Almost-Done Comfort Fade Cardigan

I’ve been working away steadily on my Comfort Fade Cardigan and have an update – it’s almost done!

The previous post on the sweater is here. I had finished the yoke and was comparing the fit to other sweaters in my closet. Here it is after I finished the body. (This one is top-down, so I did the bottom ribbing last.) It was tough to confirm the fit because the collar ribbing is so wide – at this point, when I tried it on, it seemed to be falling off my shoulders.Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

I picked up the stitches to do the neck next (before the sleeves) to manage my yarn. I didn’t have enough of all the colourways, so decided to do the neck, then use half of whatever was left for each sleeve.

When I picked up the stitches for the neck, I forgot that the right side of the cardigan shows the purl side of the reverse stockinette. I also followed the directions and picked up with the first colour, which is my lightest one. At the bottom is my pick-up from the wrong side, which doesn’t look good on what will be the right side. At the top is my pick-up from the right side, which looks better.

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah CookeI did decide to frog and reverse the order of the colourways on the collar, picking up with my last colour, which is the brown. It blends in better and looks neater. See?

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

The collar is shaped with short rows for this sweater and it’s huge. In the picture above, you can see the wedges of short rows that add to the depth of the collar. It’s quite squishy and luxurious.

I cheated on the sleeves and knitted them inside out. (Ha. This makes me feel so clever.) This way, I could knit them in the round instead of having the purl them. The only thing is that I had to remember to leave the ends on the side facing me, not the opposite side as usual.

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

The sleeves are a little long and I didn’t finish all of the decreases as specified. Here’s the almost-completed sweater – I balled up the other sleeve in the shoulder and you can see one of my DPNs peeking out there:

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

I couldn’t crop out that wonderful beam of sunlight. It’s so nice to see the sun again!

I’ll take some more pictures when the sweater is done. All I have to finish is that cuff. What do you think?

Comfort Fade Cardigan

There is a new(ish) knitting trend to knit with colours dyed in a progressing, fading from one to the next. For me, this started with Andrea Mowbry’s shawl Find Your Fade, which was published in December 2016 and is enormously popular. There are over 8000 projects on Ravelry! Andrea has designed other knitwear that features this kind of colour shift, and I’m knitting one right now.

Her Comfort Fade Cardi is an open-front, shawl collar cardigan, which is knit from the top down. It has raglan sleeves and requires four colours to fade into each other over the length of the cardigan. Since I always find it a bit dull to knit cardigans in stockinette stitch, I thought that watching the colours might motivate me. (It worked for my Hebrides cardigan, knit in striped KidSilk Haze.)

4 Balls of Rowan ColourscapeFor this project, I raided my stash and chose my leftovers of Rowan Colourspun. I had knitted Mr. Math a vest in this yarn, then bought more to make myself a sweater when it was discontinued. Here’s a post about his vest. The pattern is called Skye.

So, in my stash, I have a russet, a brown, a green and a taupe in the Colourspun. This yarn has a gradual gradation and is kind of heathered. I thought it would be a good choice for a fade. I don’t have the right quantities that the pattern calls for – I have enough yardage, but more russet than I need and less brown. The yarn is discontinued, so I’ll work it out.

Comfort Fade Cardi knit in Rowan Colourspun by Deborah CookeHere’s the cardigan as of last Sunday. I’d just divided for the arms. You can see that the ribbing for the neckline has a good bit of space to fill – this sweater is designed to be worn open, so the fronts with the ribbing will just meet. It’s also designed so that the purl side is worn out, which makes it look even more blended.

I used the taupe first, then the green and have just started to fade into the russet. think it’s funny that the brightest bit of the taupe fell in the last two rows of it after fading into the green. 🙂

Here’s a look at the many colours in this yarn – I’ve been knitting more since the other pix were taken on Sunday, so it’s longer now:

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

The top is the taupe, fading into the green – which you can see is striping on its own – then into the russet. At the bottom, I’ve just started to transition to the brown.

