pull in a bit, which is why I’m bumping up the the US 9s for the colorwork. I’ve also added a bit of color to the cuffs, to help keep me from going insane with all of the straight stockinette-in-the-round, also also because I might cut it close on the main color of yarn. DSCN1132

I’m making a few other modifications, lengthening the sleeves, of course, and also adding linings to the hems of the body and cuffs, and to the neck a la Elizabeth Zimmermann. So far, I’ve got the body and one sleeve done (did the sleeve + swatching in 1 day!) and I’m halfway up the 2nd sleeve. I’ll join the sleeves to the body tonight and hopefully be working on the yoke this weekend.

In other news, I’m still having a blast zooming all around town on my new bike! I estimate that I’ve saved about two tanks of gasoline already. They were a bit surprised (well, snotty might be a better word) at the salon when I showed up at the front desk asking if I could bring it in to park it (nowhere out front to lock it up!) but everyone else has been really positive and encouraging. My gynecologist was particularly enthusiastic today, even after I showed up for my DSCN1136appointment slightly sweaty, wearing bike shorts, with post-exercise elevated blood pressure. I suppose that doctors will forgive just about anything if it means you’re getting plenty of exercise. Life on the bike has been much happier since I got a new saddle with a cut-out. In my opinion it looks a bit funny, but after 20 miles I don’t care what it looks like, so long as it doesn’t hurt!

I’ve also got a summer project all set to go. Last week while socializing at the yarn store, I asked Sue Ann a question about clipless pedals, and she offered me her old bike, clipless pedals and all! It’s a small Trek with a carbon frame and a few other goodies, neglected for several years. I’m planning to learn some maintenance skills this summer, so having a bike around to overhaul should be fun. First up: figuring out how the Presta valve converter on my hand pump works!

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