My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Sundew

First things first, the winner n last week’s giveaway of Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford’s “A Year of Techniques” is Ruth Hibberson, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone else for leaving a comment!

Onward . . . here is my current project:

This is the back of Sundew, a cardigan designed by Martin Storey for Rowan. I am knitting mine from Rowan Softyak DK although the pattern calls for Rowan Moordale. I have the back and the left side front done.

This pattern has sone oddities. If you go look at the pattern photo on Ravelry, you will see that the side fronts are not mirror image of each other. There are no photos of the back, but it is equally un-symmetrical . To me, that looks weird. I can’t help but think that this was an obvious choice on the part of the designer, but I do not like the way it looks. So I reworked the charts so that I get the symmetrical look that makes me happy. Perhaps this makes me rigid or traditional, but seriously, the pattern as written looks like an error to me.

Speaking of pattern errors, I note that the directions for the right side front just sort of stop as soon as they tell you to start shaping the neck. There’s two more paragraphs of instruction for the left front. The intent may have been for the directions to say to work as for the left front reversing all shaping (which I personally think is sort of lazy pattern-writing), but it doesn’t even say that, so I have to think this is an editorial glitch.

So say I.

Loki is too busy napping to say anything.

Boost Your Knitting

Note: This past week my site got upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, and the text editor has a totally different interface. Fun times! So please excuse any unintended weirdness in formatting here!

I have a fun announcement for you all!

You may know Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford — the creators of A Year of Techniques. 

Meet Jen and Jim!

Well, they have developed a brand-new program, Boost Your Knitting: Another Year of Techniques.

Boost Your Knitting is a program to teach you new skills in your knitting. It covers twelve new techniques, with twelve patterns from twelve fabulous designers (guess who is one of them?), twelve sets of photo and video tutorials, and most importantly, twelve opportunities for knitters to experience the joy of learning something new!

Each project is small enough to be completed within a month, but also makes a beautiful item (think hats, socks, shawls and so on). Every month there will be a knitalong for that technique over in the Arnall-Culliford Knitwear Ravelry group. Boost Your Knitting includes the digital patterns and photo tutorials delivered monthly as well as a print copy of the book shipped worldwide in September 2019. It costs £30.00 and this includes worldwide shipping.

They also have a Spring Kit available that includes all the yarn for the first three months’ worth of patterns. Kits for Summer, Autumn and Winter will become available later in the year. And there’s an Ultimate package that gives you the digital patterns and tutorials, print book and all four seasonal kits. Full details and pricing can be found on the
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear website or via Jen’s profile on Instagram (@JenACKnitwear).

I mentioned twelve fabulous designers:

Left to right and top to bottom: Anna Maltz (@sweaterspotter), Carol Feller (@feller.carol Photo by Kate O’Sullivan), Ella Austin (@bombellaella Photo by Emma Solley), Felicity Ford (@knitsonik), Joji Locatelli (@jojilocat), Jen And Jim Arnall-Culliford (@JenACKnitwear and @veuftricot Photo by Jesse Wild), Julia Farwell-Clay (@farwellclay), Nathan Taylor (@sockmatician), Nancy Marchant (@nancymarchantbrioche Photo by Alexandra Feo), Sarah Hatton (@hattonknits Photo by I Hobson), Thea Colman (@theacolman), Tori Seierstad (@torirotdesign), Wendy D. Johnson (@wendy_knits)

I am very proud to be in such exalted company!

But wait, there’s more!

If you are unfamiliar with Jen & Jim’s work, here is an opportunity to win a copy their previous book: A Year of Techniques. Jen has kindly offered a copy of the print version plus the ebook to one of my readers. To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment on this post by Sunday, February 17 at 11:00 am Eastern Time. A winner will be randomly selected at that time.

Loki sez . . .

Whazzup?

Alert the Media: I Knit Something

January was an inauspicious month for me, knitting-wise. I started three good-sized projects, got at least one-third of the way through each one, and abandoned each one. Real-life nonsense has been interfering with knitting on a regular basis, and that is my excuse.

But look — I managed to crank out an FO before the end of the month!

This is a free pattern, January Hat by Courtney Kelley of Kelbourne Woolens. You may or may not know that Kelbourne Woolens last autumn resurrected Germantown worsted wool (you can read about it on their website here). Anyway, Kelbourne Woolens is releasing a new free hat pattern every month this year in celebration of this yarn.

I knit my January Hat with Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted because I had some left over after knitting my Throwback Cardi last year. It knit perfectly to gauge with the suggested needle size and I finished it just in time for the Polar Vortex.

Meanwhile, Loki has Super Bowl fever.

Can you feel the excitement?

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.

Gradient Style

Happy New Year! What better way to kick off the new year than with a book review and giveaway?

This is Gradient Style: Color-Shifting Techniques & Knitting Patterns by Kerry Bogert (Editor), published last month by  Interweave. As you are no doubt well aware, gradients are a huge popular trend right now, so this is a very timely collection.

In addition to 19 patterns by various designers, there is a lot of good information on how to selecting and work different colored yarns into gradient effects. There are also tips to help avoid problems like such as color pooling and uneven striping when working with gradients.

You can take a look at the included patterns here on Ravelry.

My favorites:

Chevron Cowl, designed by Tian Connaughton. The yarn used for the sample is Freia Handpaints Ombré Sport – Gradient.

The Denim Stripes Cardigan designed by Kathryn Folkerth. This calls for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift — traditional Shetland jumper weight (fingering) wool. I may have to knit this one!

And the Spring Colors Tee designed by Alyssa Cabrera. This is worked from Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet Mini Gradients — fingering weight wool. I happen to have a Plucky Knitter gradient set given to me by a friend (thanks Sharon!) for my birthday that will be perfect for this. I plan to lengthen the sleeves into long sleeves. And the set includes 5 skeins at 385 yards each, so I’ll have plenty for a matching hat.

Now, who would like to have my review copy of Gradient Style: Color-Shifting Techniques & Knitting Patterns?

To be entered in the drawing to win my review copy, please leave a comment on this post and tell me which of the 19 patterns is your favorite. Leave your comment by 11:00am Eastern Time next Sunday January 13, 2019.

My Sock Pattern

Several of you asked what sock pattern I used tp knit the socks shown in my last blog post — that’s one of my free patterns: the Sportweight Gusset Heel Sock. There are a lot of free sock patterns on my free pattern page.

And Lastly

Loki sez:

Happy New Year!