I have a hard time getting a good fit with top-down raglans, but I think I’ve finally figured out why – which means I know what to do about it in future. I hadn’t finished the specified increases but it looked big, so I took it off the needles to try it on. (This is a very cool thing about top-down raglans – you can try them on as you go.) Then I compared it with a sweater I already have, which fits – in this case, one of my Hebrides in KSH. The Hebrides has a closer fit and is in a finer yarn, but you can see that it was definitely time to break for the sleeves. If I’d knit those remaining 12 rows, the sweater would have been droopy.

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

And here’s where I had my Eureka moment. See how wide the neckline is compared to the other sweater? Of course, the style is different, but when I try it on, it’s trying to fall off my shoulders. I’m narrow in the shoulders and when I sew, I always cut a smaller size above the bust to accommodate that. I should be casting on a smaller size than the one specified for my bust when I knit a raglan sweater for exactly the same reason. Aha!

I’m not going to frog this and start over, though. It’ll be a little slouchier than the original design, but I really like it. I have a feeling I’ll be knitting this pattern again, and will incorporate my changes then. In the meantime, I can fix another sweater that’s been waiting on me because I know what to do.

What do you think of this cardi so far?

Knit, Knit, Quilt

We haven’t had a Fibre Friday in a while, so let’s fix that today.

First of all, I finished that pair of socks, the ones I cast on so I could tell my niece how to knit socks in Patons Kroy Jacquard. (You might remember that blog post. I wrote out my sock pattern for her, once I figured out what I do.) Here they are:
Socks knit by Deborah Cooke in Kroy Sock Jacquard

You see that the toes don’t match exactly. I had a lot of knots in one of the balls, so did a bunch of joins. I decided just to use one of the little balls up to finish the second toe, instead of winding through what was left to find a match. That was the lower sock – it also had some sections where the yarn wasn’t dyed as much. See the white bits on that pink and purple stripe above the heel?

I have been knitting away on my Bohus-inspired pullover and am almost done the ribbing at the bottom of the body. About sixteen rows to go! The stockinette from the bottom of the yoke to the hip ribbing seemed endless but it’s done. I can’t wait to cast it off and try it on. I should be able to show you next week. The yarn is lovely. Then I’ll knit the sleeves, which have the treat of a little bit of colour detail at the cuff. I’m thinking of that as a reward for slogging through all the stockinette. 🙂

And, because I have the attention span of a flea when it comes to knitting projects, I cast on another sweater at Christmas. It’s been an addictive knit, so I’ve completed the back. This is Wilhelmina in Rowan Colourspun, a yarn I’m already missing. (It’s discontinued.) I was waiting for a brighter day to take pictures but it’s still snowing and still dingy, so the pix are a bit dull.

Wilhelmina knit by Deborah Cooke

Oh, so many modifications on this one! First, I’ve substituted colours. The pattern calls for a different red that is more rosy—Giggleswick—but I used Jervaulx, which is more blue. Because of that, I switched out the contrast colours. The pattern called for a taupey gold and a blue-green. I’ve switched those to two shades of grey, and for the fourth colour, I used Rowan Felted Tweed in Seasalter. The Bute cardigan used Felted Tweed and Colourspun together, even though Felted Tweed seems much thinner (It’s less fluffy.) Seasalter is the exact shade of the blue thread in Jervaulx, but in the knitting, it’s a bit too close to the value of the darker grey to stand out as much as would be ideal. In this pattern, it also seems thin. It’s just an accent colour, though, so I’ll carry on with it as the fourth shade.

