Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

November & December Yarn Review

In which I make four projects form Whimsical Little Knits 2

Tree Spirit Pullover

I wanted to knit Duncan a white sweater, originally so the kids would be all in white for their December photos, but this sweater turned out too big for that as I left lots of growing room. I’ve become quite the yarn snob, so just buying a random pure white yarn wasn’t my first choice. I knew that BMFA has a number of different near whites, and I figured that their Socks that Rock heavyweight would make a good sweater for a small boy. I ordered the “Ghillie Dhu” colorway because I liked the name and the color. It’s named for a Scottish tree spirit and is a green tinted white. Green seemed seasonally appropriate and Duncan has a Scottish name and green eyes.

I dithered for a long time over which pattern to use. For a while I thought I’d design my own, but then I found the Twisted Tree Pullover pattern, and it was perfect in every way. It even features a Viking-inspired cabled tree motif. It’s a great pattern overall, though the instructions leave a little something to be desired when it comes to joining the sleeves and starting the yoke. Luckily I’ve knit a bottom-up raglan in the round before so I could just do what I knew ought to happen instead of trying to parse the unclearly worded instructions.


Mittens Twice

I knit both kids some mittens for winter. These were a quick knit. I made the first thumb too long, but they are serviceable. I didn’t have enough scrap worsted leftover for a pair, so I used Knit Picks gloss held double. Actually, I think the double stranded merino/silk sock yarn makes a darn nice mitten. Also, since I had tons of the gloss I could easily make both pairs exactly matching, save for size.


Marigolds for Margaret

I know I mentioned that Margaret loves the color orange. Well, I had this single skein of Sundara sport silk in the Marigold colorway. I’d had a plan for it, but it wasn’t actually a good plan. It occurred to me that I could instead make something for Margaret out of it, and it also occurred to me that other people had make the Scroll Lace Scarf from a single skein of sport silk, and it would be something she could wear now but still never outgrow. I really like Ysolda Teague patterns, and I owned it already as part of Whimsical Little Knits 2, so it’s a stash win all around. I cast this on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I finished all but the cast-off on the trip.


While I loved making it, Margaret has declared it “too big”. I’m expecting time will fix that problem soon enough.

Mom’s Lady Sweater

Also started over Thanksgiving, but far from done currently is a February Lady Sweater I am making for my mom out of Sundara Aran Silky Merino is the Marina over Icicles colorway. It’s the perfect color for my blue-loving Mom. I’m doing the yoke in stockinette with just the button band in garter stitch since my mom stated that she didn’t like garter stitch.

Snapdragon Tam

I made a hat for Hongmei for Christmas. The pattern is another Ysolda Teague pattern. This is the third Ysolda hat I’ve done (she has a lot of hat patterns), and I loved doing it. Did I mention that I liked Ysolda’s patterns? The yarn is BMFA Socks that Rock Heavyweight in Blue Moonstone; I chose the color because Hongmei seems to like pale blue.


I have it on good authority that Hongmei loves the hat.

Snapdragon Fliptops

I started these mittens to use up the rest of the yarn from the Tam, and I should have had enough, only I didn’t, and so I am stalled with just the flip-top parts of the mittens to go until more yarn arrives. I decided I liked the color enough to order more and find something (probably a baby sweater) to use the rest. I also loved the pattern so much that I had to finish these. Besides, Hongmei needs better gloves than what she has and is a very appreciative victimknitwear recipient.


Since I had more than half a skein leftover from Duncan’s sweater, and since he’s in need of a new hat I decided to use the yarn to make Duncan a hat. Having recently finished a hat by Ysolda, I decided to try another one. She doesn’t have so many unisex patterns, so I went with Ripley. This was an incredibly fast knit. I sized it down for Duncan by simply subbing in a DK weight yarn and smaller needles instead of using an aran weight yarn, and that way I could use some of the leftover yarn from Duncan’s sweater.


The band ended up being a bit more snug than I’d intended, but still stretchy enough for this winter. The pattern calls for this to be knit on needles that are larger than customary for the weight of yarn, perhaps to make the pleats easier. The pleats are cool, but I’m unclear about how I like hats with a loose, drapey fabric. It’s better than no hat for sure, but if I do this one again I think I’ll make it with a yarn weight appropriate to the needles size I’m using for a denser fabric.

Autumn Juno

I’ve been working on this one for over two years, at a rate of just a few rows a week. If you’re wondering why it was so slow, all I can say is silk lace weight yarn on size 0 needles. This is the project that made me decide that there will be no more new lace weight yarn in my stash ever. Mind you, I love the fabric this yarn makes, I just did not love making it. Eventually I will use the silk lace that I already have, but I calculate that I have enough to last me the rest of my life. Anyway, it is finally finished and I have one very labor-intensive scarf/stole.


Other Yarn Thoughts

I need to make Margaret a new hat. She lost her beloved red Odessa, probably in the parking lot of Sears, though it could be anywhere in the Burlington Mall. I am sad at it’s loss, though mostly because she loved it so very much. In truth the hat took less than a week to make, so effort-wise it wasn’t a big deal, and I know that part of knitting for kids is the understanding that hats and mittens are easily lost. Warren has requested that I make the replacement exactly like the first one. I do plan to recreate it, but I have ordered red Socks that Rock Heavyweight for this one as I was not at all happy with how the Baby Cashmerino I used for the original was wearing. The cashmerino line feels wonderful, but it pills, felts (in spite of supposedly being safe to machine wash), and it has poorer memory than you would expect (the hat got stretched out). I have better expectations for the STR heavyweight, and I was ordering from Blue Moon anyway.

I finished 2010 with less yarn than I started with, even before you count the big reduction in “undeclared stash”. I have also been successful so far in resisting the temptation of signing up for more yarn clubs/subscriptions. Keeping track of how big my stash is on a weekly basis helps with that.

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