Here we are, second week of the Afmæli K-A-L. We’ve already picked out our colors and established the correct tension (gauge) so it’s time to cast on! You can find the host blog post for this week HERE. My first post is HERE. I choose to use the Old Norwegian cast on (a.k.a German Twisted cast on) since it is a sturdy cast on yet gives a decent amount of stretch for the ribbing.
I casted on with US2’s and worked 1×1 rib for 10 rounds. Now for the fun part – color! I changed to by US5’s and began the colorwork portion, which for me was chart A. This is when I realized that I casted on with the wrong color. If following the pattern I should have cast on with white but I actually liked the grey for the ribbing so I left it. A happy mistake! Once the colorwork was done I ended up staying with US5’s for the body. In my last post I wrote that I had planned to use US4’s for the body but I feel my stitches are tight enough to keep up with the 5’s.
I moved all of the stitches onto a longer cable and tried on my sweater and it’s perfect. So far so good, I’m really enjoying this knit. Next step – onto the sleeves!
I’ve made my fair share of stranded mittens over the last few years but none as beautiful as these. These mittens just shout “Caryn” and I will be proud to wear them this coming winter. If you know me, you know that stranded knitting is my favorite style. It keeps my mind busy and from wandering. I especially love working the intricate designs of Latvian Mittens as they really hold my attention with the many colors you have to strand with. My first pair of Latvian mittens I had made for my mother for Christmas 2015 and I also have made a couple pair of Norwegian mittens (Selbuvotter), plain mittens, fair isle mittens, and cable mittens but my newest pair, the Shine Mittens are most definitely my favorite thus far.
The pattern for these is called “Shine Mittens” and it’s written by Pia Kammeborn. It can be found on ravelry HERE. I fell in love with them and although it wasn’t a plan of mine to make myself a pair of mittens it just sort of happened. The yarn I choose is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport. I have made a few other pair of stranded mittens with this yarn and have been very pleased with the results. The color inspiration came from another knitter and I tweeked it a little so it was more me. The original pattern calls for just two colors but I think these 4 shades really bring my mittens to life. The colors I used are “sagebrush,” “saffron,” “tumeric” and “white.”
I obtained correct gauge with size US 0 (2.0mm) needles and did not make any adjustments or modifications to the mittens. The pattern was well thought out and well-written; very easy to follow and understand.
The cuffs are adorned with pretty flowers and striking latvian braids. The sides really attract the eye and are just as pretty. The stranded pattern was easy to memorize which was great for taking these mittens on the go.
I also opted to add the braids at the bottom of the cuffs for added interest and for something to hang the mittens by to dry since I’m sure there will be a lot of snowmen made with these!
I made this sweater a couple months before the pixie bonnet that I have shared in a previous post but it’s a favorite of mine so I felt it deserved it’s own post! I finished it December 2016. This is the second pullover I’ve made for my little girl and after much trial and error in the beginning, the end results was perfect. This piece is called the “Perla Sweater” and it’s designed by Alejandra Graterol. You can find this patter for sale on ravelry HERE. You can also find her on instagram as kurokiknitting.
The yarn I choose was Quince & Co. Chickadee in the colorway “sorbet.” This was the first time knitting with Chickadee and I must say I’m impressed. The face that it’s 100% American wool is also really apealling to me. (I liked it so much I am currently in the process of working on a bonnet collection made solely in this yarn). According to my project notes, I used about 162 grams of yarn which was just over 3 skeins.
The sweater is worked top-down and it utilizes the tubular cast on. I love the finished look that this gives. The first time I made this it was very wide and was going to be too large on my daughter to even make it work. I ended up ripping it out and starting over and although I didn’t make clear notes as to what I did differently, I think I went down one size. I have learned one thing with this project and that’s that when knitting in this type of brioche stitch, it is much looser/stretch than regular ole stockinette stitch. But second time’s the charm. The designer even noticed my project notes stating I had issues and she reached out to me to see if she could help in any way!
The raglan increases are so lovely and this textured stitch is really quite squishy and comfortable. My daughter loves to wear it.
