Spring cast on aka Finish or Frog

I’m nearing the end of my log cabin wrap (pattern soon), and that means I’m daydreaming of what’s next on the needles. I’m tempted by cute little sweaters that I see in my Instagram feed, so I’ll probably cast on for one, to increase my teaching wardrobe. You know we have to look good from the waist up on Zoom! I want to knit from my accidental stash (yarn that didn’t work out for something else, usually). Here are two contenders.

photo by Kay Hopkins

This is the Leaves Shell by Kay Hopkins, Knit for the Soul (Ravelry link). It’s a linen knit, and it will be swingy and drapey. It’s knit top down, and it has a leaf motif going down each side “seam” which is very pretty. I have a good amount of Quince fingering weight linen, back when I was deciding between fingering and Aran for what eventually became my Kittiwake (Ravelry link), Aran weight.

Kittiwake, by me
photo by Casapinka

This is The Birdwatcher by Casapinka (Ravelry link). It’s knit from the bottom up. I have to go poking into my fingering weight stash; I’m not sure I have two skeins of any color! Well, I do have this…

I don’t think I’m ever going to finish my Rio Calina; the moment has passed. I was using 2 skeins of fingering to approximate a worsted weight yarn. I’ll probably frog it no matter what. The yardage is a little short for The Birdwatcher (two 357 yard skeins instead of two 400 yard skeins). On the other hand, I’m a little short, too, and would knit this to 9” to the underarm, instead of the 12” called for. Is that enough to offset the difference? I’d hate to run out of yarn before finishing the neck.

Of course, I could get creative and begin with a provisional cast on at the underarm, work the top, and then pick up and work downwards and knit until I’m out of yarn. Oh, but wait. The lace, how would I know when to begin the lace?

I could begin with that provisional cast on, work the top, and then work from the bottom up until I’m almost out of yarn. And then KITCHENER STITCH/GRAFT the two parts together. Would that be just too much excitement?

Actually, a better plan would be to begin with the provisional cast on, work the top. Then work the lace. Then work stockinette down from the provisional cast on until almost out of yarn. And finally graft the two parts together, so if my grafting isn’t perfect, it will be at a natural transition point to the lace, and it won’t be as obvious.

Or, I could just use a different yarn. Maybe even the linen. But that has a much different look and feel.

This is what runs through my head while I’m working on something else…

Are you dreaming of spring knits?

9 responses to “Spring cast on aka Finish or Frog

  1. Andrea Roosth

    Yes! My head is full of Spring knits as I have some new, beautiful and soft fingering yarn from NDYarnCompany!!! The leaf seam is so beautiful and clever! Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

    • So many spring knits, so little time! But I’m feeling the need for a few more sweaters to add to my teaching wardrobe. On Zoom, you only need to look good from the waist up! (A black skirt goes with everything, right?)


  2. Wendy Fletcher

    I think my head works the same way. I’m so excited to knit something, I have patterns swirling in my mind, and yarns that want a garment to be created, but I don’t seem to have the perfect match between yarn and pattern. Part of the issue is, I have yarns, but maybe not quite enough and go through the same dialogue as you, only my thoughts aren’t quite as technical as yours, i.e., I don’t (yet) think in terms of provisional cast-ons in the solution. My thoughts are still more basic, but I like where you’re going.

    • And then there’s the tension between the “let me think of all the ways I can make this work, including provisional cast on” and “I just want to knit and not think about it.” The latter is winning, so I’m just going to improvise as I go. There may be a colorblock in a different color at the top…

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  3. Kathryn Gearheard

    I love my summer cotton knits. Currently doing Ankers by Petite Knits in a KAL at my LYS Weird Sisters. I recently picked up a gorgeous red fingering weigh cotton/bamboo mix at Starlight with an eye to a simple teeshirt but I really like the Leaves Shell now that you pointed it out. But that might not work at a fingering weight even though you inspire me with your plans to do it in Fingering. As in the past I will await your wise advice. Buttercup by Heidi Kirrmaier was another choice but again a fingering gauge issue. Meeting Points by von Hinterm Stein and Purl SoHo’s Contour tee are other patterns I’m thinking about.

  4. Not dreaming of Spring anything down here ! 😀
    Reading of your knitting imaginings leaves me gasping, Michele !: I’m still working on my top down cardi, having got to the pattern and frogged three sections before re-doing ’em. I ordered a longer Chiaogoo 4mm ckn on Thursday morning of last week; the company didn’t bother posting it until Frday arvo even though I paid extra for overnight Express, and now AusPost has emailed me to say it’s delayed ! Like, really ??

  5. TOTALLY thinking of spring knits!!! I even did what I rarely ever do and am taking Patty Lyons KAL/class for the Gramercy sweater. (I’m not much of a KAL-er.) It is in the wool/cotton blend from Webs. It is all over lace with 3/4 slightly bell sleeves. I love it. I will just order yarn, since I 100% do not have any cotton or cotton/wool or linen in the stash. I love your problem-solving strategy. I bet it will work a charm. I always have to ADD to the length, so would definitely have to solve differently but an excellent idea to keep in mind to work up, then down to a lace section. Though I must admit to a certain amount of kitchener avoidance.

    • That sweater is really pretty! I don’t KAL much, either. Too many other knitting options/obligations, most of the time.

      I used to be kitchener avoidant, too, but now it’s no big deal. I wonder if that will change how I finish socks? Not that I knit socks any more…

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  6. Definitely thinking of spring knits. Even though it is still snowy here and below freezing at night, there’s still spring in the air! Definitely thinking of a cute little top in the near future 🙂