Tag Archives: Soldotna Crop

FO: Soldotna Crop

I tried on my Soldotna Crop halfway through the bind off, and it either needed to be a little shorter or a lot longer. I thought it would be cuter as a little cropped thing, so I ripped back and took out some of the body dot section. I’m pretty short waisted, so 5 completed dot repeats is plenty on me. Now it’s a cropped crop!

Sleeve finishing: I had 59 sts per sleeve based on my change at the body/sleeve division. I picked up 5 sts at each underarm (where I bound off 3 sts); the two extra stitches are to avoid holes there, and also because I need a multiple of 4 to make the ribbing work. 59+5=64; perfect.

I first finished this with green at the waist, but decided that I didn’t like a bright green horizontal line across my midsection. So I swapped it out with the dark purple instead. I had also finished the sleeves in green (just following directions!) but having so much green at the yoke and sleeves made it read as a green sweater. I wanted a purple one. I tried the dark purple here, but it was too much of a statement; it needed to be either green or light purple, like the motif just above it. I think the light purple is perfect.

A little steam blocking, and it’s ready to rock and roll. BTW this turned out to be 38” at the bust, which is fine for me. Gauge…

I finished this in less than two weeks, even though I knit most of it twice! Which means it’s a really quick knit in real life.

And it’s so cute! It’s perfect for now through fall.

So what is this monogamous knitter knitting now?

I’m swatching some Berroco Remix, a nylon/cotton/acrylic/silk/linen blend, as an alternative to Kestrel for my upcoming Kittiwake pattern release. It’s looking like it will be a good alternative. It’s soft and cottony, rather than crisp like linen. Choose what works for you!

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of a new shawl, probably brioche. We’ll see what happens next!

Seeing Stars Fall Shawl Retreat Oct. 11-13

Just a reminder, registration is open for our Seeing Stars Fall Shawl Retreat. This is a small retreat in the Columbia River Gorge, near Camas. I’m doing this with crochet designer Laurinda Reddig, and both of our shawls feature stars!

I’ll be featuring my better garter tab for top down crescent shawls, which helps reduce the hump that can occur at the center neck. Who wants a humpy lumpy neck? Not me!

I’ll also be showing how to make your stars even bigger! Laurinda was inspired to design her Star Bright shawl based on my Lucky Star shawl, and I was inspired to make even bigger stars based on her Star Bright. Synchronicity!

This year we’re featuring yarn from Mosaic Moon at the retreat; the colors are shown above on the right. I hope you can join us. Registration is limited to 7 knitters and 7 crocheters, so if you want to come, please register now.

And for those of you who are following my Soldotna Crop progress, I’m nearing the finish line!

I made it down to the bind off and tried it on. I decided that it really would be better a bit more cropped, so I ripped back and eliminated some of the body pattern. It looks better now that you can see that I have a waist.

I’m finishing the arms, and then I have to figure out what I want to do with the neck. Right now it’s just sitting on a provisional cast on. I think I want a small stockinette roll at the neck, but I’m not sure yet. And same color? Contrasting color? Hmmmm. Opinions, anyone?

Yarn color dominance tutorial and Soldotna update

I didn’t realize I was almost done with the yoke by the time I finished auditioning my color combinations. Now we’re just flying along!

Remember I said that I hadn’t done a proper gauge swatch? Yeah, that. The stated gauge for this project is 5.5 sts/inch. Now that there was plenty of knitting on the needles, I could see that my gauge was varying between 5.5 to 6 stitches/inch, depending on which color work motif I was working. I was bouncing between holding both yarns in my right hand, and holding a color in each hand, depending on the motif, so that also added to my inconsistency.

I’m going to take a moment here to digress about color work yarn management, and yarn color dominance. You can put a color on each side of you, left and right, and pick up and drop each color as needed. Don’t twist them around each other as you work. This is how I teach my beginning color work class. Another option for yarn management is to carry a color in each hand, so you’re knitting continental/picking with one and throwing/English with the other. The third option is to carry two colors in one hand. Here’s how I carry both in my right hand. (I still can’t manage both in my left.) This is an old video, so it doesn’t address color dominance.

