Tag Archives: sskal14

St-st-st-Stasis!

19

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Oh my, oh my, oh my, I am in finished-sweater heaven. I actually finished Stasis last weekend, but it has taken me a week to get proper photos (of course, the week after I finish a sweater has the warmest weather we’ve had in ages — not that I’m complaining: I loved it).

This was my Summer-Sweater KAL project this year (last year’s was Burrard — I can’t believe that was a year ago), and I am so glad that Shannon hosted the sskal again because it inspired me to pull out Stasis, which I’d started in February, and get it done. The pattern recommends knitting the sleeves first, so that’s where I started in the winter (I finished the colourwork portion on each and got maybe an inch further before putting them down). I knit each sleeve separately through the ribbing and colourwork, and then knit them two-at-a-time until they were about 18 inches long, at which point I put them aside and cast on for the body.

A little blown-out, but you get the idea.

A little blown-out, but you get the idea.

I pretty quickly realized that the tubular cast-on I used for the sleeves wasn’t going to work for the body. I had used Ysolda’s technique, which I really like (so quick!), but there were too many body stitches to keep under control. I did some Googling and found this method, which worked very well indeed, and is absolutely identical. After that it was pretty much smooth sailing up to the yoke (my only mod was to add about an inch to the length). Although the yarn was pretty evenly dyed, I alternated skeins every two (or three) rows after the bottom colourwork, just to keep the colours blended.

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Everything basically went fine until the yoke decrease portion. I read lots of project notes, many of which said they’d had to shorter the yoke section, so I knew it might be a problem area. I was getting row gauge, though, which seemed like such magic I assumed that I’d be okay, especially since I’d knit every other part of the pattern as written and it was turning out beautifully.

First attempt on the left, finished yoke on the right. I'd say there's about two inches of difference.

First attempt on the left, finished yoke on the right. I’d say there’s about two inches of difference (at least). (Photos are pre-blocking.)

I knit and knit and knit, and worked the ribbing and worked the tubular bind-off, and put it on and did not like it. It was wearable, don’t get me wrong, but the ribbing sat up on my neck like a mock turtleneck, and the yoke sat low around my shoulders, which made it feel strangely like it was falling off. It also made the armpits feel saggy and the arms too long, and I knew that if I left it it would never be a sweater I reached for. Looking at the way it fit, it seemed to me that I needed to be starting the collar ribbing more-or-less where the second decrease round was, and also that I needed to do fewer (and wider) short-rows across the back neck.

I used the needle end on  my trusty plastic stitch-holder thing (no affiliate, so click away) and wove it through the right leg of each stitch in the row approximately five rows above the colourwork. Then I ripped without fear of going too far. I knit one row, to get everything even, and then worked decrease row 2, then knit five plain rows before starting the short rows. To make those work better, I used the numbers for the size up, and only knit four sets. After that I finished as written.

Even a freshly-blocked sweater manages to collect cat hair around here. Thanks for that, Ganymede.

Even a freshly-blocked sweater manages to collect cat hair around here. Thanks for that, Ganymede.

The result is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s a fitted sweater, but still with plenty of space for layering once the weather gets cold. The yarn is soft enough that I can wear this with just a tank top underneath, and the main colour is a subtly variegated grey/white, which looks really nice over the all the plain stockinette. Now I have a reason to not bemoan the advent of cold weather — it was in the low-20s (high-60s) today when we took these and we had to seek out shade so I didn’t sweat too much!

Details
Pattern: Stasis by Leila Raabe
Yarn: The main is Kettle Yarn Co. Falkland (sadly discontinued) in Dusty Miller; the contrast is Plucky Feet in Pup Tent
Mods: I pretty much went over all of this, but to sum up: I added length to the body (about an inch) and then fussed around with the yoke until I was happy. Other than that, I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time (the first time I’ve ever tried that!) and, since I forgot the colourwork gauge needle when I went away last week, I just said to hell with it and knit the yoke entirely with the main gauge needle. It’s more fitted I guess, but I think it’s okay. I let the floats run a little long just to make sure it didn’t get tight. Ravelled here.

Let me leave you with one of L's test shots. It's a weird angle, but I like that it's sort of an action shot.

