Bulky knitting isn’t travel friendly

I have been making progress on the Tensho Pullover I am knitting for Leah. Here is the latest progress photo:


However, I am in Copenhagen today, sitting in my hotel room after a busy day teaching, and the Tensho pullover is back at home on the couch.  You may recall that I took it with me to Berlin a few weeks ago, but that was before I joined the sleeves to the body and started the yoke.  Bulky knitting isn’t travel friendly.

This sweater seemingly flew off my needles for the first two weeks but has since slowed down a bit.  Although worsted weight yarns knit up quickly they also hurt my hands and I have to be careful not to overdo it.  Also, as soon as I realised that I had zero chance of finishing it before Leah flew back to Canada, I purposely slowed down the pace.

Tensho, written by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, is a great pattern.  Not only is it gorgeous but the pattern is written in just the style I like.  It is incredibly easy to navigate.  I have found myself getting aggravated sometimes with the lengthiness of some patterns today, but find this one works really well for me.  (It is the pattern equivalent of Goldilock’s third bowl of porridge:  This porridge is too hot.  This porridge is too cold.  But THIS porridge is just right.)  Note that the pattern has a fair few pages, but most are photos.  The pattern itself is short and sweet without compromising in any way.

I decided to reverse the colours on this project.  The original is shown with dark yarn on a light background.  It is designed, in fact, to look like ink on paper.  The pattern notes state: “This pullover is named for Tenshō Shūbun, a Sumi Ink artist dating from the 14th century.”  I love this style of painting and I am always drawn to black and white designs.  However, I really didn’t want to make a white or cream-coloured pullover and had my sights set on grey.  I wondered whether reversing the colours would be un-true to the intentions of the design.  Is it? I don’t know.  But it works, and I like it.  Here is a closeup of the beginnings of the yoke patterning around the shoulder:


I did bring another project with me to Copenhagen (one which is easier to carry) but my heart is with Tensho at the moment.

13 thoughts on “Bulky knitting isn’t travel friendly

  1. Yes, facing just this problem soon when I visit “the city” (Toronto) for a 4 days soon – including some bus and car knitting time – and then leave the country for a week. My heart (and some time pressure) is with the Old Shale lace on two hap-style baby blankets but I need to take something small and simple – thinking socks and the beginnings of a silk shawlette. Your Tensho looks lovely, thanks for the pattern recommendation.

    • This is an all too common problem. Socks are a pretty portable project, but I am not really a sock knitter. For me, I often choose to take a new project as they tend to be small at the beginning. It is hard to resist Old Shale lace however; I am sure they will be beautiful.

  2. One can’t help but wonder if Tenshō Shūbun had had access to black paper and white ink what he may have created.

  3. That’s a lovely sweater, the colors you chose are much more practical than the reverse would be. And thanks for the pattern style critique. Some patterns are just easier to deal with, aren’t they?

    • I spent some time trying to put into words why I preferred this style and found it very hard to do. It’s mostly a matter of preference, I think. But I was so relieved when I bought the pattern and skimmed through it.

      • I bet! I am contemplating a pattern that is gorgeous and expensive, and I am wishing I could see it before deciding. I might have to just jump.

  4. That sweater is turning out great! I like the reversed dark/light – the pattern is just as stark as with the reverse. I agree – bulky knitting does not work well for travel. Something smaller and lighter is much more the thing! Looking forward to seeing what you are doing there!

Leave a Reply