My current work in progress:

Newlyn Jacket, by Jane Gottelier, knit from Rowan Original Denim, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

When Will I Learn?

My 2019 knitting has had an inauspicious start.

Shortly before the new year, I started work on Big Love by ANKESTRiCK, using one of the suggested yarns — Ístex Léttlopi. After working on it on New Year’s Eve, I quickly realized that the resulting sweater would be far to warm for me, given the thickness of the knitted fabric at the suggested gauge. I started it over on New Year’s Day using Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted from my stash — it made a lighter weight fabric at the required gauge.

But this past week I abandoned the project, for a couple of reasons.

The entire thing is knit in one piece. Why, why, WHY do designers design such a large heavy garment in one piece? This is an aran weight jacket, for pete’s sake. Granted it is a very clever design with very clever shaping, and I liked the look of the finished product, but once I got past the armholes (it is knit from the top down) I found it unbearable to work on. Way too much “stuff” on the needle, way too much warmth, even for sitting and knitting in the winter.

The other reason for abandonment: I don’t like the texture stitch used to knit the body. It does not look good in the yarn I chose.

When I threw it down in disgust after knitting just three rows one night last week. I realized that finishing it would be a big chore, not a relaxing knit. So into the frog pond it went.

And I need to remind myself that when I search Ravelry for patterns for worsted or heavier yarn, be sure to refine the search by selecting “seamed” construction. Argh. Of course, in my opinion, every garment should be seamed (unless there is a darn good reason not to work with seams, like in the case of stranded colorwork) as the structure provided by seams makes it hand better.

To counter that sad experience, I’ll post a recent success:

This is my modified version of Svenson by Jared Flood. I did not blog about it because it was knitted in stealth as a holiday gift.

I did some pretty major modifications to the raglan sleeve shaping and the neckline. The original pattern had a weirdly wide neck that I knew the recipient would not like, and changing that necessitated changing the raglan shaping. I also shortened the sleeves quite a bit.

So you can imagine how relieved I was when the finished sweater fit the recipient perfectly!

It is knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the 12 Mg colorway.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the giveaway for my review copy of Gradient Style: Color-Shifting Techniques & Knitting Patterns. The winner of my copy is sewknit2 who has been emailed.

Loki

It’s snowing today. Here is how Loki deals with that.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review of Big Love, I’ve been considering that one. Will think it over some more. The gift sweater is beautiful!

  2. I love the floof between Loki’s toes!

  3. I am glad to hear you say that about seaming. It is always an education to read your posts!

    Loki has some serious paw floof!

  4. Good to know, because I like that cardi. With fibromyalgia, I can’t knit heavy knitting any more; too painful… Loki is beautiful!
    Jocelyne´s last blog post ..Le swap de DOLLLS hiver 2018/19 – Les contes de fée

  5. Very sorry to hear that “Big Love” did not turn out to be big love for you. Especially considering that the pattern and Léttlopi go perfectly together as Léttlopi garments are very light and (the way I see it) become better and softer (without sagging) the more they are worn.
    Happy knitting – Carina.

  6. I love knitting in the round. I, on the other hand, can’t stand seaming. My seams turn out wonky and have to be redone multiple times, thus it takes me forever to finish projects with seams. I do all I can to find projects in the round or to make or modify them to one piece or as few pieces as possible. Guess that’s why there are different ways. Lol. The Jared Flood pattern is beautiful though. Keep up the beautiful work.

  7. I love knitting in the round. I, on the other hand, can’t stand seaming. My seams turn out wonky and have to be redone multiple times, thus it takes me forever to finish projects with seams. I do all I can to find projects in the round or to make or modify them to one piece or as few pieces as possible. Guess that’s why there are different ways. Lol. The Jared Flood pattern is beautiful though. Keep up the beautiful work.

  8. “When Will I Learn? ”
    I said those same words myself a couple weeks ago. I also ditched a sweater I was working on in favor of one knit in pieces. I do not care for seaming as I am not very good at it, but I get better each time.

  9. Thanks for sharing about your trip to the frog pond. I always feel that it might be my fault when I have to frog my knitting. It’s good to know that even experts can have that problem. Your gift sweater looks wonderful on the new owner.

  10. It’s a good lesson to be reminded of – you don’t have to finish everything you start. Good for you!

  11. Deborah Levinson says:

    Oh, do I agree with this! Pieces, always! By the time you finish a top-down sweater, you’ve flipped it hundreds of times. They look worn out before they’re finished! And I find it very hard to maintain my tension evenly across long, long rows.

  12. What a beautiful gift!
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, you are my knitting guru 🙂

  13. Many designers today don’t “do” seaming because many knitters (who don’t understand the important role that seaming plays in the support of a knitted garment) don’t like to seam. Similarly, many designers now only design “top-down” sweaters. IMHO, raglans and yokes don’t fit necklines and armholes as well as a good, now sadly old-fashioned, set-in sleeve. With a well-designed set-in sleeve, there isn’t extra fabric. There is a better range of motion. There are fewer visits to the frog pond!

  14. I have to admit, I love no seam sweaters. I know seams are important and serve a purpose but…. I’m lazy and when I finish knitting a sweater, I want a finished sweater. Did I mention I was lazy?
    Your sweater is fantastic & fit’s it’s recipient perfectly. How on earth did you accomplish that in secret?

  15. No, not everything will block out, as we all know.

    The paw floof is fantastic – as long as it isn’t on MY cat! And I recall a friend who desperately wanted a navy blue cat, for the obvious reasons.

  16. Thanks for your review.
    Your gift sweater is gorgeous! I know you love Wollmeise!

  17. That’s also how Loki deals with rain, sunny days, fog, hurricanes, earthquakes…..

  18. Thanks for the timely rant. I am about to start a sweater done in pieces and was contemplating converting it to a one-piece, but have now changed my mind. I don’t mind seaming, and it will be far easier to knit this on my upcming road trip if I’m not wearing a blanket in my lap.

    And your knitting, as always, looks beautiful!

  19. Dorothy Bunch says:

    You finished gift project is stunning and b.c what a great fit. Loki is as usual very adorable

  20. Don’t you think all in one piece is great for baby sweaters?? I love them!

  21. Charlottewv says:

    The Swenson sweater is soo neat!, I sure the recipient of this gift loves it. I’m always in awe of your knitting, you’re soo talented! And Loki certainly knows how to make the best of a snowy winter day! ?❤️?❄️

  22. Sharen Warren says:

    Thanks for sharing your abandoned protect with us. I like top-down in theory, but as you mentioned you soon have an entire garment in your lap. Some yarns “bias” too when knit in the round. I don’t mind sewing if it’s a good patters and the pieces fit together well. And the seams provide structure. When I was making most of my own clothes years ago, I preferred Vogue patterns, they had more pieces, but they fit so beautifully. Thanks for sharing your stealth/gift project. It is gorgeous and it fits the recipient beautifully.

  23. I know what you mean about a heavy sweater. I just finished this one http://www.lionbrand.com/knitting-pattern-waterford-cardigan-1.html At the end it was chore just to lug the thing around. LOL

  24. The Svenson is a very handsome sweater! It looks fabulous on the lucky recipient!
    Loki looks so comfy! Is he a snuggler? I so want to pick him up and cuddle him!

  25. Your Stevenson looks great Wendy, I am currently knitting one for my son. Do you have any notes or advice on how you raised the neckline?

  26. I like the photos of Big Love and can see why you were attracted to it. Too bad it didn’t work out. And Svenson is great – looks like a perfect fit. But look at that Loki! What a darling. And how floofy!! Incredible foot floof! (I saw that word being used elsewhere the other day, and figure they picked it up from you.)

  27. I don’t mind seaming and am rather good at it.
    But I love working top down because its so much easier to fit.
    And then again, I hate having a big ol wad of wool in my lap.
    So I work my shoulders/armholes/front-back assembly and stop. I thread something through the stitches, put the thing on, and measure how much more I need on the sleeves and on the body.
    Then I use a provisional cast on to work each sleeve, and to work the body (sometimes in two chunks, one from armhole to above the belly button and another the rest.
    I prefer the look of cuffs worked bottom to top and graft the hem pieces to the sleeves and bottom, try everything on together to adjust the length, and graft all the bits together.
    Grafting (aka Kitchener) is easy and fast if you don’t make a fetish out of it.
    You don’t need seams to make sweaters in smaller pieces. Or to reinforce shoulders so they don’t droop, or any other thing seams are supposed to be better at. Some people like seams, and there are some few places I still use them, like afghans, but most big pieces can be worked on as smaller pieces and grafted.

  28. I’ve recently started adding basting seams to seamless knits, it really helps to maintain the structure of the sweaters especially with long term use. And still gives me the option to fit as I go.

  29. Oh, that was very interesting. I like the look of Big Love, but I am not very good at sweaters. Or patient enough…So if I ever make one, I’ll totally go for a seamed one. I have to take a look on Ravelry for seamed sweaters:))
    Mihaela´s last blog post ..Valko’s hat with Paw stitch