Just the other day we had an exceptionally cool day (in July) so I grabbed this sweater off the shelf and my camera too and we headed outside for a mini photo shoot. I was so happy to see that it still fit and I am hopeful that she will be able to wear it this winter, giving her two seasons out of it. Yippee!
I know she’s mine but she’s just the cutest!
I have long admired the knitted works of a woman who lives on the Swedish island of Gotland. I was first introduced a short time ago through instagram (I think) and I have since been a fan. She and her husband produce a monthly video blog together on their YouTube channel called Kammebornia and they have such charm and a warming invite to them. They truly live in a fairy tale land; the scenery is gorgeous, the architecture is lovely and the old ruins are breathtaking as well as the many beaches and woods combined. If you’ve never checked it out I highly recommend it as my favorite knitting podcast: Kammebornia YouTube. So what does that have to do with this Knit-A-Long? In conjunction with Järbo Garn, she is hosting this KAL of the Afmæli Sweater which is a pattern designed by Védís Jónsdóttir for Ìstex back in 2011 in honor of their 20th anniversary. I have been busy lately with my etsy shop that I haven’t had the time to do any personal knitting for myself so I took the month of August off from my knitting sales to concentrate on a few items for myself and my family.
Pia (of Kammebornia) is posting blog posts to introduce the next steps in this KAL. She has her first one up and I am patiently awating the second one to prompt the start of the knitting! You can check out that post HERE.
Let’s talk about the yarn! I have never worked with lopi yarn before but have admired it for a long time. I knew eventually I wanted to knit myself a “lopapeysa” which is sweater made from yarn derived from their native sheeps’ wool. As a breed these Iceland sheep are very pure and their fiber is extremely rugged and cold-resistant thanks to the hundreds of years it has been exposed to sub-arctic temperatures! Another great characteristic of the Icelandic sweaters is of course the striking yoke patterns. Stranded colorwork is my favorite knitting technique so it goes without saying this sweater is a must knit for me – I jumped on this opportunity to finally make myself my very own lopapeysa. The lopi yarn that this pattern calls for is Ístex Léttlopi. It is considered aran weight and is available in many beautiful colors as well as the traditional natural colors of the sheep.
I wanted to show you the photo of this sweater (photo is copyright ©istex.is). The yoke can be created in many different ways; I decided to create a sweater that is closest to the grey example.
The colors that I choose are called light grey heather, rose heather, golden heather, and white. My plan is to make the body in the grey and to knit the floral designs in the contrasting color of white. I think I will alternate the rose heather and the golden heather as background colors behind the white flowers. Perhaps I will play around when I get to the yoke but for now this is my idea.
Time to swatch!
The pattern calls for size US7 (4.5mm) needles but I have loose tension so I always need to go down a couple needle sizes. I tried US5’s and after washing my little swatch it did grow slightly and I am getting about 16.5 to 17 sts per 4 inches. The gauge called for is 18 sts per 4 inches so I am off a little. Because I’m lazy I don’t feel like knitting another swatch so I plan to knit the body up in US4 needles, and change to US5 needles during the colorwork portions because I’m always tighter when knitting stranded.
Couple tips if I may 🙂
1) If you’ll be knitting a project in the round you want to be sure you knit your swatch in the round too, otherwise your gauge will be off – trust me on that one. But, once again I’m lazy and I didn’t feel like casting on enough stitches to knit a swatch in the round. Instead, you can knit on DPNs and just carry the working yarn behind to bring it back to the right side. This way you’re always knitting every “row” and thus getting a more realistic “in the round” gauge. (Typically purl stitches are looser than knit stitches).
2) Need to wash your swatch but don’t want to waste any yarn by cutting it from the ball? No problem, just wash your little piece leaving it attached to the ball. Only soak your work and then pin it out to dry. This way once it’s dry and you’ve measured your gauge you can rip it back out to use for your actual project. Easy!
And with that I can wind up this post. The next schedule date in this KAL is August 10 which is the start of the body. Check back after that for blog post #2!