Tag Archives: wisteria

Wisteria: fibre to FO in a month

It turns out that there were a couple of errors in the stitch-count calculations for Wisteria that I was talking about in my last post. It further turns out that I shortened the body length on the fly (the stated length might have nearly reached my knees!), and that when I double-checked the weight of fibre, it was even more generous than I had thought. The upshot of this is rather than needing to buy more fibre to finish, I’ve actually got about 110g leftover – enough for a pair of socks, or a hat, or a laceweight scarf. The leftovers might end up being my first attempt at dyeing fibre, but in the meantime I present my finished Wisteria!

Finished Wisteria

Apart from the body length, I made two other mods: my first ever short row bust shaping, which has worked well, and a split double-faced hem in place of the hem cables. I wasn’t keen on a horizontal band of cables around the widest part of me, and I like split hems for fit, and I’m very pleased with how it’s worked. I came up with about four different ways of working the hem, swatched a couple, and decided on this…

I put the back stitches on a spare needle, and worked across the front, knitting into the front and back of each stitch, doubling the stitch count. Then I worked back across the wrong side, knitting each stitch that was created on the previous row, and slipping the ‘original’ stitches with the yarn in front. Then back to the right side, I knit the ‘original’ stitches, and slipped the ‘new’ ones with the yarn in front. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The effect is like double knitting, takes a bit longer, but is less fiddly because it only needs one end of yarn at a time. It creates sealed sides as well, which gives it bonus points over just knitting the hem flat and folding it. I used a standard cast off, except with k2togs for each pair of stitches instead of plain knit, thus attaching the front and the back to each other and making a pretty chain of stitches along the bottom.

The other I’m-so-pleased-with-myself idea in the hem is that the yarn is made from the same singles as the main yarn, but in two-ply instead of three, so the hem is barely any thicker than the main body of the jumper, while not looking and different.

I’m wearing the finished item as I type, and loving it :-)

Counting stitches

Because I’m a geek like that, and because I’m trying to work out how much more fibre I need to buy, I’ve just constructed a spreadsheet to work out how many stitches there are in Wisteria. Interesting facts:

  • There are 57,170 stitches in total, including my mods: 6 rows of short row shaping in the bust, and a 6-row turned hem in two ply (hem stitches counted as ⅔ of a stitch each, as opposed to the main three ply yarn) instead of the hem cables
  • I’ve knit 22,993 stitches so far (40%)
  • The proportions of total stitches used in the yoke, body, and sleeves are 26%, 38% and 37% respectively
  • I need to buy about another 250g of fibre to spin enough to finish (probably a bit less, since the fibre weight is generous, although I didn’t make a note of by how much, so I’m working on the advertised rather than the actual weight)

Handspun cables

Wisteria is progressing fast enough that I’m going to have to go and spin some more yarn for it in order to keep on knitting!

It’s thick and heavy and warm and soft, and I’m loving it. In fact, it’s terribly difficult to work out whether what I’d prefer to do at any given moment is knit it or admire it :-)

Making progress and starting new

This is the current state of the Ella:

Ella in progress

It’s lots of fun to knit, I’ve got the pattern memorised, and it’s progressing quickly. However, today was cold and rainy, and I was not dressed warmly enough, so I spent the day shivering and fantasising about getting home and putting on a warm snuggly jumper. The only problem is that I don’t own such a jumper. Enter Wisteria…

Wisteria collar

The slightly fuzzy nature of the yarn means the camera doesn’t focus where the eye does, so these cables are actually visible in the flesh. I’m a bit worried the collar is too wide, but I expect the cables (crosses on every round!) will pull it in more as it goes along, so I’m not panicking yet. And it’s beautiful, and the yarn is lovely and soft, and I’m smitten.

Weekend of crafty goodness

I spent this weekend with Frax and J, dyeing lots and lots of yarn, knitting (and spinning for me), and watching a hefty chunk of Battlestar Galactica.

This is what I came home with:

The proceeds of my dyeing (and spinning) weekend

That’s overdyed yak yarn (previously salmon pink, cream and grey) at the front, a whole load of previously-undyed Cumbrian wool yarn at the middle and the back (it’s semi-solid rather than solid, but more consistent in colour in real life than it looks in the photo), and some handspun undyed grey wool in the middle-back (this is going to be Wisteria). It feels as if I suddenly have lots of new yarn, and I’ve even started knitting the violet wool:

Beginning Ella

There’s a lot more of it now than when I took the photo, but this is Ella from Knitty, and it’s working out rather nicely :-)

Uncharacteristically speedy decision-making

Having knit and blogged* my swatch, and held it up against my face to see if the colour suits me, I’ve made my fastest decision ever: this fibre will be Wisteria, in its beautiful undyed state.

I’ve even bought the pattern (and, cough, Sylvi too, ahem). I’ve been meaning to buy something from Twist for ages, if only because I heartily approve of them, so feel as if I ought to support them by actually giving them money. It’s not that I don’t like free patterns – Knitty is fabulous, and I don’t think Twist could exist without Knitty paving the way for it – but designers should be able to be paid a decent amount for their work, and it makes me very happy that the knitting community can produce and support a magazine like Twist. Especially after my less-than-happy experience with Vogue.

So, Wisteria here I come! I think the mojo might be back :-)

*How can I know what I think until I say write it?

Speedy sampling

When I got home this evening, I opened one of the bags of fibre, stroked it for a bit, and then pulled off a small piece for sampling :-)

This is spindle-spun three ply (I’ve never made a true – as opposed to navajo – three ply on a spindle before, and it’s a pain. I resorted to breaking off three pieces of singles and winding them onto bobbins in the end), knit up on 5mm needles to exactly the gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch that Wisteria calls for :-)

(The contrast-coloured yarn at the edges is random sock yarn I used in order to eke out every last drop of the tiny amount of sample yarn.)

The stitch definition is actually better than it looks in the photo, the fabric is soft and drapy and slightly fuzzy, and I love the way the different shades of grey blend with each other. I might lightly dye it for a reddish or purplish tint, but I might just spin and knit with it as-is because the natural colour is gorgeous.