Project Planning: Fusion

As I mentioned yesterday, the pattern I’d like to try my hand at steeking is Fusion. In anticipation of the project, I’ve been playing around with colors in Google Sheets. I’ve decided to use Quince & Co. Chickadee, which is the yarn that the pattern calls for. It comes in a wide range of colors, which is great — except that I’ve been trying to grow my all black handknits.

I started my color experimentation with greys and a pop of yellow. I was picturing a mostly-black sweater with a mostly-greyscale fair isle band. I didn’t want to go too dark with the greys though. I still want the colorwork to be visible, and if the colors are too similar, I’m afraid that the pattern will look muddled.

So I began considering colors. I was drawn to having a pop of either yellows or oranges, so those colors served as my jumping off point. I also knew that I don’t like purples or reds. Since I was using Google Sheets to develop my palettes, I was able to duplicate the spreadsheet and simply change the colors assigned in the conditional formatting menu. I included a few of my combinations above.

I’ve settled on one of the last two combinations. A visit to my LYS basically sealed the deal. They had the majority of the colors I needed in stock and were able to special order the rest for me, which means I’ve basically committed myself to this palette.

Fusion Palette

Instead of knitting the body of the sweater in black, I opted for Sabine, which is a very dark heather grey. For the background of the chart, I’m using two heathered medium greys. The contrast between the two will probably be subtle, but that’s what I’m going for.

The foreground will be some combination of Peacock, Aleutian, and / or Belize. My LYS had Belize in stock, but my digital “swatch” uses Aleutian, and I think I like that better, so I ordered a hank from the Quince website. If Aleutian looks good next to Peacock, I’ll probably use that as my second foreground teal. If Belize looks good next to Peacock and Aleutian, I might sneak that in when I knit the rows that use Carrie’s Yellow and Honey.

Of course, there’s no way to really know how these will look together without knitting a (steekable) swatch. So that’s the next step.

For the Love of Grettir

Grettir

That spring-like weather we experienced towards the end of February passed, which means I’ve had ample opportunity to wear my new Grettir sweater since finishing it last week.

Perhaps because it’s simply my New Sweater or maybe because it’s a Good Sweater or possibly because it’s the one laying in the most convenient location (draped over the back of the chair that I hang my winter coat on), I’ve worn Grettir almost every day since last Friday. I wore it on a snowy bike ride, which it was actually a little too warm for and consequently I didn’t button my coat and it became covered in snow as I rode the eight miles to work. It kept me warm and dried quickly. I wore it on two consecutive low-to-mid-20°Fs days. And I wore it while I biked home those two windy evenings. And I wore it today while I shoveled the ice that fell overnight in lieu of snow.

Grettir

I like this sweater very much. It turns out that the sleeve length is just right. I keep it cuffed all the time, and it never feels too short in the arm. The body length is perfect.¹ And I think there’s something to this color thing! Knitting is what brought me around to wearing color, and there’s something about this mix of greens and gold that I can’t quite articulate. But I like it.

Pattern: Grettir
Yarn: Ístex Léttlopi (1407, 9421, 9426, 0867)
View My Ravelry Project


1: Both of my Strokkur sweaters are on the long side (by design), and occasionally the back gets caught on the nose of my saddle.

FO: Grettir

Grettir
Pattern: Grettir
Yarn: Ístex Léttlopi (1407, 9421, 9426, 0867)
View My Ravelry Project

I finally bound off Grettir on Monday night. The moment was perhaps robbed of its usual excitement, because I had gotten home at 22:30 and I was tired (and hungry), but I’m very satisfied with the completed project. Although I think that I’ll take a break from knitting Icelandic-style sweaters for awhile…

When I picked the colors for this project, I had woods and lichen and the hiking we do in the Catskills on my mind, and I think the color scheme works well with this pattern. There were moments when I wasn’t sure whether the dark green and brown or two greens would be contrasty enough, but once I started knitting the yoke, I realized that all of the colors work together. As with the Riddari yoke, now that I’ve knit this, I see even more color combination possibilities, and I think it would be fun to work in additional shades of greens and golds. Why stop at four colors?

