Knitting Along

I didn’t post about my knitting last week, because I didn’t have anything finished to show you. I’m knitting along on some projects that are taking a while. So, let’s have a progress report today.

You might remember that I was going to frog the stockinette of my Navelli because I didn’t like the way the variegated colourway was pooling. Well, I have a sweater-quantity of a semi-solid Koigu in my stash, and since it’s a generous sweater quantity, I borrowed four skeins from that to use for my Navelli. This colour is working out much better – here it is:

Navelli knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu KPPPM

The trick is that now I don’t love the blue in the fair isle section. :-/ It matched perfectly with the variegated colourway and is okay with this one. I’m not frogging back again. Que sera sera.

I’ve also been knitting away on my Nightshift shawl in Koigu KPPPM. I showed you the beginning of it here. My plan is to include the red – leftover from my Lunenberg cardigan – as one colour in each stripe. Here’s where I am now:

Nightshift knit in Koigu KPPPM by Deborah Cooke

At this point, I’ve started the sixth repeat of the 20-row pattern sequence. (I’m calling a 20-row repeat a stripe.) The first one has a red background and the lightest purple as contrast. The second repeat has the lightest purple as the background and the red as the contrast colour. The third repeat has the darkest purple as the background and the red as the contrast. The fourth repeat has the middle purple as background with the red as the contrast. The fifth repeat has the red in the background again, and the first purple as the contrast. The sixth repeat (which I’ve just started) has the red in the background and the darkest purple as contrast. It is interesting how the purples, which look so different from each other, are difficult to distinguish from each other once they’re knitted up with the red.

Koigu KPPM for Deborah Cooke's Nightshift shawl

I like this pattern a lot. It’s clever (it has i-cord binding on both edges that is knitted as you go_ and the pattern is easy to memorize. It’s a great way to use up different colourways in the same yarn, which means I’ll probably knit another one (or two).

I’ve also started to spend some time on my Audrey cardigan, which has been waiting on its sleeves for a while. Not only is it a cable pattern, but the dark purple means I need to knit it in daylight to see what the heck I’m doing. I have to have an hour in the afternoon of a sunny day, which doesn’t happen that often. The yarn is fuzzy and sheds – I keep it wrapped in a teatowel, which I spread on my lap when I’m working on it – and it makes my nose tickle a little. (It’s an angora blend, called Rowan Angora Haze. It’s also discontinued.) Here are the sleeves so far:

Audrey cardigan in Rowan Angora Haze, knit by Deborah Cooke

This yarn is so fuzzy that the camera didn’t know where to focus! The stitch pattern was reasonably easy to memorize but it’s not TV knitting. I put it aside because I thought the sleeves were too wide. I still think they are, even though I’m knitting a smaller size of sleeve. I’ll make them bracelet length and hope that does the trick.

I never showed you the body finished and assembled. Here it is, although I’m not convinced about the buttons yet. They’re a bit sparkly for me – that one is still on the button card.

body of Audrey cardigan in Rowan Angora Haze knit by Deborah Cooke

I think my next project needs to be with thicker yarn!

I also went to the Woodstock Fleece Festival last weekend with a friend, which was a nice yarny fix. It was a beautiful fall day and there were so many vendors with wonderful yarn and fleece. Temptation was everywhere!  In the end, I only bought two skeins of yarn – some sock yarn from an indie dyer and a skein of Spin Cycle Yarns Dream State, which I’ve been wanting to squish for a while. It’s actually the specified yarn for Nightshift. I’ll use this skein as the contrast colour on the yoke of a sweater I’m planning – the pattern is Fern & Feather (that’s a Ravelry link) and that ball of purple on the right will be the background colour.

Phew! Lots of purple on my needles. What have you been knitting lately?

The Red Cardigan Completed

I finished my red Lunenberg cardigan (that’s a Ravelry link) and I just love it. This is a basic cardigan but using the Koigu KPPPM really made it spectacular.

Lunenberg Cardigan knit in Koigu KPPPM by Deborah Cooke

Once again, the colour isn’t true in the pictures. It’s a cherry red, but seems to photograph pink.

I was really pleased that the colours didn’t pool at all. The sleeve caps ended up looking a bit lighter than everything else, but it was just the way the colour worked out.

I showed this sweater to you earlier, without the sleeves, in this post.

I changed out the ribbing for garter stitch, because I really like how KPPPM looks in garter stitch. I used just over 8 skeins of KPPPM, so there could be another of these in my future. Here’s the link to my project page on Ravelry.

