About yokes: new ones and 30 years old ones

I have a soft spot for stranded yokes and nordic designs. They often come togeter.

For some reason they always catch my eye, whether it’s on Ravelry, in a shop, on the street, I’ll NEVER miss them.

Surprisingly I’ve passed this love on to my son. When we’re out shopping, I can just tell he’ll walk straight to the stranded sweaters, preferably in traditional colors of navy blue, red, white and grey.

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Recently I was very pleased when he asked me to make him one of these stranded sweaters. Oh, how much I enjoyed the moment of chosing the pattern and the colors together and I was surprised to see how cooperative he was … I mean for a 17 year old … right!

So here it is, his very own Grettir worked with Cascade 220. He’s very pleased about it and I’m really pleased about how the fit looks on him.

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Talking about stranded yokes.

About two years ago my mother gave me this sweater. I was only 15 (!) when I made this and I can still remember how excited I was about finally starting the yoke. See, I already liked these yokes then and this love has never gone away.

This is probably the very first sweater I finished completely on my own, just reading the instructions from the pattern.

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Back and front parts were knit flat and so were the sleeves. We weren’t knitting in the round in those days, except for the yokes of course. The seams at the underarm look a bit messy, but I think the yoke looks pretty good for a total beginner.

When I look back at this now I think it’s quite unusual and impressive for a 15 year old girl. Well, of course there was much more knitting going on then than today, so perhaps it wasn’t unusual at all. In any case, I couldn’t imagine my daughter doing this now.

My mother kept it as a treasure for more than 30 years, safely wrapped in a transparent plastic bag. My mother really isn’t the kind of person who endlessly holds on to things, really she’s NOT. More often she will happily toss things as much as she can.
But she could never throw this one. Isn’t this sweet and I think it’s nice to know how much she values this too.

I’m on a massive clean-up project here, so even if I kept it (still in the same plastic bag) for another two years, it will finally have to go. But not before sharing a last picture with you guys.

Bye bye sweet sweater!

Thank you for having been around so long and for installing a never lasting love for knitting, yarn, colors and yokes in my heart.

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Lopapeysa

I finally finished my Lopapeysa or Icelandic sweater.

I love Icelandic sweaters or in fact any knitwear with Scandinavian patterns.

I don’t mind the scratchiness of the yarn, I think that once you have it on you get used to it and it’s really nice and warm.

I already casted this one on in January and knit both the body and the sleeves until the underarm in no time.

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But then I had to start the yoke, the fun part, the part that magically turns this sweater into an icelandic sweater.

I realized that I only ordered 5 different colors, whereas I needed 7 colors. Don’t ask me why.

I also realized that I would need more contrasting colors to bring forward the dark brown in the yoke.

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Fortunately I had exactly what I needed: white and grey.

See, you always NEED to have an important stash in order to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances:) like this one.

I had to do some thinking to determine the order of the different colors, taking into account all the contrast.

It’s not as simple as it looks, especially when no exact examples are available.

So I tried some color combo’s on paper.

I knew I had no choice on the lower and upper band of the yoke since those had to be worked like the borders of the body and the sleeves.

I decided on the two center colors (white and red) and then used the same color order below and above the center lines.

The project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

The pattern is a free download!

L├ęttlopi
Nld 4,5 mm (US 7)

Midsummer Travel

I’m so excited about my latest Stephen West project “REIS”, which means trip or travel in Dutch.

As soon as this pattern was released months ago I couldn’t stop myself going back to it, over and over again.

I thought I would probably enjoy it as much as I did my Enchanted Mesa.

And yes, I confirm, all I had was great fun!

The project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

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I love playing around with yarn and color. I used a total of 18 different yarns! The sweater is supposed to be worked in DK. I didn’t have enough of that so I used fingering and sock weight yarns held together and played around with the combinations.

When so many different colors are involved in one project, I always find it challenging to find a right balance between keeping the colors interesting enough without overdoing it.

I just followed my intuition as I went along and hoped it would all come together in the end.

For the body I mainly used blues and pinks in all varieties and for the sleeves I mainly used grey and blues. I added small spots of yellow & green in order to break the other colors.

And one for my sister

You know how it goes in a family. I made this Color Affection shawl as a birthday present for my mum. My mum was really really pleased and said she would cherish it. She especially appreciated “the handmade” of my gift. Like all sweet mums …

My sister. Could I make her one too?

No problem, I’d love it. But just to keep it interesting enough for me, here’s the deal.

She would give me a color range and I would chose the pattern and keep it as a surprise. Actually she liked Color Affection too, but having just finished the one for mum I couldn’t start another one so soon. Only after a year or so.

Her color choice: anything red, orange, purple. Apart or together, but that was part of the surprise.

I had several patterns in mind but finally ended up with Cameo by Paulina Popiolek.

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I’m really pleased with how it worked out. The colors are a bit loud but I like that for summer. And it will look great on my sister with her very dark hair.

I used Mellifera yarn for the first time, a true delight. Very soft, light and it gives a nice drape to the shawl. I’m so happy there’s more of it in my stash.

If you have a Ravelry account, more pictures can be seen here.

Mellifera Yarns Single Socks
Nld 4mm

FO Friday – Northern Sky

Instant love when I saw this pattern for the first time. It’s designed by Christel Nihoul, a Belgian designer. She got the idea for naming this pattern Northern Sky during a trip to Iceland where skies are rapidly and dramatically changing.

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I wanted to create my favorite Belgian sky in a soft pale blue with gentle white puffy clouds.
The pattern calls for both fingering and lace weight yarn, which makes it interesting and it works really well together.

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I love the way it’s turned out and it has a perfect size.
I’m just a little worried about the lace border, it has a slight tendency to curl.
If you have a Ravelry account, you can see more pictures here.

Madelinetosh Tosh Light
Malabrigo Lace
Ndl 4mm

Color Affection

My shawl had the time to dry during the night after some severe blocking.

It will be a birthday present for my mum who turns 71 this month.

Can you imagine this pattern is in 11’350 project pages on Ravelry and that number just keeps growing day after day.
That is soooo impressive, don’t you think! Now I’m just one amongst those 11’350.

If you have a Ravelry account you can click here to see more pictures.

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Malabrigo Tosh Light
Nld 4mm

Wet blocking

I finished the knitting on my Color Affection today, I wet blocked it and now it’s drying. I couldn’t wait to show some first pictures but more will follow.

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I’ve never made a project where the blocking was as essential as on this one.

Actually, I think I should have used a more stretchy stitch for the inside edge as apparently many others did. In order to get it right, I decided to give it some severe blocking.

Here is how I did the blocking, which is what I normally do for lace and shawl projects.

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I first soaked it for about 25 minutes in luke water. Then I gently pressed it without twisting and rolled it in a towel to absorb the excess water.
Then I flattened it on a mat and blocked it using blocking wire and T-pins. I used ultra fine blocking wire for the curved edge.

It’s always so much worth the effort!