My May Makes, part 2: The River sweater, an Atrium of coral lace and plans for a stashbuster jumper

I’ve been making good use of my time on buses lately.  I’m normally on one to work for at least half an hour at a time and relish any chance I get to knit or crochet – elbow room permitting 🙂  Always a silver lining when it comes to commuting!  And now that the body of the River sweater is finished, it’s just the sleeves to go:

River4 Or more accurately, one sleeve to go.  I got in at around 10pm last night and decided I’d just attack the first sleeve!  It’s a couple of inches or so past my elbow, but shy of three-quarter length; just enough so that if I bend my elbow, the sleeve still stays on my forearm.  So far, so fairly okay – but now I’ve run into another little jam with this jumper!  It was all going so well and now I have a decision to make….

River5…which revolves around the dyelot question.  I’m not immune to having odd dyelots in my handknitted stuff, not by any means.  This normally happens when I buy yarn intending to make a particular project, and then a little while later, along comes something else I think is nicer/prettier/more me/more wearable and I end up reallocating yarn.  Sometimes it works out fine.  And sometimes it causes problems like this.

You see, I have 10 balls of this violet yarn – plenty to get this sweater done, as I’ve used 6 so far.  The niggle is that I have 7 in one dyelot, and 3 in another.  In daylight, it doesn’t look too bad, but last night I just wasn’t convinced.  One remedy is to unravel the ribbing and reknit it with one of the odd balls; another is to start knitting the other sleeve with the remaining ball in the 7-lot batch to see where it takes me, and then umm and ahh from there before ultimately deciding to knit all the ribbed welts in one of the odd balls.  But eventually I got fed up of this and decided to think about something else – or, more romantically, this led to a creative brainwave 😉

Rowan All Seasons Cotton has been a favourite of mine for a long time: reasonably priced (especially compared to the rest of the Rowan range), washes well, comfortable to wear, and cosy.  Then it hit me: what if I have enough to make a stripy jumper or something with all the odd bits I have left over?  Like I said, MUCH nicer to contemplate than odd dyelots.  So I rummaged around in my stash for colour inspiration and came up with this sweet little palette of colours:

StashbasterJumper1It’s so springlike!  I really like it.  The aqua is from my Jacqueline cardigan; the green is from my Edgy cardigan (couldn’t find any odd balls of that down here, so a trip into the loft it is, and IT HAD BETTER BE IN THERE), and the white and pink I may need to make up.  I have about three balls of the violet and aqua, about the same in the spring green, so I just need the bleached white to wake things up, freshen the other colours and add a bit of contrast.  Oh, the pink – the ball here is leftover DK cotton, so not usable for this, but I’m sure I can get a pink like this from somewhere.  I know Rowan have done one in the past so it’s a case of tracking it down.  So I am spending a little money – but I GET A NEW TOP in one of my favourite yarns and there are slightly less random balls of yarn kicking around the place to annoy me.  One ball, I can tolerate; I’ll just use it for swatching when I’m in design mode.  More than two and I think “I’ve got to use this up somewhere” – and the yarn taunts me, I know it does!  More on this little game before long, I hope – which leads me to another call on my attention…

CoralAtriumCardigan1This strip of coral gorgeousness is the Atrium cardigan from Metropolitan Knits.  I got this book for Christmas and I’ve finally cast on a project!  I’m using stashed Rowan Calmer (just reading over what I’ve typed so far and I feel the need to say “other yarns are available”) for the Roman stripe lace pattern.  I’ve wanted a garment in this stitch texture for ages now, and now is the time.

Working this pattern is a bit of a beast where this cardigan is concerned; you can see here the body is all in one piece, which I’ll be really grateful for later on, but the number of stitches on the needles doubles for the first two rows of the repeat.  I haven’t dared look at the actual stitch count in the book (and don’t even think about asking me whether I’d count manually), but I think that rows 1 and 2 comprise well over 300 stitches on the needles.  Not bad when taken alone, but it does mean that I do about a repeat or two at a time and that I’m REALLY looking forward to dividing this beautiful monster up when I reach the armholes!  Here’s a closer look at the lacy texture:

CoralAtriumCardigan2Again, so pretty!  And it’s potentially a very well-fitting garment too; I haven’t made it with negative ease, but the openness and varied stitch count makes a fabric that is very flexible, yielding and stretchy in every direction.  The yarn I’ve used adds to this, for sure, but if you want a flattering garment without having to bother with side seam shaping, Roman stripe might be worth a look.  And there’s great drape too.  The length you see here is 25cm and I already like the way it behaves.  Definitely another one for the bus though, and small doses.  The River sweater’s definitely first in the queue; if I’m wearing it next week, I’ll be very happy!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. thehookstook says:

    Sorry, I don’t do Twitter, so I thought I’d reply to a tweet here (hope you don’t mind!) Totally agreed – sometimes there is nowt nicer than mashed potato! But have you ever tried it on toast? Sounds bonkers, but good if there happens to be any leftovers, and works on the same idea as a chip butty! Yum on both counts!

    1. I’d never thought of that, thank you! And of course I don’t mind you replying here ☺. After such a long day yesterday all I can think about is comfort food, the mash was perfect. Might even make some scones later…

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