What do you think?

The Red Cardigan

I haven’t had any knitting to show you for a while, because I’ve been knitting away on a couple of big projects. I’ve almost finished the Wingspan shawl – I’ve knit the wing tips and cast off half of the shawl width. I have to do the other side, then block it, so I should have that to show you soon.

Here’s a progress report on my red cardigan in Koigu KPPPM. I’m working on the collar right now – you can see my needle in the stitches – then have just the sleeves to knit.

Lunenberg Cardigan knit in Koigu KPPPM by Deborah Cooke

Once again, the colour looks a lot more pink in this image than it actually is. The yarn is a wonderful rich red and not very pink at all. (I talked about that in my last post about this project.) It actually matches the currant jelly I made this week. 🙂

The pattern is the Lunenberg cardiganhere’s a Ravelry link. The pattern is included in By Hand Serial #9 – you can see more about that publication on their website, here.

I’ve made some changes. Instead of ribbing on the hem, button bands and collar, I’m using garter stitch – mostly because I love how garter stitch shows off the colours of Koigu. I made a mistake in my calculations for the button band – there are supposed to be 8 buttons on the button band and one in the collar, but the way I figured it out, there are 9, plus the one in the collar. I’m not going to rip it back because I have another card of these buttons. Here’s my project page on Ravelry.

I am loving the softness and the colours of this yarn – which means, yes, we’ll be making another trip to the Koigu tent sale this August.

What do you think?

Another Trip to the Koigu Tent Sale

It happened again! For the third time, we made the trek to the Koigu Tent Sale in August.

It was much busier this year, and it poured rain on the way there. I had a plan, though.

First, I wanted yarn for a pullover in the current issue of Pompom Quarterly. It’s called Ixchel – you can see it on the front cover of the issue preview on the PomPom site, or follow the pattern name link to the sweater on Ravelry. I chose these two colours of Koigu.

I’m a bit concerned that the blue mix might have too much going on for fair isle work, but I’ll do a swatch and see. I bought enough of the blue that I could knit a pullover in just that colour, just in case. 🙂

My second mission was to get a single skein of Mori (a silk and wool blend) in a darker colour that coordinated with the Mori I bought two years ago at the sale. I’ve chosen a pattern called Tranquil Mist and have just about exactly the right yardage. That makes me nervous, so having this purpley-black skein is a kind of insurance: if I run out of the turquoise Mori on the right, I can finish with the darker colour.

The red I bought because, well, it’s red and beautiful. I have four skeins of it and love it to bits so it will be used for something.

What about the Koigu I’ve bought at the tent sale before? Well, last year, I bought a kit with ten skeins in ranges of purple and a pattern book. I’ve knit one shawl, which used half that yarn:

Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu

That’s the other five skeins in a row on the floor. You can read the blog post about the finished shawl right here – Charlotte’s Web.

I’m also working on a cardigan in one of the colourways I bought the first year. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and there was a post about it here. I’ve made some progress on that one in the last month or so and will show it to you when I finish the body. I’m about halfway down the lace bit, but the rows are long so each one takes a while.

What have you been knitting lately?

And what do you think of my new Koigu?

My Juicy Gloss Cardigan in Koigu

I’ve been distracted by a new knitting project and thought I’d share my progress with you today. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and it’s an open-front cardigan, with lace fronts. It’s knit top-down and has some interesting details. Here’s a link to the Juicy Gloss pattern on Ravelry.

One thing I wanted to change was the length of the fronts. I want them longer but still swingy. So, instead of working increases only for the sleeves and back, I did them for the fronts as well. I took the sweater off the needles last weekend to check the fit and here’s what it looked like then:Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s back on the needles now and I’ve divided for the sleeves. There’s a lovely short-row inset on the back that I’m currently knitting. This designer has really paid attention to the details.

And the colours of the Koigu! These pictures don’t nearly do the colourway justice plus it looks a bit more mauve here than in real life. It’s gorgeous. The mix of colours reminds me of granite. Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

Part of the reason I cast on this project is that I’ve gone to the Koigu tent sale the past two summers and bought yarn, but not knit very much of it. (I did knit one shawl this winter.) I decided I needed to knit a sweater before going again this summer.

What do you think?

Charlotte’s Web Finished!

Today’s Fibre Friday post is a little late, because I needed to wait for some light to take pictures. We had snow, so that made a good backdrop, but it wasn’t sunny yet so the colours are a bit dull compared to real life.