Yarn color dominance! For most knitters, the yarn coming from the left is going to be dominant in your knitting. It’s going to show up more because it’s coming from underneath the other color, which makes the stitch a tiny bit taller because it has to travel further to the needle. See how my white stitches look bigger than the green ones on the vertical stripes on the left, and vice versa on the right? So choose which color you want to be dominant in each 2 color section, and be consistent!

Okay, back to the sweater. I hadn’t washed and blocked a swatch, so that’s another level of the unknown. I’m guessing that the 6 sts/inch section (1×1 vertical stripes) will relax a bit when I wash and block the sweater, so that’s fine. If the piece is a little too narrow, I can block it a bit wider. If it’s a little too wide, I can block it a little longer, which will steal a bit from the width. It’s superwash wool, so it can be very stretchy when it’s wet, and I can play with all that. (This is a big experiment on my part; I’ll let you know how it turns out! You’re my companion in this adventure.)

Anyway, I had planned to work the body in just the Iris (light purple) color, but when I started knitting it that way, it was boring. And the fabric was so much lighter in weight than the color work yoke. So I’ve decided to put in the white flecks for interest. But not the dark purple ones, because they barely show up, so it’s not worth that effort. This all means I’ll have more plain Iris stockinette rounds, which is great for multitasking/reading while I knit.

But! When I checked my gauge on the plain stockinette, I was getting 5 sts/inch, which would give me a 44 inch sweater, rather than the desired 40 inch sweater. My options were to either go down a needle size or two, or to refigure the number of stitches in the body. Since I knew my gauge and liked the fabric with my current needles, I opted for THE MATH. Which wasn’t hard.

When dividing for the sleeves, I needed to make sure I ended up with 200 stitches (instead of 220) for the body. I could do this by casting on fewer stitches at underarm (3 instead of 9), and putting a few more of the yoke stitches into the sleeves instead of the body. Done.

Oh, one more thing? The pattern has the beginning of round set at the center back, so there’s a jog there. That’s kind of pleasing, in that it’s very symmetrical. I like symmetry! But I didn’t really like the jog being so visible. So I moved the beginning of the round to be on the back, where the sleeve division occurs. (So from the beginning of round it’s right sleeve, front, left sleeve, back, instead of beginning and ending in the middle of the back.)

The only thing I wish I had done differently would be to put one more plain round between the white flecks. But I’m not going back again.

Test knitter Ann’s Hopscotch

Onward! I’ll keep knitting, but first I need to get ready to publish my Hopscotch Scarf pattern tomorrow. I’m planning a class at Twisted with this pattern to teach syncopated brioche, and that class listing goes live tomorrow. I know what I’m doing this afternoon…

Soldatna color update

Well, it took all morning, but I just had to know for sure.

Here’s the green yoke version.

And here’s the white yoke version. The green and purple arrow section isn’t nearly as compelling as I imagined it would be, I think because of the nearby white. See how much more the green and dark purple stand out from each other on the first picture, when there’s no white near them? It doesn’t work that way in the second picture. Also, the green vertical stripes are harder to read on the white background, than the white vertical stripes on the green.

So I’ll be carrying on with the green yoke/purple and white arrow version!

It’s actually pretty quick knitting, when you’re not knitting two. I started these on Friday, and it’s only Monday afternoon.

Onward!

On the needles: Soldotna Crop

I don’t knit from other designer’s patterns very often; usually I’m designing something of my own. But every once in a while a design will catch my attention, and I just have to knit it! The last time it was Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover. I loved it so much I knit two of them.

This time? Caitlin Hunter’s Soldotna Crop is calling my name. I bought yarn for it in June. But I set it aside so I could design and knit a linen top first. That’s the incentive plan: Work first, then play.

Here’s the yarn I bought in June. Iris, Spooky Hue, Nickel, and Fresh Cut. I was a little worried about the gray and green; they don’t have much tonal contrast, and I really wanted to use the green for the arrow line across the yoke. Per the pattern, it would be paired with the gray.

