“Dyemonds” is a girl’s best friend

We have just returned from a short trip to Wales, where it was cool enough for me to wear my newest finished project.

This is the Dyemonds Sweater, designed by Josée Paquin (the link is to Ravelry). It is a very clever design, especially in how the increases on both sides of the raglan shaping are incorporated into the pattern.

I knitted this with Spincycle Dyed in the Wool yarn, in Devilish Grin, purchased from A Yarn Story. I bought five skeins, but only needed four. The background yarn is Quince & Co Chickadee in Crow (black), which I was very happy to use up from stash, having purchased it from Loop in 2017. I had five skeins of the Chickadee as well, and broke into the fifth skein only for the last 6 rows of ribbing on the waist.

I have developed a complicated relationship with the Spincycle yarn. It has produced a striking garment, and it washes and blocks really well. I did have some issues with it, however. First, there is an unsettling degree of difference between skeins (you can see an illustrative photo in this previous post.) Second, Spincycle consists of two different coloured strands plied together, which means that the knitted fabric has sections where two quite distinct colours are plied together, producing a marled effect (as below).

I am not a fan of marls. I would have preferred the yarn to be dyed after plying so that the colour changes moved organically without marling. I realise that this probably puts me at odds with 90% of knitters out there. It also seems very nit-picky since the finished sweater is lovely. Doug can attest, however, that I was continually grumbling while knitting this when I hit a marled section. Many times I thought of cutting out portions of the yarn (as I used to do frequently with Noro), but Doug talked me down from the ledge each time. He was right, but I still found it made the knitting experience uneven.

The diamond pattern is very intuitive and fun to knit, and as there are only two yarns used throughout, there are not so many ends to weave in when the knitting is done. The only tricky part of the pattern is the sleeves, which gave me lots of grief. I blogged about that previously, so if you are knitting this and are having some conceptual problems with the sleeves, I refer you to that post.

I knitted the size 5 with a US4/3.5mm needle. When I finished, there were about 6 inches of negative ease – a lot more than intended. I thought it would take some hard blocking to get it to shape, but in fact the wet fabric eased up quite a bit, so I only had to pin it in place, without needing to stretch. The finished garment has about 1.5 inches of negative ease, which I think looks quite nice. Note that it also grew in length, so if you are in doubt, knit a good size swatch and block first.

The photo above, as well as the second one, were taken at St. David’s Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century. It is a truly gob-smacking cathedral out in the very Western reaches of Wales. It is well worth a trip out there if you find yourself in Wales. The other photos were taken at The Royston, a completely charming and gorgeous B&B, in Llanbrynmair, Powys. We spent a few lovely days there and will definitely be returning.

I really enjoyed this knit (despite the sleeve troubles). Josée Paquin is on a roll lately, designing one great sweater after another. Tomorrow I go back to work after a much needed holiday. But there are still some hours left of my holiday today, so I am off to sit in the garden and pick up my knitting.