Minor knit fail (happy holidays?)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Years of experience have taught me to get started on holiday gift making early. The year Mom got a pair of felted slippers that were still soaking wet, for example. This year I'm knitting a hot water bottle cozy for her, and so far, I have managed one band of colorwork that made my right hand hurt for two days, and I'm going to rip it out. (The colorwork, not my hand.)

Stranded colorwork

My hand hurt because I usually knit Combined, with the yarn in my left hand, and it suits me just fine. For working more than one color per row/round, though, it can be slow going. I've tried carrying two colors in my left, with wonky results. I've knit with one color at a time, and that works for some colorwork. Figuring it's a skill I want to acquire anyway, I've been knitting this cozy with one color in my left hand and one color in my right. It feels awkward and my tension is still a little uneven, but nothing that wouldn't even out a bit with a good blocking and which really doesn't matter too much (it's a hot water bottle cozy, after all, it just needs to keep the bottle insulated and keep it from burning Mom). The lack of contrast in the colors is just not working for me, though. Can you tell that the colorwork strip is a band of hearts? I can't, and I knit it. I wound off half the skein of the darker pink and put it in dyebath of red and pink food coloring last night, and I'm also going by YarnStory this afternoon, where I may just go ahead and buy more yarn. Hopefully this will get done on time!

Ravelry project: Hot Water Bottle Cozy
Pattern: ISBN Hot Water Bottle Cozy by Rachael Herron, modified to use the colorwork chart for Hearty-Stripy Socks by Polly McEldowney.


Posted on by MK Carroll


I picked up 2 skeins of Nadezdha's Crayon Box handdyed worsted weight wool yarn at YarnStory and have started swatching for a scarf. This colorway is "Ka'a'awa", which can be translated as "shallow water" so I was looking for something evocative of that. This is called Harrow Stitch in one of the Mon Tricot stitch dictionaries I have on hand, and I think it's working out rather nicely.

Beatnik Pullover Sweater: twisted rib comparison

Posted on by MK Carroll

The Stockinette blog has a post on how she knit her Beatnik in the round, with seamless set-in sleeves. It looks fabulous on her! It also looks like this sweater doesn't really need seams for structure. So I decided to start a sleeve in the round to see how it compared.

Comparing twisted ribbing

No contest. On top: twisted rib knit in the round on dpns. On the bottom: twisted rib knit flat. I'm glad I'd only just finished the back hem; less for me to frog and re-do.

Knitting a sleeve early on in this process should help me get an idea of the true gauge (the best swatch is a finished project, after all), plus a sleeve is a good on-the-go piece to have in my project bag. I don't think I could successfully work on the cabled body of this sweater at an SNB or in the car.

Beatnik pullover sweater: casting on

Posted on by MK Carroll

Beatnik: back ribbing

So that bag of Berroco Remix I bought along with Wendy Bernard's book Custom Knits, to knit the Ingenue pullover sweater with, after multiple swatches and much Ravelry research, is now being knit into the Beatnik pullover sweater. All of my swatching was suggesting that this wasn't the yarn for an Ingenue; getting to gauge would have made a very stiff fabric and I didn't want to have to redesign the sweater to suit my gauge instead. Just going ahead and designing a sweater for myself gripped me for long enough to sit down with Sweater 101 and take notes, and then Beatnik popped up in Friends Favorites on Ravelry and I was smitten. Although I know swatches lie, my swatches suggest I knit this one size smaller (the 40" instead of the 44"), so that's what I'm doing...even though the sweater is knit flat, in pieces, so trying it on as I go won't be an easy option. I'm also using 4.5 mm needles to knit the twisted rib hems, because I couldn't find 4.25 mm needles. So far, those are the only changes I have made to the pattern; once I get to the armscyes and sleeves it may be a different story, as I have broad shoulders and big upper arms.

I will note that knitting twisted rib in a non-stretchy yarn is not the most fun thing, especially when the needles are heavy enough to slide right out of the stitches if I'm not careful. Added bonus for me preferring to knit "combination" style, which means that the standard instructions for how to knit a twisted rib does not result in a twisted rib when I do it. It's been a little slower for me because I had to pay attention to the stitches and make sure I was twisting them.

Pattern: Beatnik by Norah Gaughan, published in Knitty Deep Fall 2010
Yarn: Berroco Remix