Progress report: the good and the bad

I was so lucky to have had a lovely few days at the Country House Knitting Retreat, where I knit for much of the time (as well as socialising and meeting some great new people). I worked mostly on the Caravay sweater (Ravelry link) which I am knitting for Emma. This beautiful sweater, designed by Linda Marveng, is a really big piece of knitting. It is A LOT of knitting – an oversized pullover knitted with fingering weight yarn in a dense overall cabled stitch pattern. I am sure that there are fast knitters who could power through this, but for me it is a major piece of knitting and a big commitment.

I have finished knitting the back and about 2/3 of the front. Below, you can see me holding up the back piece so that you can get an idea of size. Note that this is unblocked and it will gain a bit in both length and width once I’ve blocked it. If you recall that Emma is an XS, you can see how much ease is built into this pullover.

I absolutely adore the texture that this stitch pattern creates, and the beautiful, rich, red of the yarn. (The yarn is Tinde Pelsull, by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, in Burgundy.) It’s hard to capture but this photo does a pretty good job:

I’m fairly certain this sweater is going to be a winner and look fantastic on Emma. We are going out there for Christmas, so I am knitting as fast as I can. I would love to have the front and back and two sleeves knitted and blocked before we go, but that seems fairly unlikely at the moment. The more important goal is to have the sweater finished before the trip ends and I fly back home.

That’s the good part of the progress report, which means there is some bad to report as well. You may recall this post a few weeks back about a pattern that was giving me troubles. I made a lot of adjustments, as discussed in that post, and took this with me to the knitting retreat to work on in the evenings, as the Caravay is hard to see at night, and takes some concentration. The result is very pretty in this beautiful dusky pink wool:

However, it’s really huge. And it seems to be getting bigger with every round.

I talked it over with Doug, trying to decide whether to rip it and start over with a smaller size needle, or whether to rip partially back, keeping the ribbing and then decreasing a bunch of stitches. Doug, in his wisdom said “You were having lots of issues already with this pattern. Who’s to say that you won’t keep encountering more problems, even if you get this particular one sorted out. Maybe you should find another pattern.” Bingo. Problem solved. It’s very pretty yarn and it deserves a pattern that I’m happy with. Maybe I will need to write my own.

This weekend there has been little knitting. I’ve been involved in that awful, un-speakable act: house cleaning! Egads! The horror! (I did manage to go see Dune, however; I loved it!) Best wishes, everyone. Stay safe.

11 thoughts on “Progress report: the good and the bad

  1. The Caravay is looking beautiful, and it will look fabulous on Emma.
    Sounds immensely frustrating but sensible to ditch the dodgy pattern. Hope you find something better to knit instead xx

  2. I’ve followed your blog for years, only occasionally commenting, but your knitting does inspire me, especially since we are a similar age. Emma will look smashing in the burgundy pullover, and she’ll appreciate your dedication in knitting such a giant sweater. The pink yarn is also lovely, and I thought I’d suggest two of Thea Coleman’s new sweaters: Scotch Mist or the French 75 (also a very good cocktail).

    • Hi Brenda, sorry for the late reply. I have looked at these patterns and love them, especially the French 75. You are right: it would work really well with this yarn! Thank you very much for commenting, and for reading along. I’ve had to put this project off for now, as I have a fixed timeline for finishing Emma’s jumper. We are (hopefully) going out there for Christmas and so I need to be able to have it done before we return to the UK in early January.

  3. The burgundy is beautiful ay will look lovely on Emma.
    The cable pattern is beautiful in the pink yarn. Can you just incorporate that panel into the front of a sweater you already know works for you?

  4. Oh the Christmas sweater for Emma is a beauty! Emma will love it. (I’ve never gone wrong with a Hillesvåg yarn.) Too bad about the cabled piece. I love your (Doug’s) answer to the problem. Carry on, do not look back!

  5. Your Caravay is beautiful! Love the stitch pattern, and the yarn is just so lovely. It will be just beautiful on Emma 🙂 Doug is right – you will find a pattern you are happier with for that lovely pink yarn!

  6. So brave to knit something big in 4 ply! I always prefer something a little thicker just so my knitting grows a little quicker – but I always have more than one project on the go, many more in my head and not enough time on my hands. Well done for unpicking the other one. I have been semi working on a little neck wrap and it is going wrong time and time again – I am undecided whether it’s me that has my head in the wrong place or if the pattern has multiple problems. Maybe I should take a leaf out of your book – as you say, it’s great yarn and I need to enjoy using it.

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