Hatcher

I finished knitting Hatcher a few weeks ago, and given the cold and overcast weather we have been experiencing, I’ve had lots of opportunities to wear it.

Hatcher (Ravelry link) was designed by Julie Hoover. I have long wanted to knit one of her patterns; this one has been in my queue since the pattern was released nearly four years ago. It is a very wearable, comfortable, and smart pullover.

I like her easy-going style and I like her attention to small details. Take for example, the double decreases (using a technique I had not seen before), used at the armscythes and sleeves, which provide for an excellent fit and beautiful full-fashioned tailoring.

The folded over neckline is also brilliant; it really makes a difference to the finished tee:

I knitted this using Kettle Yarn Beyul DK, a blend of Baby Yak, SIlk and Merino. It is luxurious, with a brilliant sheen and a soft feel reminiscent of cashmere. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn immensely. However, I am very worried about the potential to pill. A Raveler alerted me to her experience with the yarn (“very pilly”), and having worn this a few times, I am afraid it might be true. I will withhold judgement until it gets more wear and report back to you.

The real draw of the pullover is the cabling, which has perfect dimensions and really sets off both front and back:

I highly recommend this pattern; it is a quick knit, and very well-designed. I had some troubles getting the neckline to hit at the right spot of the cable pattern (detailed in this post), but I think the problems were more a result of my slightly-off row gauge, than any problems with the pattern.

I look at these photos and all I can think is “Yikes! Covid hair”! Here is the Covid mask to go with it:

I am really struggling with this new WordPress editor. This and being in a bit of a funk means I have been posting less. But never fear, I am knitting away as always.

How many times can you re-knit a neckline?

Question: How many times can you re-knit a neckline?

Knitter: Is that a rhetorical question?

I had been chugging along on my Hatcher pullover when I hit some neckline issues.  Here is the pattern photo:

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© Julie Hoover

You can see that, in order to get the best visual appeal to the cable pattern, you need to bind off for the neckline at the proper point, preferably halfway through the diamond motif that occurs where the cables cross.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up in the round, and then stitches are bound off for the armholes and the back and front are finished separately, knitting back and forth.  I completed the back and was working on the front.  For my size, I was supposed to bind off for the neckline 5.5 inches above the armhole bind-off row.  That would mean that there was sufficient slope for the front of the neck.

Unfortunately, when I reach 5.5 inches, I had only made the first cross of the pattern.  In other  words, the pattern going up the middle looked like columns of ribbing at that point, with the centre two columns just barely crossing.  Nonetheless, I bound off there, and continued up the sides of the neck, and let me tell you, it looked stupid! (Unfortunately, no photographic evidence remains of this attempt.)  It was clear to me that I had two approaches I could take.

  1. Rip out both back and front down to before the separation at the armhole, knit another 6-8 rows so that I can be at the right point in the pattern when it is time to bind off the neck line.  (Smart knitters will note that this approach would have been facilitated by doing the appropriate measuring before I separated the front and back.)  This would also make the sweater longer, and it is already fairly long.
  2. Rip out the few rows on the front down to just before the bind-off for the neck, and then knit a few more rows in pattern.  This will mean significantly less ripping, but will also mean that the neckline will be raised by however many rows I need to add.  I was worried about the front neckline being raised far too high.  I also didn’t want to then compensate by raising the back, as that would make the armscythe too deep.

I went for the second method (surprise, surprise!) and knitted more rows of the pattern, enough so that there was another set of crossed cables, but the outside cable columns had still not crossed.  I took a photo this time:

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You can see that it still looks too early.  If I had put the neckline ribbing in there, the pattern wouldn’t look finished: it would lose the strong architecture and symmetry that makes this pullover so striking.  So, I ripped it out and put in four more rows, enough so that the outside set of cables had crossed.

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I think that this is a pretty good position for the cable pattern at the neckline. However, it now means that the neckline is considerably higher, which means that I had to re-think all of the shapings at the side of the neck, because the slope of that curve is now significantly shorter.  I will not tell you how many rows I ended up pulling out and re-knitting in order to get something that looks as if it might work.  (Hint: it was a lot.) Here is where it stands now:

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It still looks to me as if there is not enough depth to the front neckline (especially once the ribbing gets added).  I won’t truly know if it will look right until I get it blocked and put the neckline ribbing in and try it on.

Yesterday I whipped out a sleeve:

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I knitted this sleeve while watching Groundhog Day on TV for the umpteenth time.  This film seems to have taken on new meaning since the pandemic and self-isolation.  I regret that I have not learned to play jazz piano in this interim (nor made myself into a nicer person, although hopefully I had a head start on Phil).

Keep safe everyone, in this topsy-turvy world.

Sayer it with flowers: the Sayer tank in Crete

I finished the Sayer tank just in time for my holiday in Crete, and it is a perfect piece for this glorious place.

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Sayer is designed by Julie Hoover.  She is a designer I have admired for some time and I am happy to have finally knit one of her pieces.  She has a very simple, spare style, with easy shapes and loose, but well-tailored, fits.

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I knit this using Ito Kinu, which I purchased at Loop in London.  Here is its description from Loop’s website: “KINU is a 100% silk noil yarn, also called organic silk, as it is produced from the leftovers of spun filament silk. Differently colored fibers are blended for this silk noil yarn, to produce a melange effect.”  I used the shade Hydrangea, and it was knit with the yarn held double. It makes an excellent fabric, which is cool in the hot sun.

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I followed the pattern exactly.  It is all stockinette knitting and would be an easy piece for a beginner to knit.  I knit most of it while I was in Malaysia; it is a good project for travel knitting.   I thought about changing the edging because it didn’t feel or look right while I was knitting it, but once done I thought it was brilliant.

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The two photos above were taken at our B&B in Milatos (see below for details); the first is from our balcony looking out to the sea.

Here you can see the edging at the V-neck:

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This tank is designed to be reversible; you can wear it with the V-neck in front and the crew neck in the back (as in most of these photos) or you can wear it the other way, with the crew neck in the front and the V-neck in the back (as seen in the three photos below).

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These photos were taken in the evening at the harbour in Rethymno.  There is not much light but I think they show off the tank really well nonetheless.  The sun is so strong here that only photos taken in the early morning and early evening  work well.

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You can probably tell from these photos that I was having a really great time in Rethymno.  We are on holiday with our dear friends, Theo and Jonathan, and these evening photos were taken by Jonathan.  We were clearly having fun.

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Behind me is the harbour.  Just in front of me there is a lighthouse.  The harbour was filled with tourists taking photos of people with the lighthouse behind them; it is obviously a popular photo spot.  We bucked the trend and shot in the other direction!  All of the tourists were probably wondering why we were ignoring the obvious photo opp right in front of us.  (We aim to be different.)

Crete is full of flowers right now, many of which match my tank.  Doug took this photo in front of a doorway in Rethymno (and also provided the terrible pun in the title of this post):

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If you are interested in a very wearable, A-line tank, I would highly recommend this one.  It is well-designed, the pattern is well-written, and it is trouble-free knitting.  You can wear it for breakfast, for sight seeing or for an evening out on the town.  (Here I am sitting having breakfast at our lovely B&B hotel, the Milatos Village Cretan Agrotourism Hotel.  It is a wonderful place and the hosts, Kat and Alice, made us feel right at home!  The breakfast spread, by the way, is gorgeous and plentiful – I had not yet gotten started on it when Doug took this shot.)

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The photo at the top of the post was taken by Jonathan at the Arkady Monastery, which is so beautiful that no words can properly describe it.  If you have a chance, go see it.

Make this tank!  It will make you smile.  It may even make you laugh with joy!

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