What it is: The Sartorial Cowl by Star Athena

Why I made it: I found this handspun-looking yarn on the swap table at Common Cod a few years ago.  Intrigued by its production (windspun and dyed with natural dyes in Maine) and the gorgeous rusty shade, I brought home with me two fat skeins.  A few weeks later I found the Sartorial Cowl pattern, and bereft of anything else to knit, cast on.  The slightly thick-thin texture had a rustic look to it that I thought would work nicely with her more polished pattern.

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Assets and liabilities: The yarn texture outshone the stitch work.  I think this pattern needs a smoother fiber so that the stitches can really sing.

Frogging or donating? Frogging.  I’d like to make Alana Dakos‘s Sprig Cloche with the yarn.  That is, if I can find the woven-in ends…

Lessons learned: While I was making this I learned a lot about how to knit slipped stitches.  For a bigger picture lesson, I also figured out that knowing your yarn — and knowing whether it’s truly suitable for a pattern — is an important skill when sitting down to work on something.


MOTHBALLIN’ MONDAY: Eileen Mary-Mother-of-God

What it is: Eileen Mary by Ellen Mason

Why I made it: I had just binge-watched Twin Peaks and wanted a red sweater with a dramatic collar, like the one Audrey Horne wore.

Basically, I want Audrey's entire wardrobe.  And Agent Cooper, while we're at it.

Basically, I want Audrey’s entire wardrobe. And Agent Cooper, while we’re at it.

When I went through Ravelry, Eileen Mary jumped out at me.  I had six plump skeins of Cascade 220 in my stash, so why not?

This is why not.

This is why not.

Assets and liabilities: I think the red looks nice on me, and I like a lot of the details.  However, I knit it at too tight a gauge, so the dramatic collar kept rolling up north and whacking me in the face, like so.  The fit through the collar and shoulders is weird, too.  (That picture above is with the back button fastened.)  I’m not crazy about bottom-up raglan sleeve sweaters, since you can’t check the fit while you’re working.

Frogging or donating?  Frogging.  I’m going to make Myrna with the yarn, and also put some aside so I can finish my mom’s Christmas present.  This was the last of the Peruvian spun Cascade 220, and I haven’t been as happy with the brand’s quality since they moved production to China.  Why waste good resources, right?

Lessons learned: Make sure the gauge works for what you’re making!  I was able to adjust my gauge to make this work, but I knitted so tight, and I think that’s why I had some of the problems that I did.

FO? Friday, 12 July 2013

When Allyson D. of Holla Knits unveiled her Summer 2013 collection, I swooned over the Nachtfalter, a lacy pullover.  I’d been looking for something with a blouse-like fit for balmy days.  




I knit and blocked an 8″ x 8″ gauge swatch.  Since my swatch came out smaller I opted to follow the directions for a 38″ bust instead of the 35″ I’d initially planned.  


This is how it came out:



Though I’d gotten row gauge, the weight and drape of the yarn — combined with the positive ease — gave this a slouchier fit than I’d intended.  After seeing these pictures I half-thought to rip out a few pattern repeats and finish from there.  


When I was taking off the sweater, though, I saw…THIS: 



I’d dropped one of the stitches while I was binding off for the shoulders, which would require me to take out the stitches and redo the top.  As long as I have to do that, I might as well make this the sweater I want to make.  


One of the great things about knitting is that crafters can create the garments that best fit them instead of making do.  I’m looking forward to working with this and making something a little more suited to me.