Not much contrast there, right? But I knew I wanted the watercolor-y light purple Iris for the main part of the body, and I thought I wanted the dark purple to pop off of that.

I ignored my warning bells and cast on. Did I do a proper washed and blocked gauge swatch? No. Do as I say, not as I do! Sometimes just jumping in and starting is as good as a gauge swatch. I don’t mind ripping.

The first attempt used the recommended size US 5 needles, and it was tighter than it should have been. So I started over on a US 7. Oh, with a provisional cast on. I’ve paged through a lot of Ravelry project pages, and the one complaint is that the neckline is very high. So I’m skipping the ribbing and the short rows, and just beginning right below the colorwork. I’ll figure out the neck treatment later.

When I got to the green/gray arrow, there was no contrast at all. Guess I should have listened to those warning bells. Also, I decided that I didn’t want the dark purple as a background at the beginning; the whole sweater was bringing me down. Too autumnal, or even wintery. So I went back to Twisted, and bought a skein of Nekkid to replace the gray.

I still want the light purple as the main part of the body. And I wanted way less of the dark purple, so I’ll use that for the arrow. That’s the least used color. The question is: Nekkid or Fresh Cut for the beginning and the interplay with the light purple?

I started with Nekkid, and it felt like the purples were a stripe on a white sweater. Pretty contrasty! In this color scheme, the arrow would be dark purple against green, which I would love. Should I knit a little further? As I said, I don’t mind ripping!

I also started with green, and the combo of this and the light purple made me think of sugared violets. Beautiful! I like how everything seems to blend. But now the arrow would be dark purple against Nekkid, which is very contrasty, and not quite as pleasing as purple against green.

So far, I’ve decided to go with the green beginning. It feels more blendy/cohesive. And the contrasty arrow will really stand out. But of course I’m having second thoughts. There might be more green than I want here. I may go and knit a little further on the other piece and see what happens. Which do you like?

I find color to be such an adventure, and so hard to predict how colors will interact until I try it. How about you?

I never did wash and block any of these beginnings. I guess it will fit…or it won’t!

Kittiwake, my linen top, is coming in August! I’ve knit two of them. The pattern has been edited, and test knitter Ann just got her yarn and is knitting away. I’m looking forward to sharing that with you! Soon!

Hopscotch scarf, and what’s next on the needles

It’s been a busy month here; I’ve been up to my elbows in brioche! Two of the projects will be published next winter; I can’t show them until they’re out. But they were really fun to work on. The third project?

This is my Hopscotch Scarf. I designed it as a teaching piece for syncopated brioche. It’s really fun to knit. Mine is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in 2 colors, Drawing Room and Natural. The front and back are positive/negative images of each other; they both look good. There’s no wrong side, really. You don’t have to use a gradient, just two different colors in worsted weight yarn.

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. You don’t have to be a brioche expert, but a little brioche experience wouldn’t be amiss. If you’re interested in test knitting, please let me know in the comments.

With those three projects out the door, my needles are feeling strangely empty. I have one sample I’m knitting, and a few things sketched out in my design notebook, but I’m also tempted to knit something else just for fun.

Have you seen the Soldotna Crop from Caitlin Hunter/Boyland Knitworks? It’s a cropped top down pullover with a colorwork yoke, no sleeves. That means it’s relatively quick, and the colorwork keeps it moving along. I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot on Instagram, and I was tempted enough to buy some yarn to dream with last Friday.

Of course, now that I have the yarn, it’s 95 degrees F here in Portland, so I may postpone this project and knit something with the white Quince & Co. linen I bought last year. I’m planning to frog what I started last summer; I’ve lost interest in it. Fickle, oops.

This was going to be a swingy open backed top, stockinette with just that bit of lace at the hem. I need a little more something to keep me engaged; that’s a lot of stockinette. Buh-bye! I’m perusing my stitch dictionaries for a simple, easily memorized lace pattern. I’ll start a simple little top with it and see how far I get. I do love linen for its lovely drape and swing.

What are you knitting this summer?