The Mara Sweater

Hi there, how are you ? All melted away with the recent heatwave maybe? I hope not!

We had a few days of seriously hot weather here in Normandy which is not my favorite as I really don’t enjoy much heat. Also knitting in 30C+ is not the best, think clammy hands and sweat! Not a nice picture;

Luckily the weather has cooled down some and so I’m feeling better and knitting like crazy.

But before I can show you what I’m currently knitting on I have to show you my latest secret test knit.

This was a pattern by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was a top down sweater with what looks like an all over colorwork but is in fact a slipped stitch pattern and so very easy to do and no tension issues as there sometimes are with fair isle/stranded knitting.

The pattern calls for a slightly cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves but you can easily knit to your liking and have a full length sweater and either full length or even short sleeves.

As you decrease on the sleeves you end up not being able to keep the patterning all around

I so loved this particular pattern that I actually knit two sweaters! And I finished both before the deadline for the test knit. Though I admit I still have not weaved in the ends of the second version just yet. But it is all ready for me to finish for good.

So I chose to use a wonderful UK yarn which I have used before as I took part in other test knits for other designers. I chose yarn from Cambrian Wool in the UK. I chose their 4 ply yarn and chose too very contrasting colors, Arian and Welsh red – that is a very pale grey and a rust red.

The prototype uses a main color and a gradient set as contrast colors but I felt like just using solid colors and limiting them to just two.

The stitch pattern is very addictive and I feel the sweater was easy to knit and the pattern well written.

The only issue or point where you have to be careful is where you split for the sleeves. As there are short rows on the neck, if you miscalculate your sweater will look wonky.

I admit that I made a mistake on my primary sweater and so once I had finished it, I ripped back the neck ribbing and short rows and reknit them.

I chose to knit 3/4 sleeves on this version and I quite like that.

Here are more pictures of me wearing the sweater

Then there was the second version. For that one I wanted to see how the garment would look if I only did the slipped stitch pattern on the yoke. I also chose a different combination of yarns. I chose Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend and I knit this held double with a thread of a lace weight sequinned mohair. I then used Nateby yarn from Eden Cottage yarn for the colorwork as contrast color.

See how the sequins sparkle?

This version turned out very different from the other. Because of the completely different yarns, this version turned out looser, less form fitting on the body. Also the sleeves are wider though I secretly suspect I may have made some mistake there and maybe knit on too many stitches. But it’s ok, it is still wearable.

I also chose to do 3/4 sleeves as this version is also quite warm so full length sleeves might be too much.

So I yet have to finish weaving in the ends and have pictures taken of me wearing the sweater. I will do later this summer.

You can check out my pattern page on Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/projects/bogga/miara-sweater

If you feel like knitting a garment and you like the colorwork look then this just might be the project for you 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your summer so far. I will be back later to show you my latest socks, Olive Leaf cardigan and summer tee not to mention my next cast on which will be the Navelli by Kaitlyn Hunter.

So until next time, Happy Knitting!

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Works in progress and FOs as well as a just discovered technique for color knitting

Hi there, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Sunday. Yesterday the weather was really nice and I went to the beach for a couple of hours late afternoon but as I went with non knitting friends, I didn’t get any knitting done:) Today is a different story as the weather is not very nice and I’m alone with just 2 kids so this afternoon I’m planning on a relaxing afternoon full of knitting and spinning:) Not to mention some podcast watching because I’m 2 episodes behind on the Geeky Girls Knit podcast so a fun afternoon coming up for me:)

But first I decided to give you some news and share some pictures and ideas with you.

First off are the FOs

www.knittinginfrance.com I finished 3 pairs of tube socks and I really like this way of sock knitting for kids. Also when you like color, it’s a great stash busting technique and you can do like I did, make magic balls from your scraps or mini skeins of hand dyed yarns and voila:)

I also finished a pair of “regular” socks

www.knittinginfrance.com The pattern is Melisandre by Purrlescent and this is a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn I used is Knitcircus gradient yarn in “Fig & Prosciutto”. And I’m blocking them on my Crazy Monkey Creations sock blockers. And you can see the 2 balls of yarn I’ve got left over. I knit for a size 41 (european shoe size) and I still have all this yarn left which is great for my hexapuf project and my future tube socks or other scrap projects I’m sure I’ll come up with.

As soon as I finished my Melisandre socks I cast on for a new project and I decided upon the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of CuriousHandmade. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and I’m doing the Large. I’m not using the yarn called for – this should be knit either with lace weight yarn or with fingering but I chose a DK weight. It’s my own hand dyed yarn in Cash’merino DK. And so far so good, I hope it will work out ok even though I’m not following instructions with regards to the yarn weight.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’m not far along, approx. 11- 12% (the pattern gives you the percentage knitted every X rows)

My next cast on should be the Outlander socks by CC Almond but….. This morning browsing the internet I came upon this new technique called Helix knitting and now all I can think of is to knit something using that technique and I already know what and I have the yarn ready and all!

So for those of you that are not familiar with Helix knitting, it’s a technique for knitting stripes without ever having to deal with a jog in your colors. In fact you’re not really knitting “straight” stripes but they actually “spiral” around. So this is a technique that only works when knitting in the round and I think this can be fabulous for knitting socks and hats and maybe mitts as well.

You can knit using 2 or more colors and the number of stitches you cast on has to be divisible by the number of colors you are going to use. As I’m thinking of doing another pair of either tube or after thought socks I’m thinking of casting on 60 stitches which brings me to either 3 colors (20 stitches each) or 5 colors (6 stitches each). I’m thinking that changing colors every 6 stitches might be tiresome but at the same time, 5 color stripes must be so much more fun than 3 don’t you think? I have to take a look at my mini skeins and give this a good thinking.

I found a video on Youtube where this technique is shown and explained in a very good way – there are other videos of course but I found this one to be the clearest in my opinion. So if you too want to learn a new color knitting technique then you should definitely take a look at this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvRafcvTvM

That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with lots of more fun stuff to share. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week ahead of you:)