I talked about this shawl last week, and here’s the picture of it in progress with the skeins again:

Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu

I did use the progression at the lower right corner, as planned. You can see that the lace pattern is bunched up. I knew it would blossom when it was blocked, and wow, I was right.

Charlotte's Web knit in Koigu KPPPM by Deborah Cooke

The blocked shawl is over a meter deep. I really like the colour gradation in it. I was worried about the fifth colour, that it might be too inky, but IRL it picks up the rosy and inky tones of #4.

As mentioned before, I decided against the fringed edge and tried to use up all the yarn instead in the shawl. I knit the last four rows with the first colour, then did an I-cord bind-off with it.

Here’s a close-up of that lace pattern:

Charlotte's Web, detail, knit in Koigu KPPPM by Deborah Cooke

What do you think?

Making Stripes

It’s time to talk about knitting again!

I finished my Earth Stripe Shawl and immediately started on another famous knit – Charlotte’s Web. This is a design from Koigu that requires 5 skeins of their KPPPM. (Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino). You change colours gradually as you knit the shawl, so there’s a gradation thing going on. The original pattern shows a heavy fringe, but I don’t like fringes. I decided to just use up all five skeins and make the shawl bigger.

I bought a bundle of ten skeins in shades of purple at the Koigu tent sale last summer (with a pattern book) and had a lot of fun this fall switching them around in various combinations. (These ten-skein Paint Packs are illustrated on the KPPPM page. Scroll down to see them all. Mine is the Royal Purple – you’ll be able to see why I had a hard time choosing one!) The first three in my shawl were the ones at the top left that obviously went together to me. The others, hmm, required some consideration.

Koigu KPPPM pruples

Here’s the shawl so far. This is about 2.5 skeins in, a little less because I kept a good chunk of the first skein to knit a contrast hem at the end. Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu

The two caked up skeins at the bottom right will be my next two colours, then I’ll do a hem of some kind in the first colour. I’m using the two of the skeins at the top right of the first picture – the middle one in that picture is #4 and the inky one below it will be #5. The other five skeins are for another shawl, in the order of the second photo. Maybe I’ll start with the pinky one at the right and just make another Charlotte’s Web. We’ll see.

This shawl is a really lovely knit. The lace repeat is easy to memorize, so it’s my tv knit. There are a lot of comments on Ravelry about the instructions being confusing, but I haven’t found that – maybe because I just used the chart for the lace. Since taking this picture, I’ve almost finished with the fourth colour. This one is really going to bloom when it’s blocked!

What do you think?

Koigu Fingerless Gloves

I work in Mr. Math’s office when I format book interiors and upload content to the retail portals. It’s colder in there than in my office, and my hands get chilled. Recently, I decided to solve that. I dove into the stash and found two colours of Koigu, then knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves.

Fingerless gloves knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke

The two colourways coordinate so well that it’s hard to see that there are two colours. The second one had that darker aubergine in it and a brighter chartreuse.


I knit the cuff in the first colour, striped them through the hand, then did the fingers in the first colour again. This is a pattern that I just made up as I went. The directions are below, mostly in case I need them again to knit another pair. 🙂

I do like the thumb gusset.Fingerless gloves knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke

• Wool: 55g of sock yarn in one colour, or 30g colour A and 25g colour B for stripes
• 2.75mm needles. (I used DPN’s but a pair of short circulars would also work)
• markers
• stitch holders

• Cast on 60 stitches in A and join in round. PM at beginning of round.
• Work 2/2 rib for 24 rows.
This is the cuff.
• For the hand, if making stripes, work 6 rows of B, 2 rows of A, 6 rows B. If not making stripes, work 14 rows.

Begin thumb gusset, continuing in stripe pattern:
• work to first knit ridge. M1 before the knit ridge, PM, K2, M1, then finish the round. Work 1 round, knitting the new stitches.
You now have a 4-stitch knit ridge. The outside stitches (which you just made) will be the outer boundary of the gusset and new stitches will be made on either side of that same central knit ridge. The marker will stay before the two central knit stitches and indicates the place for the first increase.

• Next row,  work to the 4-stitch knit ridge. K1, M1, keep marker here, K2, M1, K1, continue to end of round. Work one row, knitting the new stitches.

• On R13, work to the 6-stitch knit ridge. K1, M1, K1, keep marker here, K2, M1, K2, continue to end of round. Work one row, purling the new stitches.

• Continue, increasing 1 stitch before and 1 stitch after the central 2 knit stitches to 84 stitches. You will have increased twelve times for a total of 24 new stitches, and the 2/2 rib will be complete all the way around.

