Pattern: Love Note
Stash Yarn: Kitty Bea Superwash Merino Wool/Silk, Sanibel colorway (Years in Stash: 2)
Purchased Yarn: ITO Sensai, in Crocus colorway
This month, I’ve finally knit a Love Note sweater by Tincanknits. I love this sweater. Love the result, but this was a journey.
I’ve knit long enough that I remember knitting a scarf in pure Kidsilk Haze, a gift for my grandmother. I was a new knitter, and I did a simple ribbed scarf at a loose gauge, and the result was beautiful, but oh, the agony of ripping back in mohair. It just was so unforgiving. So… judgemental. You want a do-over? No! No do-over for you! Mohair rage ensued.
So, my first concern was the fact that Love Note, though beautiful, called for lace knitting in mohair. A decade later, I’m a better knitter, I told myself. Maybe I won’t need the do-over.
Other concerns: I’m still working on color confidence in my projects. This required matching a mohair to a fingering skein, blending colors in a way I hadn’t tried before. Will it work? Will it look good on me? Then there was the cost. 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn, plus mohair held with it. Double the cost. Sigh.
I forged ahead, inspired by the knit along at my LYS. I’m a sucker for a good knit along. I may not finish, but boy, do I love the rush of the start. Casting on with others, dreaming of yarn combos together. Joy!
I dug around in my stash, and located 2 matching skeins of a truly pretty silk-merino blend in peach with bits of yellow and a lavender gray. It had been their for years, mostly because I didn’t really want to knit 800 yarn of fingering, I think, in a shawl. I was in a DK and worsted place in my life, and loving sweaters. This was my chance to knit this at a loose gauge in a sweater.
I read the very helpful post by Tincanknits on combining colors, but what really inspired me was the idea of amping up the lavender in this skein. More lavender couldn’t be bad, could it? I love the result, this halo of a grayish purple deepening everything a bit.
I chose the medium size, which I estimated would get me about 4-5 inches of ease. And I knit to a cropped length. Then I finished off the sleeves at 3/4 length. But when I got to the neckline, something went wrong. It wouldn’t fit over my head. So I ripped back, or tried to, and that mohair stuck to itself like no one’s business. I finally took a scissors to it, and gently but firmly told that mohair who’s boss.
I got it all back on the needles, with a bit of colorful language, then I decreased at a rate of K6, K2tog, but honestly, this was angry math. Not much calculation, just hoping it would work out while in a fuss, and I really like the result. Then I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff, because I was NOT reknitting this neckline.
But then I threw the thing on and hated the length. I’m just not loving the cropped length these days, and everyone seems to be raving about it. It’s not the looks, exactly, its that I feel exposed. Also, drafty. It feels a little chilly down there.
So. I ripped out the bottom, scissors assisting in the mohair cling, and then knit down so the length from under the arm was around 15″. I didn’t bother to rip out and reknit the short rows for the longer hem in back, and you can see them at my waist, but eff it. They’re staying. Bound off, also in the stretchy bind off.
The struggles and adjustments were worth it, though. I love this piece. It feels like a girly sweatshirt, which was just what I was going for. I love the fit, and love the length. I’m going to keep this 15 inch measurement from hem to underarm in mind for future sweaters.
Like many knitters, I’m planning another one of these soon. I’ve got some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in my stash, so no mohair this time. 😉
What are you knitting from your stash? Do you have a better relationship with mohair? I’d love to hear about your project!