Yarn choices for Wilhelmina knit by Deborah Cooke

I also modified the shape of the sweater. It’s hard to see in the picture on the Rowan site, but the body is very wide on this sweater and the shoulders actually slope down, almost to the elbows. (You can see it in some of the project photos on Ravelry, which are pictures from knitters who have made the sweater. I think it’s funny how many of them take the same pose as the Rowan model for at least one of their pictures.) I didn’t think this would be very flattering, given my pear shape, so I used the stitch counts from Bute, which is the knitted at the same gauge, but the fair isle pattern from Wilhelmina. It will fit like Bute but have reindeer, which sounds ideal to me. I’ll make a round neck at the front, too, instead of the v-neck on Bute.

It is interesting to see how muted and muddled the fair isle is—I would never have guessed that the grey and the red would blend as much as they did. I do like it, though, and have cast on the fronts.

A couple of weeks ago, I promised to show you some things I rediscovered in the reorganization of my fabric stash. Here are my little batik dragon blocks, which were forgotten in the stash. It looks as if I ordered them from Keepsake Quilting but it was a long time ago. I have to find a good use for them.

Batik dragon blocks

And here’s a partially pieced quilt which I totally forgot about. The turquoise border is a length of fabric from Africa, which I won in a raffle at a romance writers’ conference in British Columbia probably twenty years ago. It’s so pretty, but very stiff. I have no idea where or why I came up with this palette and this design, but I like it. I need to get this one finished.

Quilt top pieced by Deborah CookeI cut the border fabric to piece this center for the quilt and set in squares at the corners, too. There’s a wider piece of border, as well, which I’ll use for an outer border. It looks as if I intended to put more little squares in between the two borders, as I’ve made up some 9-patch blocks from the fabrics used in the center. It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle as the amount of border is limited. I’ll have to do something else in the corners. In the picture below, I laid the wide border against the narrow one so you can see what it looked like before I cut it.

border fabric from Africa

It is such pretty fabric. The gold is metallic, and that medallion in the black border says GCA. It seems to me (hmm) that there were two African fabrics in the raffle, that another quilter won the other one and we decided to split them both in half so we each had a piece of each print. I’m going to have to go looking for that second fabric in my stash!

What have you been crafting lately?

Stashbusting — Or Not

A few weeks ago, I knit a hat out of yarn from my stash. It was a great quick project which used up some bits and ends of wool, and I liked the resulting hat a lot. (Here’s the post on it.) In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to knit another one, using up even more bits in my stash.

Skye in Rowan Colourspun, knitted by Deborah CookeThe yarn I chose to use was left over from the Skye vest I knit for Mr. Math in Rowan Colourspun. I love the colours and he loves the vest—plus it’s very soft and warm.

Here’s the post on the Skye vest.

I used that red from the ribbing for the main colour of the hat. I had less than one ball of it left, but I’d used less than a ball of the main colour for my grey hat, so I knew that was enough. I also used some left over Felted Tweed from my Bute cardigan (which I ended up giving to my Mom.)

Here’s the post on the Bute cardigan.

Here’s the second hat, alongside the first one:

Fair Isle hats knit by Deborah Cooke

I LOVE this hat. I love the colours and the way they combine. In fact, I love them so much that I wanted to make myself a vest in these same colours and stitch pattern. Colourspun is a discontinued yarn, so that meant (ha) that I had to buy the yarn immediately. I could only find that red at one store, in fact. (Insert knitter’s panic.) I bought more than I really needed, then, because if I run out, THERE WILL BE NO MORE.

So, my stashbusting plan resulted in my using up half of a ball of red Colourspun—then buying six more. I don’t think that’s how stashbusting is supposed to work! What do you think of my hat?

Finished Vest

You might remember me talking about a vest I was knitting for Mr. Math a few weeks ago – if not, that post is right here. The pattern is called Skye, designed by Brandon Mably, from Rowan 52. I actually knitted it without substituting the yarns (a strange and incredible thing). It uses four colours of Rowan Colourspun. I finished it last week and really like it. As a bonus, Mr. Math also really likes it (!) and it fits perfectly!

Here it is:

Skye in Rowan Colourspun, knitted by Deborah Cooke

This picture is more true to the colours than the last one. What do you think?