I’ve gotta admit- it’s been a while since I enjoyed a pattern this much. Part of it might be the speed of the knit; a sweater without (much of) a body or sleeves isn’t going to take long. It might be the simple, yet super effective colorwork. I’ve yet to see a version of Soldotna that doesn’t work. And it might be that it’s one of the most flattering sweaters I’ve finished in a long time.
I actually bound off several weeks ago, while we were on vacation up on the Sound. I even blocked it in the sun, overlooking the water. (Blocking with a view makes the finished project better, right?)I think my favorite part of this sweater is how wearable it is. Who would have thought? A short-sleeved, cropped sweater? Really? Past Allison would have laughed at the idea that I would wear something like this.
But, look at it! It’s great! (Ollie seems less than impressed, but that might be because I’m not feeding him treats.)I’ve been wearing it over dresses, tank-tops and jeans. And once it cools down (fall’s right around the corner), I think it’ll be cute over long-sleeved tanks or a nice buttondown.The kid seems like he likes it too. (How cute would a baby one be?!)
Have you finished anything fun recently?
I know- it’s crazy, but I’ve another new sweater for you! Exciting!
This one’s feels pretty on the nose for me, as it’s just starting to get cooler out, and I’m dreaming of getting into the thick of fall. And there’s nothing that says “autumn” to me better than a thick, cabled, over-sized wool sweater. (Though, honestly, this is really more of a “deep winter” sweater if you’re a normal person, and not a cold-blooded lizard person like me. My husband tried it on and managed maybe five minutes before he started to overheat.)
It’s the Olympic Pullover!It’s named after the Olympic Peninsula, the gorgeous part of Washington between the Puget sound and the Pacific Ocean. It’s full of lush forests, misty coastline and snowy peaks. (And it’s where Twilight was based, if that gives you an idea. Though I imagine that people that live over there don’t love that reference.) It’s the perfect place to traipse around in a woolly cabled pullover.This sweater is beyond simple- dropped shoulders mean almost no shaping, and everything’s worked in pieces and sewn up, so it would make nice travel knitting. Plus, the cables look super-complicated, but once you get them established, they’re pretty simple.
Woo hoo! It’s a pattern day!
And this one’s a little out of my usual wheelhouse, because:
- It’s a fingering-weight sweater worked on US3’s. Why? Because I’m a crazy person.
- It’s colorwork! I love how colorwork looks, but all things being equal, I think I’m more of a cables person. I love a big squishy sweater. (OK, I love making a big cabled sweater. I’d wear either in a heartbeat.)
Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce the Piper’s Creek Pullover!It’s a long-sleeved yoked pullover, made with Palette yarn from Knit Picks (though you could use really any fingering-weight wool). It uses at least 7 (count em) different colors (great for using up leftover scraps!), but could be easily modified to use as many colors as you have on hand. I made mine for my husband with a gray background and blue, red and yellow details. It’s a great unisex sweater, and a fun, simple knit (assuming you don’t mind miles of US3 stockinette).
I will say one thing though- the neck on the sample in these pictures ended up kind of funny, so if you want to make a Piper’s Creek Pullover (which I highly recommend), here’s what I would do to avoid the weird neck. First, make sure that you’re only doing the number of short rows called for in the pattern, or maybe even reduce the number by one or two, just in case. Second, make sure to work the colorwork nice and loosely (tight shoulders will make the neck funnel up, like it is in the pictures). And third, make sure to block the sweater so the neck goes nice and smoothly into the shoulders. Worst case scenario, if the neck ends up terrible even with all those precautions, you can always rip it out from the top down (or cut it out), pick up your neck stitches and work the neck and collar that you prefer after the sweater’s done. (Though, that seems like a lot of work…)
I was concerned about the pinkness of the pink and the purpleness of the purple in the yoke. (It’s really a crazy amount of super bold color-work, and I admit that by the end of it, I was starting to get nervous.) But, now that I’m chugging along with the body, I really like the contrast between the bold, colorful top and the understated body. Though, if I’m being honest, I kind of never want to do a “field of dots” sweater ever again. It’s just enough color-work to be a pain, but not enough to be exciting. (It does look nice, though…)
I took a break from the body last night, and worked up the “sleeves.” I don’t think I’ve ever finished both sleeves on a sweater in one sitting (even a baby sweater). This was really just an inch or so of ribbing- super simple and satisfying. Now I think that all sweaters should have short sleeves!
