The Yarnologue

WIP: Buttercup progress

I’ve been working diligently on my Buttercup top for about a week and a half.

IMG_4164I’m using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy yarn in color 61-Kingfisher blue. This is a pretty accurate representation of the color (later pictures won’t be). Isn’t it stunning?

Since people usually ask, I’m using Denise Interchangable needles with a supplemental yellow cord. The standard blue cord blends in with the yarn a little too much!

IMG_4166Buttercup is worked top down. You start by casting on a few stitches for the back and side neck, then make raglan increases at set points to expand your fabric.

Since people usually ask, my pretty stitch markers were made by a woman at my Tuesday night stitching group at Country Road Yarn House. Contact the store for details.

Oh, Gauge

The Hempathy is working up into a beautiful fabric. It has wonderful drape and swing already, which will only improve as the top grows.

An important point to keep in mind with this pattern is that the bodice is worked flat, but the “skirt” section is worked in the round. I worked my gauge swatch in the round. I think I should have started on a smaller size needle for the flat section. The top will be fine, but I’m interested to see how wide the neckline ends up.

IMG_4173So far I’ve only encountered two parts of the pattern that I thought were tricky.

The first part was when I closed off the neckline to begin working in the round. The pattern has you cast on stitches on a second needle. Then you purl across them to complete the circle.

Purling across them wasn’t an issue, but when I went to join the stitches for working in the round I had to stop and think about it. I knew I’d be working in the round, with the right/public side facing going forward, but I couldn’t see how that was going to happen.

IMG_4175I ended up flipping the fabric on my long needle inside out. That gave it the proper orientation so I could see what I was doing.

IMG_4180The other tricky part was after I finished the lace portion on the front bodice. There are some increases and I totally misread the pattern. Instead of working just the increases 2o times, I tried to work the increase AND all the stitches before them 20 times. I quickly ran out of room on my row. Another look at the pattern revealed a comma I had overlooked the first time around. oops.

Different Knitters, Different Views

Here is an interesting tidbit.

I’ve been knitting happily along thinking what a nice, clear pattern this is (when I’m reading it correctly).

By contrast, one of the Tuesday night knitters has also started Buttercup and said she’s finding the pattern hard to follow. While there are stitch counts given for key points in the pattern, she would like more stitch counts given throughout the pattern. Other than that, she’s enjoying the project.

This is a good reminder to read through a pattern to familiarize yourself before you start knitting. Highlight or circle the numbers for your size throughout, and otherwise mark tricky spots.

We all have different ways of looking at things, and what is clear to one person might not be to another.

IMG_4214The last major milestone I passed was dividing for the sleeves.

Do you have little balls of yarn that are too small to use for a project but you can’t bring yourself to throw away? I keep them in my notions back for stitch holders.

Scrap yarn is great for holding large numbers of stitches for an extended amount of time. The yarn is lightweight, so it won’t pull your fabric out of shape. It’s also flexible, so you won’t have to worry about it getting caught on your project or in your bag.

Just be sure to use a smooth yarn to avoid getting fuzz on your project. Use the same or a smaller weight than your project so the stitches don’t get distorted. Finally, use a contrasting color so it’s easier to see the stitches when you transfer them back to your needles.

At this point, I’m working straight for 10 cm before I start increasing for the skirt.

The stockinette stitch is very soothing to knit. It’s also great for car knitting (as the passenger, of course!), TV knitting, and chatting with friends. Since I can knit stockinette without looking I was even knitting at night by the fire pit over the weekend!

Keep an eye on my progress by following Knitting Fever on Instagram.

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