Workin’ on Walnuss…

As I mentioned before I am hoping I am going to have enough of the blue yarn to knit a mostly solid version of this test knit. I just got it stuck in my head that way. And then I plan to do the trim in the gray as below.

But in case I do run out of yarn, I had to know what it would look like if I go with stripes in the end. So I did a little color test in Photoshop. It is cute I think, just not my preferred for these colors, so I am willing to re-knit it that way if need be but am holding out for the solid version.

Hope Returns to the Needles

Since I actually finished knitting a whole sweater I am going crazy and thinking hey I can finish projects after all! So I picked up Hope, a sweater I started knitting back in 2003!!! Goodness me, I had the whole back already knitted up and part of the front and then it has been sitting in a zip lock ever since. Shameful, as is the condition of so many of my started projects. So I have now already finished the front and am a quarter of the way through the sleeves, am knitting them at the same time so they hopefully turn out the same. The great news is that the gauge is working out well so where I left off looks just like what I am doing now, phew! The sad news is I must have been dumb back in the day cause the pattern says I need 11 balls for the size I am knitting and hello I only have 10 balls. I am just crossing my fingers I can squeak it out somehow, we shall see…

Voila! Ma Mandel c’est fini!

Love the slouchy sleeves!

Finally I have some photos of my finished Mandel! Yes they are bathroom night shots but hopefully you can still see it well enough. The yarn did indeed start to grow after blocking and some wearing, perhaps I should have stuck with the smaller needles afterall :) but it is still nice and comfy all slouchy like and I am loving the long sleeves. I might redo my neckline with fewer stitches and a tighter bind off to keep it from growing too large.

Yay the shoulder pleats show up better after blocking!

The next time I knit this I will do the saddles on a smaller needles from the rest of the sweater and maybe even knit the size down just for the saddle as I have tiny shoulders. I will also not do the extra rows after the body increases so that the underarm is a little tighter to my armpit.

Check out those side pleats!

One of my favorite details in this pattern is the faux seam carried along the sleeves. Isn’t it pretty?

Nice and tidy faux seam!

I love this sweater and the sheen in the yarn is really pretty in person, sorry I could not get it in the photos.

Thanks again to Anke for letting me test knit this pattern. The Mandel pattern is up and available on Ravelry now so go check it out and knit one too!

Test Knitting…

I have been working on this loverly test knit for the Mandel pattern for Anke. I really love the classic design and the subtle details in the pattern (ooh pleats! and a saddle shoulder!). The silk I am using is very drapey so I worry that it may grow once done, but currently the fit is great and I bound off tightly in case it helps. I think this would be cute with any length sleeve as I saw when trying it on as I went along, however I am going to go all the way and stick with the original this time around. I am dreaming of making another already as is so common with other test knitters in the group. It is very interesting to see how different and still flattering it is in different yarns and with different amounts of ease. I think skinny stripes would be fun! I also think I want to try it in something like Rowan Kid Silk Haze. Ok I should stop day dreaming about another when I still have a sleeve to go with this one :) Almost there!

The combination of pattern and yarn have really thrown me back into the whole knitting thing. I have been struggling to get my mojo back for some time now and this got me going. Thank you Anke for designing and writing up such a great pattern! With the start of this project I have also decided to commit myself to fewer projects at one time, and be monogamous when it comes to works in progress. Crazy talk for me I know but it seems to be the only way for me to finish anything. So I pretend I have no stash and that is helping. Ok really now back I go to my Mandel sleeve. Ciao!