I can’t wait for this thing to be finished and blocked (and those ends to be woven in… ugh).
But then I’ll have to figure out what to wear with it… That’ll be the tricky part.
Ya’ll, this pattern is fun! It’s been a minute since I did anything with this much color-work and I’m enjoying it thoroughly.
While last time I made a big deal about following someone else’s pattern and not doing any of my own math, I must admit I cheated a little bit. I’d heard people complaining about the neck/short row situation on this sweater, so I changed it up a little. Instead of working 7 rows of ribbing for the collar, I did 5. And instead of doing 5 sets of short rows, I did 3. I think it’ll do nicely. No turtleneck here!And I think I’m liking how these colors are playing together for the most part. There’s still a part of me that’s a little skeptical of the pink-yellow variegated, but I think that’s because it’s just so far outside of the colors I usually pick. And, I am a little concerned about the contrast between the pink and the gray in the big “arrow” section of the yoke. (Though, honestly this picture makes it look pretty nice. It’s a little less clear in real life.)I’m almost to the end of the yoke, which is both exciting (yay! I’m that much closer to finishing), and a little sad (boo! I’m that much closer to finishing). It’s a fun little project, and with no sleeves and not much body to knit, it’ll be done before I know it.
What do you think of the colors? I think I like them, but I’m still on the fence a bit.
I’m really excited about this one, folks! I’m starting a new project, which is always fun, but this time there are a few reasons I’m especially pumped:
- It’s for me!
- It’s not for work!
- It’s a pre-existing pattern (no math!).
- It’s going to be made from yarn that I bought explicitly for this project. No stashbusting!
- It’s going to be super cute!
That’s right, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and making myself a Soldotna Crop (though I think mine won’t be quite as cropped as the pattern suggests; I’m pretty tall and don’t own any high-waisted jeans).
I’m using Tosh DK in four colors that I spent wayyy too much time picking out. madelinetosh is one of my absolute favorite dyers. I love the subtle variation they get in their semi-solids and the saturated colors in their variegated yarns. I haven’t actually worked with her DK weight before, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a nice dense yarn, and super soft, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be too prone to pilling (or at least that’s what it feels like).
The colors I picked were Undergrowth (a dreamy blue-green for the main color), Raspberry Cordial (a jammy purple with hints of fuchsia), Tern (a soft purple-y gray), and Texas Tulips (an insane (for me) pink/yellow/green variegated that is something that I would never normally have picked, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time… we’ll see how it looks).
It feels kind of decadent to be making a whole sweater for myself, just because I want to, in fancy new yarn that I picked out specifically for this project. I kind of love it.
(I really hope that pink color ends up working…. it’s very un-me.)
I’m going to go get this yarn wound up right away and start knitting. Whoo!
When’s the last time you did some selfish knitting?
I am *this* close to finishing my brother’s wedding blanket (and only about a month late… so not too bad), which means it’s time for me to start planning my next project.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
- I want to make something for myself. Just about all my knitting for the last year or so has been for work, or for someone else (mostly the kid, so I can’t complain too much). And, while I like knitting for other people, I feel like it’s time for me to do a little selfish knitting.
- I think I want a new sweater. And not just the same plain pullover I’ve made myself thirty-seven times. I love a nice plain pullover, but I’m feeling an itch to try something new. Right now I’m thinking about doing some color-work.
- I don’t want to design it. I want to follow someone else’s pattern. I don’t want to figure out charts or do a whole bunch of math. I just want to sit down with a tried-and-true pattern and just go to town. I might not even make a swatch. (I know… heresy.)
- I want this sweater to be a little trendier and girlier than I usually go. My usual style is basic, almost unisex, straight-ahead. I want to do something a little more interesting and fashionable.
- And, if this pattern could take less than thirteen years, that would be appreciated.
So, after a long troll through Ravelry, I’ve come up with some ideas, and I need your input to decide what to do. (Though, fair warning, I might decide to do a completely different project and come back here next week with a half-knitted squid or something).
I think I like the idea of making a sweater with a cropped-yet-oversized silhouette. It seems like it would be flattering. Or maybe not? I’m not sure. It’s very different from what I usually wear, but maybe that’s the point?
This sweater could be knit with long sleeves or without, to make a sleeveless summer sweater. But maybe it’s too simple? Other than the silhouette, it’s not that different from my usual knits. Lots and lots of stockinette.
