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?

Koigu Navelli

I’ve been knitting a sweater, too, and even though it’s not done, I wanted to show it to you. The pattern is called Navelli (that’s a Ravelry link) and it’s designed by Caitlin Hunter. I’ve never knit a cropped wide sweater before (or worn one) but I really like this design. I’ve also been admiring sweaters lately that use a variegated or gradient dyed yarn along with solids in fair isle work. When I found several skeins of a really pretty colourway at the Koigu tent sale, I wanted to work with that.

The colourway that started me off is P528, a mix of teal and pink and blues, even with a bit of purple.

I found one contrast colour at Koigu: a teal in KPM, 5513. It looks kettle dyed, in that there’s variation in the tone, but not additional colours. There was only one skein so it had to take the place of the light pink in the original pattern.

When I got home and checked the stash, I discovered that I had three skeins of Shibui Knits Sock in purple. It was a perfect match, so that became my “brown”. The variegated colourway is my main colour for the body of the sweater. (This yarn is discontinued. I’d bought it originally to knit these opera gloves from Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009. Since then, I’ve realized that I’m unlikely to ever wear long knitted gloves, so the yarn has aged in the stash. It’s good to see it being put to work.)

Here is my Navelli before I split for the underarms:

Navelli knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke, in progress

The variegated yarn is a bit more emphatic than I’d expected. The tips of the fair isle in the purple kind of disappear into the pattern of the yarn, but what really surprised me was the pooling—and the big swirl. It looks a bit like the way hard candy swirls – like this image to the right. (That’s a stock image with its watermark intact.) The left lollipop really looks like this sweater to me!hard candy swirls

The strange thing is that I am knitting from alternate skeins (two rows from one, then two rows from the other) which should (theoretically) break up any pooling. This yarn, though, is determined to pool. I wondered what would happen when I split the sweater for the underarms – with half as many stitches being worked, I thought maybe the swirl would break up. It did, but it’s worse:

Navelli knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu KPPPM

It’s actually making vertical blobs now. Ugh. That decided it. The patterning in the yarn is distracting from the fair isle – and I think it’s ugly.  I’m going to frog back to the fair isle and reknit the stockinette with the colour that’s in the skeins at the top. It’s closer to a semi-solid than a variegated yarn, so should pattern like my Koigu Lunenberg. There’s purple in this colourway, too, but the blue in the fair isle might end up looking a bit off. I think it’s in there, but it’s not the dominant blue. This gives me a chance to make another measure of my gauge – it looks like I might need to stay on the smaller needles for the plain stockinette as well as the fair isle.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-rip it! I’m sad to do this, especially as I bought this variegated colourway specifically for this sweater, but that’s the way it goes.

Here’s my project page on Ravelry.