Year of Projects- week 46/52

Knitting

Elda – I surely could have knit 2 jumpers in the time I have spent knitting and then ripping out parts of this Elda cardigan.  The night before going away, I picked up the arm stitches on the bigger sized needles and picked up the prescribed number of stitches under the arm; I figured my larger needles would be enough to make the sleeves a bit more comfortable.  

On the 6.5 hour journey to the Yorkshire Dales I almost finished the first sleeve.  When I tried it on in the cottage it felt too tight, I then noticed on the pattern that I hadn’t done the 1.5 inch stockinette section before I’d started the decreases!  So annoyed at myself, I frogged the arm.  To be sure I didn’t end up with a sleeve too tight, I picked up an additional 2 stitches under the arm and proceeded to knit the sleeve for the 3rd time!

I do wish this cardigan was longer, but as I’ve done the braid section down the front it’s impossible to add extra rows without have to rip out the braid/slipped stitch section.  Honestly, the weeks I’ve spent on this!!!  The yarn though is an absolute superstar, coping so well with the changes.  It’s woollen spun and has an almost homespun texture to it and I love the colour, plus this yarn wasn’t cheap…so fingers crossed, touch wood etc. I am going to be happy with it.  Certainly the larger sleeve is much more comfortable.  I need to stop buying yarn quantities for the size I think I am but for a size or two up, so I can make alterations without running out of yarn, especially when from an indie dyer.  I’m on the 2nd arm, no photo yet…one when it’s finished.

If I didn’t have a queue of projects to get done I would unpick the border, knit some additional rows at the bottom and re-knit the border.  Especially as I realised when doing the cuff I’ve only done half the rows of ribbed pattern, at the bottom, as the pattern stated!!  

Lessons learned so far on this are many…next sweater I make I am doing the arms before the body.  I don’t care if this makes it a bit awkward shaped to knit the body, I want to maximise my yarn use on everything and to me that means doing the arm length I’m happy with first.  Realistically, if I added more rows, that would add rows to the braid border etc. and I don’t know how much that would need, so I could end up with only 2 or 3 additional rows, which would be negligible.  

So how can you ever ensure you use all the yarn?  What are your tips or tricks for maximising yarn usage?

Quick Sand – Given the struggles I’ve had with Elda and my apparent blindspot for all the weight I’ve put on (another 5lbs when on holiday!!!) in unexpected places…like my upper arms, I am thinking I will knit the large size and not the M2 size on this cardigan.  I’ve no experience with wearing a linen knitted top, but have heard people say it often stretches lengthways and pulls in width ways?!  Does anyone have any experience knitting with a linen/cotton blend?  This is Drops Bomill-Linn.

Stash acquisitions

As we have been away all week, and I only took knitting with me, there’s no other crafts to report on.  

However, as we were in the Wensleydale area, it was essential/compulsory/common sense that I visit the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop and buy some yummy things.  I picked up a gorgeous teal coloured yarn in Aran weight and then picked up a pale sea glass green that toned nicely with it.  My plan is to knit a hat and cowl set with the balls, perhaps try an Intarsia pattern, or maybe stripes.  Anyway, I love the colours and look forward to a relatively quick project as I went for the thicker yarn.  If I like it, I may buy a jumper amount when I’m down at Fibre East, as they have a stall there.  We shall see how I get on, but it has a gorgeous sheen and stunning rich colours.  The colours are pretty true on the photo.

I also bought 250g of Wensleydale top to dye and spin myself and bought a bag of undyed locks to use in felting or for scarf fringes.  My dad was behind me in the shop probably thinking “how much?”.  The yarn was £8 per 100g/4oz skeins and I think that’s not a bad price for a rare breed wool of this quality.  

The bag of locks £3.50 and the tops was £12.50 for 250g.  You’d think with us staying in Raydale, right next to Wensleydale, that we’d see some of these beautiful Wensleydale Longwool sheep, with their super long ringlets…but we haven’t seen any.  We have seen zillions of Swaledale sheep, including lambs only minutes old still being licked clean by their mums. 

