Iceland – warm and cosy in Rowan Cocoon

Iceland_3I had checked the weather forecast last night. I normally do when we’re on foot for the school run. I don’t like to be caught out and like to make sure I’m not going to have to endure 30 minutes of “Mummy, I’m cold…..” or “but it’s raining….” from the girls because well, it isn’t a great way to start the day!

So I had already spotted it was going to be a bit chillier this morning.

Now the weather has finally decided to become more seasonal, it really is time to break out the woolly jumpers.

I started this jumper last year ( Iceland by Stephanie White from Rowan Knitting & Crochet #42 – it looks as if it’s available as a download on Ravelry too) and had reached the point where I needed to knit the ribbing at the bottom before the weather turned and I wanted to get onto summer knitting projects.

A few weeks ago, I picked it back up again and added the ribbing.

Iceland

I’m not a fan of the button holes that are provided with patterns and I generally convert them to one row button holes. If you have never tried them, then I really recommend them. They’re not quite as stretchy so you do need to give some thought to how many stitches you want to ‘cast off’.

Despite how complicated it might look, this really is a simple project, there is no shaping and the main cable patterned piece is knit in one piece from cuff to cuff. Once I had the pattern set, I found that I remembered it pretty well and didn’t really need to refer to the pattern which was a relief as it was written down. I’m afraid that I much prefer charted patterns for cable or lace work.

The yarn is Rowan Cocoon and it really is very warm and snuggly. It contains kid mohair and does have a tendency to shed everywhere. I’m surprised there haven’t been more complaints of hair in people’s dinner!

If I were to make any changes, I’d be tempted to add to ribbon to the neckline to stabilise it and stop it sliding off my shoulders. I’ve also seen a few comments on Ravelry about the pattern being knit without the buttons on the ribbing. It’s a nice feature but I’ve found completely unnecessary and I’m sure even people who are larger than me aren’t going to be needing to undo the buttons to get it on and off. So my advice? Save yourself a few buttons and knit the ribbing in the round!

Iceland_1

My friend ‘Chuck’

Chuck by Andi Satterlund

It’s knitting time again!!

I’m sure the seasoned knitters amongst you won’t need me to tell you it’s Andi Satterlund’s Chuck.

It’s a super simple pattern (don’t let the cables deceive you) that in aran weight yarn knits up quickly. I love the way the sleeve heads are knit using short rows – they fit perfectly with no seams whatsoever.

I used Colinette’s Skye yarn in Morello Mash which I bought from my local yarn store. I have a thing for Colinette yarns, they’re pretty local being only over the border in Wales and the colours and yarns are just gorgeous. They are a touch on the pricey side – but you get what you pay for in this instance.

My tension was a smidge on the tight side (I knitted on 4.5 mm needles and could have done with using 5mm instead) so this did come out a little on the ‘smaller than intended’ size. I wasn’t taken by the cropped length on me, so I added a couple of inches to the bottom band of ribbing and cast off using the super-stretchy method (which adds wraps to the usual process of casting off) to allow for a bit more space at the top of my hips. And then the sizing was nothing a bit a blocking and a spell on ‘Dolly the dressmaker dummy’ didn’t fix.

I have had to be creative to get my Chuck to fit into my daily wardrobe as most of my bottom halfs don’t come up as far as my waist, but it’s  nothing I’ve found a longer top underneath doesn’t fix.

Close up of cables

I am loving Andi’s patterns. I knitted a Miette for a friend last year and I have already bought Agatha but I really fancy a ‘Hetty‘ for summer. But for the moment I am working on Iceland from Rowan 42.

Edie Sweater – how not to knit

Edie-sweater It’s been a while – almost 2 months to the day to be precise.

Mind you, not as long as it has taken me to make this sweater! It’s probably been about 3 years in the making. I am having a bit of a splurge on UFO’s at the moment and this one was top of the list.

If you haven’t discovered Kim Hargreaves patterns yet – then go out any buy one of her books now! They are beautiful to behold and even if you don’t knit anything from them, the photography, attention to detail and sumptuous yarns are enough to keep anyone inspired.

Edie, is a “deep raglan sweater with a wide neck” and has been designed to be knit in Rowan Kid Classic. For anyone who knows their Rowan yarns, this contains mohair – which well, is never going to work for me. I will spend my life itching and sneezing!! That said it’s a beautiful yarn and because of its mohair content is wonderfully light.

Instead, I knit it up in Louisa Harding’s Thistle.

Here are where my problems started….

First off, when putting a project down for a significant amount of time, it helps to take notes about little things like TENSION, NEEDLE SIZE and so on. I have a hunch that the front is knitted on 4mm and the rest on 4.5mm.

Second, after having knitted the front, back & one sleeve, it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to have enough yarn – arrggghh. So I decided to safety pin it together and try it on.

It was huge!! About 3 inches too long and the arms were all baggy. I wasn’t sold on the style and I wasn’t going to undo it all and start again 😦

Edie sweater - the sleeves

Batwing, dolman or deep raglan?

In a bid to cheer me up, I bought and downloaded Andi Saterlund’s Agatha determined to frog poor Edie and put it down to experience.

I then started looking around at how to fix the length issue.

Always up for a challenge, I followed this tutorial and shorted the front & back by 3 1/2 inches and the arms by 3 cms (yep, I know a great mixture of metric and imperial!!) WITHOUT having to start again. I was pretty confident that I had saved enough yarn to finish the last sleeve but with 6 rows to go….

I ran out!!! I nearly cried.

Louisa Harding’s Thistle is now discontinued. I knew there was no chance I would be able to get the same lot but decided that with only a few rows and the neckband to go that any variation in colours between lots should hopefully be minimal.

I was lucky. I can’t even tell I’ve used different lots.

Feeling pretty good with myself, I started blocking and making up.

The front was about 1 inch shorter than the back and as for the raglan sleeves….. inches too long. Luckily I’m creative with my mattress stitch and a good steam block after sewing means everything fits perfectly. At last – a result!!

And all my problems boil down to not keeping notes … but it does go to show that wool is quite forgiving after all 🙂

Am I going to keep notes from now on? Maybe…..

Me and Edie