Grettir

I made very few changes to this pattern, and the ones I did make were minor. I skipped the tubular cast ons and sewn bind off, because #lazyknitter. Instead I went with my usual stretchy cast on and bind off. I knitted extra long cuffs, because I like the look of folded cuffs. I skipped the waist shaping, because I don’t really care about having a “feminine shape” on the sweaters I wear with lots of layers in the winter. I went with a plain, ribbed collar, because that’s what I like.

As far as Things I Would Do Differently (And Other Small Quibbles), I think the sleeves could be longer. When I measured the length of the sleeves, I measured them with a folded cuff, so I added almost 2″ to the length spec’ed in the pattern (assuming I wear the cuffs unfolded), but I could have knit at least another inch of stockinette. When they’re cuffed, the sleeves stop just above my wrist, which is a little bit too short for my tastes.

Grettir

Additionally, I have a smallish frame, and the yoke is definitely too deep for me. As I move around in it, the fabric stops lying flat across my chest. I was aware of this situation before I started knitting, because the Grettir chart has more rounds than my final Riddari chart, which, even after I reduced the number of rows in the yoke, is also a little bit too deep. By contrast, both of my Strokkur sweaters have a yoke depth that’s more appropriate for my body and, as a result, they don’t bunch or gather. (The only solution I’ve found is to periodically pull down the front of my sweater, but if you have better advice, please do share.)

This fit issue is not, however, a show-stopper for me, so I proceeded with the Grettir pattern. I still wear my Riddari regularly, and I’ll likely end up wearing this sweater frequently too. (My black Strokkur gets the most wear, as it’s the closest thing I have to a black lopapeysa and, in the final analysis, I will still always prefer to wear all black.) My wardrobe preferences gravitate much more towards the practical, with warmth and layer-ability taking the lead. If I can comfortably bicycle 20-miles in it in the winter, it’s a keeper and funny fit be damed.

And on that note, it’s 40°F outside and dropping: time to take this sweater on its inaugural bike ride to work!

WIP: Grettir

Grettir

I know that I’ve just barely completed Riddari, but I already have my another sweater on my needles: a Grettir sweater.

I have a sweater quantity of dark green Léttlopi, along with plenty of partial balls and smaller quantites, so the plan is to knit the body in dark green and work the yoke in dark brown, a lighter green, and that gold, which already appears in two of my sweaters.

I’m a little uncertain about the brown next to the dark green. There might not be enough contrast, or there might not be enough contrast in certain light, and that might be okay. But, since I belong to the #noswatchclub, I’m just going to embrace the uncertainty and keep knitting.

FO: Riddari

Riddari
Riddari
Riddari
Riddari (Cuffs)
Pattern: Riddari
Yarn: Ístex Léttlopi (0056, 0058, 9264, 9426)
View My Ravelry Project

After knitting Strokkur, I didn’t think I would use Léttlopi again. I don’t enjoy knitting with it, and I initially found the completed sweater incredibly prickly. But after wearing it several times, something changed. Either the yarn started to soften up or I got a little tougher, but suddenly I was wearing it all the time. So I decided to knit another sweater with Léttlopi.

I still don’t like knitting with Léttlopi. The yarn is kind of splitty. Sometimes it’s plied very loosely. It’s kind of rough on my hands, which already have eczema to contend with. But I love this sweater. It’s soft and squishy and warm. The fit is perfect.

Modifications:
These are the major changes I made to the pattern. I made choices based on how my two Strokkur sweaters turned out, particularly the one knit in Léttlopi, which I used to determine the body and sleeve lengths.

  • CO 40 sts for the sleeves and worked increases to 58 sts, which eliminated one rep of the yoke chart.
  • Short rows before and after the yoke.
  • Reduced the yoke to only 35 rows, because the original depth would have been too big for my smallish frame.
  • Changed the last few rows of the yoke, in order to reintroduce the cuff and hem pattern into the collar.

It’s also worth noting that I knit the body and sleeves (two-at-a-time) bottom up, however I started knitting the yoke before I finished the sleeves, because I wanted to get to the fun part. So I cast on stitches with scrap yarn, worked the yoke and collar, then returned to my sleeves. When I completed them, I used Kitchener stitch to graft them onto the body. I don’t recommend this. It looks fine, but it was annoying.