Friday, April 27, 2018

WIP: Wisteria Sweater

I've started a new sweater with hand dyed yarn. During the years I've significantly improved my abilities in designing my own sweaters and now I'm pretty comfortable when I plan a sweater or a cardigan bottom-up. But I've shied away from top-down designs and know little about these constrictions, and more specifically how to make the front lower than the back. But it was high time to dip my toes into these design challenges too, so here is my first self-designed top-down raglan with a round neckline.

I started the sweater imitating Boknits' version of Water's edge cardigan. I had made some calculations for the neckline, based on my experience with designing it bottom-up. But due to my inexperience I felt unsure in the result and hurried the increases, so the neckline is not as low and smooth as it might have been if I had followed my initial notes. I'll know better next time.

When I reached the waist I decided that I'd prefer a lower gathered panel, like in Kim Hargreaves' Swallow, so I continued knitting and gradually increasing at the sides until I reached the beginning of the hips. Now I'm at the peplum part and so far I'm loving it.

The yarn is a mix of two different Zegna Baruffa bobbin yarns - Merino extrafine 1500 m / 100 g, which dyed perfectly and Mousse 1400 m / 100 g, which is sort of mohair and almost didn't absorb the dye. For the dye bath I used the plum dye from my previous dye job and some light red. Because I first skeined the two yarns together and then dyed the skein I suspect the merino absorbed the dye and left little for the mohair. The latter remained like a light lilac cloud over the deeper coloured merino. Frankly, I was initially very disappointed, looking at the skein, but as I began to knit it I grew to like it.

The sweater is very light - I've almost finished the body and so far I've knit about 80 g of the yarn! However I noticed that with the change of the number of stitches around the body I got some pooling of colors around the waist. It's not that noticeable but next time I should better follow the advice indi dyers often give - alternate skeins.

And to improve my dyeing knowledge and experience I recently bought this excellent book by Felicia Lo. My next dye job will probably be an attempt to replicate the yarn on the cover.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Vrana Palace 2018

Instead of hiking, this Saturday we decided to go walking in the park. Vrana Palace park is probably at its best at this time of the year - all of the decorative trees are in bloom and the meadows are green, the weather is mild, the days - sunny. We had a very nice walk and I got to wear my hand knitted cardigan and my hand sewn bag :)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pchelina Dam, spring 2018

I can officially declare that I am in love with this place :) A leisurely hike and a picnic by the lake on a (surprisingly) hot April day with husband, daughter and her boyfriend. No more words needed, just a bunch of pictures trying to capture the beauty of the place: