Satsuma Street Secret Springtime Stitchalong

Back in February, I signed up for the Satsuma Street Secret Springtime Stitchalong. I had never done a mystery stitchalong (and I don’t think I’ve ever done a mystery knitalong, either), but the stakes are so low with cross-stitch because the supplies are really affordable, so I thought, why not? Plus, it’s designed by Jody Rice – I’ve stitched several of her designs, and have always loved the experience.

For several months, I received mystery charts of a springtime-themed design, and stitched and stitched until I was done!

As you can see, I chose the “cool” color palette. The canvas is MCG Textiles 28 count white evenweave, which I purchased at my local Joann’s, along with DMC embroidery floss. When stitching “over 2,” (in other words, 14 crosses per 1″), the design is about 7.5″ wide x 8.5″ high.

A note about the canvas: after starting, I noticed a visible imperfection in the weaving, and chose to start over on a new piece of canvas. It was the right decision because that portion of the canvas would have definitely been noticeable. Now it’s a lesson to myself to carefully examine all canvases before starting my stitching!

I did enjoy making this design, though I must admit I wouldn’t have chosen it if I had seen it in its entirety first. For one, I like the warm version better because I think there is more contrast in the elements. For another, all the little “confetti” and single stitches were abundant and maddening to execute. I learned how to work pin stitches, and that helped a lot, but I still found the back of my work to look a-mess, no matter how hard I tried to keep it tidy!

There was a Facebook group organized for this stitchalong, as well as a Satsuma Street FB group, and some folks had remarkably neat backs, I cannot comprehend how they did it!

When time came to finish my work, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money getting it professionally framed, like I had Pretty Little City. I saw someone on Facebook finish their work like a banner, and then also saw another banner design on Jody’s Etsy page. Armed with 11-year-old grosgrain ribbon and sundry supplies from Joann’s (totaling less than $2), I created this lovely banner! I think this was also a good solution for a fairly complicated shape to frame.

Wide stripe sweater!

My main reason for knitting this adorable sweater was to replicate (and slightly enlarge) a lovely purple cardigan that Julia of Knitterly Things passed along to Sonya many years ago. You’ve certainly seen Sonya wearing it on my Instagram, and that sweater is now extremely well worn.

Pattern: Julia originally used the Eole pattern. I pretty much winged this striped version, and, unfortunately, at one point, had to re-knit a huge chunk of it as a result. I also got a bit of help from the LLani pattern, because I wanted the second version to be a little less poofy in the sleeves.

Yarn: I used handspun Sock Hop yarn (color “Free Bird”) which I’ve been hoarding for about 10 years (yeesh!), and pink Koigu (color 2233) which matched it perfectly. I decided to make wide stripes, which has its pluses (you can really see the color of the handspun transition and develop) and minuses (10,000 ends). The sweater used up about 300 yards of Koigu and 390 yards of Sock Hop.

Needles and finished dimensions: I used US 3 needles for a gauge of about 6 spi (fingering weight sweater, oh my!). The finished sweater is: 25″ chest circumference, 6.5″ sleeve length to underarm, and 13″ shoulder to hem. It’s definitely smaller than the Carbeth I recently knit for Sonya, so I put it into rotation immediately. She wore it to school today; today’s high was 85 degrees Fahrenheit, my crazy child.

Semele

When did I first notice the Semele pattern? I think it was when my friend Bonnie finished her beautiful one back in 2013, haha! I, myself, first tried the pattern about two years ago, using a laceweight yarn. It didn’t go very well. The shawl was coming out limp and skimpy, and I had a really hard time reading my knitting and chugging along without a chart.

Then a little while ago I decided to try the pattern again, this time using a sportweight yarn. It was a world of difference! The fabric felt great in my hands, and I memorized the chart in no time at all.

Pattern: Semele by Asa Tricosa.

YarnLouet Gems sportweight, 100% superwash merino, in fern green (80-2393), about 3.5 skeins, 775 yards.

NeedlesUS7 Addi Turbos, my favorites.

Finished dimensions: For scarves, I typically aim to make them about my height (64″), because I find that a comfortable and not-overwhelming length. I tried to do that with this Semele, too, but failed epically. This Semele is 98″ long, and 21″ wide. I don’t know how I overshot by 150%, but there you have it. It sure is cozy!