Discretionary Roast – Complete

I am pleased at the outcome of this project. Modeled by younger daughter, the contrast between the green and taupe is nice, and the pattern is set off well. If you would like a good mosaic project, this is worth your time. See previous post for details about the pattern and the yarn: Casting On – Discretionary Roast.

I don’t know the origin of the name of the pattern, but it appeals to my ongoing affection for all things coffee, and I consider the name a bonus.

Casting On – Autumn Rain

As you can see from the picture below, this is a bit more than just “casting on.” I got a good start on this project and it is working up quickly.

Pattern is Autumn Rain, by Jennifer Swetland, and available for free on Knitty.

Yarn is Cloudborn Alpaca Sport in color Prism, available from Webs. The color is grey with other colors worked in. Despite the name, it is not sparkly.

This is a bottom-up cardigan all in one piece. There are several features about this pattern that I really like —

  • Casual style, but design interest with the broken stockenette and broken rib patterns.
  • All wrong side is purl (which I can do quickly and mindlessly while watching videos
  • The yarn is lightweight and will be drapey when completed).
  • The sleeves are knitted separately, then incorporated into the body of the garment at the underarm. I have never seen this application of the sleeve, and I really like it. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out as I get to the shoulders.
  • There are pockets. I’ve only incorporated pockets into a sweater once before, and it was interesting to revisit that as a design element.
  • The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.
Autumn Rain – just about ready for the sleeves

Part of the reason that there are not early “casting on” photos is that I’m really enjoying this project, and don’t want to take time for photos.

Finished – Swinging Brioche Scarf

I like the way this turned out – nice texture, and the nice loft that brioche projects have. This was another “Shawl in a Ball” from Lion Brand in color Quartz.

The pattern is Swinging Brioche, from liZKnits and available on Ravelry for $5. I thought it might end up being more like a wrap, but it’s just enough for a good-length scarf, and I ended the scarf when I ran out of the Shawl in a Ball yarn. I used almost two balls of the black KnitPicks sock yarn.

Swinging Brioche Scarf

Adventures in Design – Purple Eyelet Top

I’ve been struggling to find patterns that I like designed for yarns that I already have. I used to think that kind of matching would be easy – I have a fairly extensive yarn stash. I finally decided to go another direction and try my hand at designing a project specifically for (1) Yarn I have and (2) projects I want.

Purple Eyelet Top is partially based on a pattern in the Summer, 2018, edition of Knitscene (Boardwalk Top, page 46) for the eyelet pattern, and partially based on what I want to see in a top, including a V-neck and large cables up the front.

The yarn is Satori Color #12 from Artfibers, a store that was located in downtown San Francisco, and where I made some of my first high-quality yarn purchases, many years ago. Unfortunately, the store is long-closed. The color is deeper and richer than the photograph suggests. I’m not crazy about purple, but I like this rendition.

Pattern elements include:

  • V-neck
  • Cable front with eyelets
  • eyelet at sideseam
I’ll be interested to see how this turns out.

Discretionary Roast

This project is partly to use smaller quantities of yarn, partly to have a less complicated knitting project to work on when I need a break, and partly to have another mosaic knitting project.

Discretionary Roast is a shawl pattern by Melanie Rice, and available on Ravelry. It’s not a free pattern, but it is worth the cost. It also checks all the boxes above.

The yarn is KnitPicks Palette in color Hare Heather (light color) and Glenesk Blue Face Leicester in color Ivy. I purchased the Glenesk in Scotland, but am not sure which store – possibly in Aberdeen at the Wool for Ewe shop. Blue Face Leicester is a type of sheep that produces the wool used in the yarn.

The project is coming along nicely – I’m at the final part where all I do is knit (garter stitch) ever-increasing rows at the bottom of the shawl. Fortunately the timing to get to that point coincided with an event where I had to be on-site but had a lot of “seat time,” so I sat and knitted mindlessly, and watched people (and talked to some of them).

Changes from the original – I used two colors instead of three. I like the green and taupe colors together, and did not want to mix it up with a third. I slightly altered one of the dash boarders to make it more visible. I think the yarn I used is slightly lighter-weight than the recommended yarn, so the project might be smaller. Until I block it, it might be difficult to tell. I did have to switch out the cable on my needle to a much longer cable.

I really like the two colors together – I am anxious to see the finished project. I likely will have an entire skein of the green left, so I might not accomplish my goal of stash busting this yarn.

Update – Bent’s Ford Cardigan

TL;DR (as the cool kids say). This is a long post which goes into detail about why I am completely reworking a project after 2 years and just short of being complete.

I started this project in 2019 – See the posts which document the prep, swatching, and casting on:

April 19, 2019 – Swatching Bent’s Ford Cardigan

May 8, 2019 – Casting On Bent’s Ford Cardigan

Sept 29, 2019 – WIP Bent’s Ford Cardigan

I plugged away at this – mostly in the winter. until Spring, 2021. I enjoyed the rhythm of the project and enjoyed watching the pattern emerge. This project is also my first project knit as a single piece (not several pieces knit and then stitched together). It got pretty large, and I started getting concerned about the weight and fit.

Nearly complete – Sleeves at the tope left of the photo

After I finished the main part of the garment – and especially when the sleeves were finished – I realized that the main garment was much too heavy and bulky.

Sample from Interweave Knits, Summer, 2018

The reason the sweater is so bulky is because I doubled the colored yarn – the yarn is a lighter weight, fingering yarn that I thought would be too fine to carry the garment. I was wrong.

Because I was disappointed in the outcome, I tried a swatch with a single yarn strand (instead of doubled), and decided it was better. Not only that, but the colors were brighter and I liked the aesthetic effect.

The photo doesn’t show the difference in color tone as well, nor the the improved weight and drape.

I also realized that my physique (a bit, hmm, “chesty”) does not support the style of garment with the waterfall front. At least not as a knitting garment.

So… I spent some time working on a redesign. Elements are maintained – the honeycomb border, the black sleeves (which turned out well), the mosaic pattern and the shawl color (also in the honeycomb pattern). However, I have reworked the front to be more in a traditional cardigan style.

Right now, I’m in the process of unwinding the entire cardigan, which will be tedious. Not only do I need to switch colors for every row, I have to separately wind the two strands of the colored yarn. I have the project on my worktable, and I stop by several times a day and work on a couple of rows at a time. I might have someone help me with this to see if it goes any faster.

Stay tuned.