Ups and downs

I have had some ups and downs interrupting my knitting lately.  I had ankle pain (down), a busy holiday (up), knitting ennui (down), Christmas celebrations (up), a super intense and stressful work project (down), family board game evenings (up), a flare-up of wrist pain (down), and now, finally, I am settling down and getting some knitting done again.

Because the girls will be heading home next week, I have been concentrating on the pullover for Emma, with the intention of finishing it before she leaves. (You can find sweater details in this earlier post.)   Emma’s pullover is worked in an aran weight wool combined with a lace-weight strand of mohair to give a bulky-weight gauge of 13.5 stitches per 4″/10cm.  While the fabric it produces is really nice, I find that the process of combining two strands of yarn, one of them mohair, has some inherent technical difficulties.  I will be knitting along, and suddenly this happens:


Or maybe this:


I spend as much time untangling the yarns as I do knitting.  I secretly suspect that there is an easy way to do this, and I just haven’t figured it out.  All the cool knitting kids must have this sorted, as every other sweater I see these days is knit with a strand of mohair thrown in for good measure.  (I also secretly suspect this is a plot by yarn companies to make us buy twice as much yarn; I wrote about this previously in this post.)

I am working on the back, which is just a giant rectangle, and with this big yarn and big needles, it should be really fast.  The pullover comes in one size only, and that size seems pretty big.  Here is Emma (wearing the lovely Tinder cardigan I knit for her a few years ago, blogged here) holding up the mostly finished back:


It is at least twice her size!  Nevertheless, I have high hopes that it will look great on her once it’s all pieced together.  I’ve just picked up the neckline edging, so I’m getting close. Watch this space!


13 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. I did one project with a strand of mohair, and I confess, I loved knitting it but couldn’t wear the finished project, so I’ve avoided the current trend. And if there are any secrets to avoid the tangling issues, I certainly never learned it either! Hope the rest of the knitting goes more smoothly.

  2. I am currently knitting a colour-gradient wrap with Artyarns Beaded Silk and Sequins light (with 12 skeins à 51 GBP the same kind of “guilty pleasure” as the qiviut cardigan I knit during the holidays) combined with a laceweight silk thread for softer colour-transition and stability. The Artyarns yarn is certainly one where you don´t want to loose a single inch and with the beads and sequins it got all the time entangled with the silk thread. I now put both yarns in a shoebag (the kind with strings to close them) and close the strings rather tight. Somehow the yarns manage to behave well inside, so that I can, by gently pulling, constantly release the length needed for knitting and nothing gets entangled any more, which is a great relief. Maybe this could work for your yarns, too.

    • Hi Heidi. I looked up Artyarns Beaded Silk and Sequins, and it definitely counts as luxurious. I can imagine it would tangle easily but I’m sure the end product will be fabulous. Thanks for the trick about the shoe bags.

  3. I saw this week that someone recommended threading each thread through the 2 eyes of a button, same for if doing 2 at a time socks from the outside and inside of the same ball. It would need to be a button with big holes but if you can find one this may help the tangles.

  4. I don’t have this trick figured out either – it does definitely look frustrating! However, the fabric is beautiful! I am glad all the varied stresses are settling down for you, at least a bit 🙂

  5. That’s annoying. I guess it depends on the yarn you combine the mohair with. I did a project with a fingering yarn that was not really soft and a strand of mohair, and never got a problem. The button tip in a comment above seems quite neat.

    • How nice to hear from you Agnes! I will miss your blog, so I’m glad to know you are checking in here. I think that this particular aran wool is quite sticky, so that definitely doesn’t help. I remember having similar problems when I knit Form, but to a much less significant degree.

  6. For two yarns that tangle, I put each ball in a plastic baggy, close the zip-lock top and pull a small amount out for each one. I am currently knitting Kim Hargreaves Flora cardigan in Rowan Kidsilk Haze and knitting the two sleeves at the same time, so the 2 strands of yarn tend to get tangled – – the baggy method has helped tremendously. Hope your ups and downs are all proceeding in the right direction!

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