Granny’s Favourite, with Pockets!

I have a backlog of FOs to document, and the only way to fix that problem is to just write about them, and quickly and efficiently as I can :).

First, up:

PatternGranny’s Favourite Cardigan, by Georgie Nicolson. I knit the 21″ size, and it fits my 2 year, 5 month old nicely, but not for much longer.

This pattern has been around for a while, and I just loved every FO I’ve seen so far, so it was time to give it a try. It’s a well-written pattern with many sizes, though I found some inconsistencies in the directions. For example, most of the time the “fit actual chest measurement” is used to denote the specific size, but some of the charts refer to the different sizes by age instead.

For buttonholes, I used the “reinforced eyelet” from Montse Stanley, which is excellent, but I wish I had placed the buttonholes a little further in from the edge. The buttonholes opened up a bit with wear, and I eventually replaced the heart buttons I originally chose with slightly larger round buttons.

Yarn: Araucania Ulmo 100% cotton, color #752, 2 skeins used almost in their entirety (about 380 yards). The two skeins were different enough that I needed to alternate skeins (as I’ve had to do when I used this yarn in the past).

I played a little “yardage chicken” with this pattern, because I both wanted to add pockets, and make the sleeves as long as possible. This pattern is great for that kind of “fun” game because it’s knit from the top down! I originally thought I’d only have enough yarn for a short-sleeved sweater, so I’m pleased I was able to get almost full-length sleeves out of only 200 grams of yarn!

Needles and Finished Dimensions: Using US 6 needles, my gauge was about 5.5 stitches per inch, 8 rows per inch. The sweater is: 23″ chest circumference, 5.5″ sleeve length to underarm (about 3/4 length sleeves), and 13.5″ shoulder to hem.

Yarn Love Challenge

Have you heard of the Yarn Love Challenge? All during the month of February, knitters and other crafters are posting pictures on Instagram following daily prompts, like “introductions,” “mistakes,” and “stripes.” Posts are tagged with #yarnlovechallenge – such an easy way to connect with others and get a dose of crafty love every day!

I’m doing it! Are you? It’s never too late to join!

Under the Dutch Skies: a 2-color brioche shawl

For something so beautiful, it sure was a pain to knit! I keep thinking, why was Champagne Bubbles (also 2-color brioche, but with bonus! lace!) so much easier? I think because Champagne Bubbles is quite narrow, so it was no big deal to tink a few rows, if I made a mistake or dropped a stitch.

With this project, however, the rows just kept getting longer and longer and longer. Dropping down to fix mistakes proved impossible because it’s hard (impossible?) to tell which yarns go in front/back in this type of double knitting. Tinking was dreadful, because each pattern row is created by knitting the work 4 times. Arrrgghh! So, I’d mess up a decrease somewhere, find the mistake the next time I’d need to decrease above it, and as a result, would have to tink hundreds of stitches (half of them having overs), and GAH.

Someone left a brilliant comment on my Instagram, cluing me in to using dental floss to create an instant lifeline. The trick is originally Clara Parkes‘. It was a life-saving tip, and gave me the push I needed to finish the work. I put in lifelines frequently, and used them frequently, as well.

Pattern: 2-Color Under the Dutch Skies Brioche Shawl by Nancy Marchant. Some noteworthy changes that I made are as follows:

  • I used the darker color for the LC, which is kind of like the “main color” in 2-color brioche. Typically the LC is worked using the lighter color.
  • I changed the edging. I was really bothered by the edging in the original; it seemed to lack that signature center point. I read and re-read Evelyn Clark’s Knitting Lace Triangles a thousand times, and finally figured out how to alter the 2-color brioche pattern to make a point in the center.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Yarn in Esoteric (about 315 yards) and Great Grey Owl (about 320 yards). Gorgeous yarns. Esoteric has a bit of variegation to it (one of the reasons I didn’t want it to be the “background” yarn), while Great Grey Owl is solid.

Needles and finished dimensions: Using US 6 needles, and after blocking, the shawl came out 53″ across the top, and 26″ from top edge to the point. I also used a cable needle (a super simple Susan Bates one) to make the big, central decreases, which merged 8 strands of yarn into 1.