• Keep the 26 stitches of the thumb gusset on your needles and place the stitches for the rest of the hand on a stitch holder. Work once around in A in 2/2 rib, making two new stitches in the gap that will be the base of the thumb. On the second row, purl these stitches. Work 3 more rows and cast off thumb.

• Put the remaining stitches back on your needles. Work 1 round, picking up two stitches at the base of the thumb from those two cast-on stitches. They’ll be knit stitches on the next round. Work 6 more rounds in B, finishing the last stripe, and break B.

• For index finger, put 16 stitches on your needles (8 on either side of the thumb), make two stitches on the side opposite the thumb, join in round and work 8R in A, then cast off.

• For middle finger, put the next 8 stitches from the back of the glove on the needles, using A, pick up two stitches from the two created on the side of the index finger, knit the next 8 stitches from the front of the glove, make two more stitches in the space that will be between the middle and the ring finger, join in round. Work 8 rows, then cast off.

• For the ring finger, repeat, picking up 8 stitches from the front and back, and two on each side.

• For the small finger, work on the remaining 12 stitches, picking up two between the small finger and ring finger. You might want to only knit 6 rows before casting off.

Sew in the ends and be warm!

Road Trip to the Koigu Tent Sale

Koigu YarnsAlmost two weeks ago, we took a day trip to the Koigu Tent Sale. I promised last week to show you my acquisitions, and here they are!

Koigu is famous for their handpainted yarns in beautiful colourways. Their base yarn is called KPPPM, which means Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino. The first thing I bought was a beautiful shade of KPPPM:

Koigu KPPPM 446

Here’s a detail shot of the colour, but it doesn’t begin to do it justice. There are so many subtle variations of blue, green and purple in this yarn. It’s amazing.Koigu KPPPM 446

The second thing I bought was kind of a kit. There were ten skeins of KPPPM in a similar colourway along with the book Wrapped in Colour. I had a peek through the book and liked several of the shawls—the two I like each take 5 skeins. Looks like someone planned that out! Again, the picture doesn’t do the colours justice. I’m having fun just putting them in different order to knit gradations: the three at the top left obviously go together, but the other combinations are less obvious.  Koigu KPPPM pruples

I’m determined to finish my Earth Stripe shawl before I cake up this Koigu and cast on another shawl.

What do you think of my choices?

That Koigu Yarn

A few weeks ago, Koigu yarns had their first-ever tent sale. I didn’t even know about it, until my editor mentioned it—after I’d talked about the sale at Spinrite. I’ve never knit with Koigu yarn because their colours are so beautiful that I can never choose.

Koigu Yarns

Also, I picked up a new-to-me knitting magazine and fell in love with one of the patterns included. It’s an Interweave publication called knit.wear, which has beautiful photography. The pattern from the Spring/Summer 2016 edition is called Katherine. They don’t show it on their site, but here’s a Ravelry link.

It’s a strange thing that I seldom have the yarn I need for a pattern or a good substitute in my stash. You’d think that as a stash got larger, it would be possible to knit anything from it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Koigu KPPPM (it turned out) looked like a perfect substitute for the specified yarn. (See the fortuitous timing? This is how the universe encourages and enables the building of stash.)

I was curious to see where Koigu paint their yarns because I love to see where it all happens. (They don’t raise their own sheep any more.) Mr. Math was up for a road trip, so we packed a picnic and away we went.

The yarns were every bit as beautiful as I remembered from seeing them in stores, but at the sale, I found it easier to choose. In stores, they tend to hang the skeins on hooks to display them, or pile them into cubbies. They might be sorted by dominant tone or not. I always find the riot of colour a bit overwhelming. At the tent sale, however, they had the yarn packed up in clear bags, each bag containing all of a dye lot—usually 20 skeins. (There was a discounted price if you bought all of a dye lot.) Because there were “bricks” of colour stacked on the shelves, I found it much easier to hone in on my favourites.


Still, I had two favourites. 🙂 Mr. Math reminded me that we’d had a bit of a drive to get there and advised me to buy them both, so I did. (It’s true—I don’t need that much encouragement.)

Here they are. Those who handpaint and dye yarn always say it’s easier to see how the colourway will knit up if you cake it, so I caked one of each for comparison. I had wanted either a red mix or a grey mix—turns out I have both.

I’m itching to cast on and start knitting with these beauties (still, I have to choose between them somehow!) but am determined to finish another project first. I’ve never knit so fast on anything as I’m knitting on that Bohus sweater right now!