Aqua by Trin-Annelie
This sweater has a very similar shape- real boxy and simple, but I like the ribbing detail across the shoulder and the color-work at the bottom.
Navelli by Caitlin Hunter
Speaking of color-work, I’ve been ogling everyone’s Soldotnas. And I do mean everyone, there have been more than 2000 of them added to Ravelry. I really like the color-work yoke (and I do like a yoked sweater), but for some reason the combination of the yoke and the cropped length seems a little less flattering to me than the boxier dropped-shoulder sweaters. But maybe I’m just crazy?
Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter
Or, I could just go along with the cool kids and make myself a Shifty. I love the color-work/mosaic-knit fabric, and I have an idea for what yarn I’d substitute. (Spincycle is lovely, but I don’t want my sweater to cost three thousand dollars.) I just wonder if this sweater is a little too close to my usual sweater, if I’m trying to make something new.
Shifty by Andrea Mowry
I guess I’ll just have to keep thinking as I finish up the last few rows of that dang wedding blanket.
And no matter what I pick, I guess I’m going to have to get myself some high-waisted jeans or a couple linen dresses to go with my new cropped sweater.
Which sweater do you like best?
Woo! I finished!
God, it feels good to finish a project. It’s been a while. I’ve been working on that dang wedding blanket for my (now married) brother for what feels like a decade, and before that, I was working on a sweater for my husband that I ended up setting aside because I am an insane person who decided that knitting a full-on men’s sweater on US3’s was a good idea.
So, it’s been a minute since I was able to weave in that last end, break out the blocking boards and say “I’m officially done!”
And I’m here to say, “I’m officially done!” With this baby sweater.
I mean, look at this kid. He’s looking dapper in his little tweed sweater that’s still a bit big for him, which is great- it should be just about perfect in the fall. (Don’t mind the fat lip. He’s trying really hard to learn how to walk, and had a little run-in with gravity the other day. It looks worse than it is.)
I really enjoyed this pattern- Flax Light is real simple, and a nice quick project that used up a couple leftover skeins of Knit Picks Provinicial Tweed. (It’s marketed as a worsted, but knits up like a sport or a DK, so it was pretty perfect for this pattern.) I love that Tin Can Knits grades all their sweaters from baby to big adult, which means that I can make more Flaxes for the kiddo as he grows up. (And maybe matching ones for my husband and I? Though, that might be a little much, even for me.)
One thing that was odd, though, was the lack of a front/back in this pattern. No short rows at the back of the neck or stitches bound off at the front. It’s the second time I knitted a sweater for the kid that didn’t have a specific front/back. I wonder if it’s a baby-sweater thing, or something that I just haven’t run into until recently.
Have you finished anything lately?
I’m cruising along with my little Flax Light. (It’s a refreshing change from gigantic sweaters and blankets, but it’s a little sad that it’s so much bigger than the kiddo’s other sweaters… Slow down, little dude!)
I worked up the ribbed hem and bound off the body while watching last week’s episode of The Bachelorette. (Not the show I’m proudest of, but you gotta have something silly to watch from time to time.) The sweater is turning out so cute! I love the little shoulders and the neat little hem. And this color is going to be so flattering on the kid.I still had a half-hour left of my show, so I decided to grab some DPNs and get to work on the sleeves. But horror of horrors, apparently I don’t have any US6 DPNs. I’ve got 3 sets of 5’s, 2 sets of 7’s, and just about any other size I could want, but not a 6 in sight. How does this happen? I’ve been knitting for more than two thirds of my life. Why don’t I have any 6’s?
But, no fear, I can rally. I’m a knitter and knitters are nothing if not resourceful. I pulled out one of my long US6 circulars to start doing magic loop. Sure, I wasn’t a fan of it years ago when I tried it last, but maybe I’ve matured as a knitter. Maybe I’m open to other ways of knitting. Maybe it’s after 9 and JoAnn’s is closed and I have no other choice.Well, I made it about a half an inch before giving up. Good God, magic loop is annoying. The more power to you, if that’s what works for you. I’m glad there are different techniques for different people, but this one is definitely not for me. I don’t know why, but there is something that just drives me up the wall about wrangling that big old cable, and futzing with moving my stitches back and forth. Maybe there’s some “flow” thing that I’m just not getting, but at least for now, nope. Magic loop is definitely not for me.
I guess I’m taking a trip to the craft store this afternoon.
Are there any techniques that you just can’t stand? Have you ever tried something new and “noped” right out of there?