Let me leave you with one of L’s test shots. It’s a weird angle, but I like that it’s sort of an action shot.

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There’s something in the air

5

I’m not sure why, but even though neither L or I experience back-to-school anymore, this time of year is always hectic and disorganized, with a what feels like 80 things happening all in different places, all crammed into the same small window of time. I think we’re at the edge of it now, but wow.

Anyway, thank goodness for knitting, you know? It’s hardly a new observation to say that it really is soothing, but I definitely notice it most when my knitting feels like a calm little retreat. Of course, with so much on the go I didn’t feel like I’d been making much progress on anything, but then I pulled out my WIPs and things are looking okay.

Here’s what has been keeping me calm over the last two weeks.

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Stasis, of course. I’m just about to start the body decreases, which means I’m about six inches from joining the arms and then working the yoke. I have this crazy plan that this weekend I can sew myself a skirt (this one) and knit this up to the armscye. We shall see.

betula2After barely touching my Betula socks since we got back from California, I picked them up two weekends ago. They’re great travel knitting (as I said before) and were perfect for the long drives and train rides that characterized our last two weekends. I can only assume my ambitious plans from this weekend are due to my lack of at-home downtime this summer. (I don’t know about your summer weekends, but mine tend to book up pretty quickly. This will be my first weekend in ages that I get to spend at home with only my own whims to direct it. I can’t wait.) 

Anyway. Betula remains totally enchanting. I’m half-way through the gusset decreases on the second sock, so once I get a chance to pick them back up they’ll fly right off the needles I’m sure. (I have another trip in a couple of weeks — details to come, but it’s fun — so if they aren’t done before that, they’ll for sure be finished after it).

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Surprise! I cast on this hat a few weeks ago because every year I decide I’ll start my holiday knitting in the summer and every year I don’t (and then every holiday season I chastise myself for it). I could see that cycle was happening again this year, so I wound up the two skeins of Swans Island DK I picked up in Nova Scotia in the spring and cast on for L’s annual hat. This is Brig again, but I knit the smallest size this time, on a smaller needle, and the fit is perfect (he just tried it on so I’d know whether I needed to re-knit it, but it’s going to be tucked away now). The smaller needle meant my row gauge was tighter, so despite only starting the decreases 1/4 inch earlier, the overall hat is about 2.5 inches shorter, which means no fold-up brim. I offered to rip back the top and knit it longer, but L says he likes it as is, so I’m leaving it (perhaps there’s a third iteration of this pattern in my future?)

So there you have it. I’m slowly getting my routine back, and with that will come more regular posts (and, hopefully, more regular finished things to post about!) 

 

Stasis

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A month ago, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to participate in this year’s Summer Sweater KAL (sskal), but then Cassy signed on, and Shannon made a point of saying WIPs would count, and Stasis was sitting there sort of half-begun, and I caved. All my other August knitting plans got shoved aside modified and I picked Stasis back up.

I knit the sleeves two at a time, so they're a perfect match. They're also finished, which is a pretty nice feeling.

I knit the sleeves two at a time, so they’re a perfect match. They’re also finished, which is a pretty nice feeling.

There were a few other factors behind my decision, of course. A big one (the biggest one?) was the weather. This has not been a very warm summer, and after the horrible cold of last winter, and the promise of another very cold winter this year, adding another sweater to my wardrobe is just smart. I also remember very keenly how much I wanted to cast on this yarn when it arrived last fall, and the thought of being able to wear it this fall is very appealing. Also, frankly, this KAL forces me to get my act together and focus. By the end of the summer, as life starts to fall back into routine, I find myself wanting to cast on all the things (despite having a pile of WIPs that ought to get some attention). Last year, despite a bunch of distraction, the KAL kept me from getting too side-tracked, and meant Burrard got finished before the cold weather moved in (and before my holiday knitting started).

I'm just a few rows into the waist decreases, but so far so good on the body portion.

I’m just a few rows into the waist decreases, but so far so good on the body portion.

I’m still working on a few other things in the background (a monogamous knitter I may never be), but Stasis is growing, and I am really excited to wear it. I guess that’s the other sskal bonus: not only will I end up with a finished sweater, but now there’s a reason to look forward to the cooler weather (I love fall as much as the next knitter, but the winter that follows? Definitely not as exciting).