On our drive home we did a detour to visit the New Lanark Wool & Textiles.  This is such a beautiful old place, deep in a narrow valley with a river flowing through it are the various mills, waterwheels, shops and houses.  Quite a steep drop down from the car park and of course then a hike back up the hill after.  Now I already have a jumper quantity of their Aran yarn, plus 2 balls of DK weight yarn…so what did I buy?  Two more balls of their Aran weight yarn!  All proceeds from the sales of their wool and textiles is reinvested in the development of the historic Mill village…so it’s like giving to charity, not yarn shopping!  😉  The colour flecks in the yarns are so gorgeous.  This is a traditional wooly wool, a little scratchy, but I’m making a hat and gloves and they should be fine and the jumper I plan to knit has a wide cowl neck so should be fine, so long as I choose a generous (I mean realistic) pattern size.

Our holiday

It was a quiet and relaxing week.  My dad came to stay at the cottage Sunday lunchtime to breakfast on Thursday, so that was lovely.  The weather could definitely have been better, as we had a lot of rain mid-week.  We went to see the tallest single drop waterfall in England, and some other waterfalls and saw plenty of wildlife including brown hares, dozens of partridges, Canadian geese, Oystercatchers (despite us being inland) and many more birds.  I only get to see my dad once a year, so it was nice to see him.

I did manage to burn my left index finger on the wood-burner!  Doh!  I swear I burn myself on something once a year.  At least this time it doesn’t affect my knitting. 

 

11 thoughts on “Year of Projects- week 46/52

  1. Sounds like a lovely holiday! The yarn you bought looks yummy. And good for you for soldiering on with Elda … sounds like quite a journey you had with her, so maybe she is going to become a favourite piece now that you’re done with the worrying and hair-pulling bits and get to enjoy the wearing?

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  2. Your new acquisitions are lovely – teal is one of my very favourite colours. I hope you are happy with the sweater too. You have put in a lot of work and it looks amazing with that braid. I usually knit the arms first – not because of worrying about running out of yarn, but I use them for my swatch. Also, it is almost like second sock syndrome with me if I knit the sweater body first – it takes me ages to get to the sleeves and even then I knit them two at a time!

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  3. That sounds like a wonderful holiday! So nice you got to do a little yarn/wool shopping in there 🙂 Your new finds are lovely – can’t wait to see what you make with them! Also looking forward to seeing your Elda! It is going to be gorgeous 🙂

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  4. All of your new yarns are so pretty, Liz. And that wool – so soft. Love the little ringlets! 🙂 And what a nice holiday. Thank you for describing it for us. The background in that photo is unreal! The clouds look like they are a painting! I sure hope you get the Elda to your liking without much more trouble. It really is a gorgeous sweater.

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  5. Your holiday sounds like it was just wonderful Liz and the yarn is gorgeous, I particularly like the teal. I hope Elda turns out how you want it after all the bother it’s been giving you. My only advice on using up all your yarn is most designers will allow a certain amount of wiggle room on their meter requirements usually 10% which some then round up to the nearest 25g/50g figure (I know I did this) to allow for knitters with slightly different gauge. You can use this extra allowance for knitting modifications if you are hitting row and stitch gauge. You can always try hitting stitch gauge to give you the width you’re after and if you had more rows in your row gauge you’d get the extra length you’d want and not sacrifice the width. Other than that all I’d say is knitted garments are more forgiving than sewn pieces so you can block a little more into the length than in the width if necessary. I hope some of that helps.

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  6. Your trip sounds lovely. Waterfalls are always a joy to see. You had quite a time with your Elda jumper. So glad you completed it and are now moving on with many lessons learned. The wool you bought is so pretty. I think hats and mittens will be perfect for the green/blues and the purples. Will be looking forward to see what you do with the cream fibers.

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