Turning "Yarn Chicken" Into an Advantage! Silent by Kim Hargreaves
It sucks, really, because you start second-guessing yourself at the beginning of every row because tsk, tsk, you know better...
This is Silent by Kim Hargreaves, made with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It's from her first "capsule collection" called CRUSH.
I'm not really sure what the "capsule collection" distinction is, except that she usually has 21 designs in a book and this one only has 12. The designs are not significantly different from her other books... in fact, I spied this very similar one in her next regular-format book!
I chose Silent because, yes, it's lovely, but also because I had exactly 5 balls in my stash of color Hurricane (from a bajillion years ago, so this was important) and that was all you supposedly needed.
Obviously I lost miserably at yarn chicken (blame these monkey arms of mine) BUT I REFUSED TO BE TOTALED! I was not going to buy anything for a stashbuster, dammit.
I dug through my stash of Kidsilk Haze and asked Instagram and Facebook what color they preferred I finish the sleeves with.
It was a close call between green and orange, but colorway Marmalade prevailed! It was my secret favorite, too.
To get this cushy, thick effect from Kidsilk Haze, it's held double. So I got to thinking... what if I held one strand of blue and orange together for a more gradual transition to the cuff?
I was totally running out of blue way too soon, but by some miracle, I realized I had leftovers of a sparkly Kidsilk Haze Eclipse yarn shade called "Pisces" that was the exact color of Hurricane plus shine. SCORE!
HOW TO CONVERT A BOTTOM UP SLEEVE TO TOP DOWN
To make sure I had the exact amount of blue and orange on both sleeves, I had to convert the sleeve from a classic bottom up construction to top down. This is not hard to do, you really just write the pattern in reverse.
tip 1: Is the last row "bind off X stitches"? Start by casting on X stitches in LONG TAIL CAST-ON (which equals a cast-on plus one row).
tip 2: Is the second to last row "bind off Y stitches"? At the end of your long tail cast-on, THUMB CAST-ON Y stitches --> that will be row 2.
tip 3: Never ever use M1 increases when doing a converted top down sleeve cap -- they will make your edge too tight! It may not be as pretty, but my favorite increase in this case is incFB (increase in the front and the back of the stitch) because you feed the extra yarn into the stitch for a nice elastic edge.
The rest is easy peasy mirroring of the bottom up instructions. Looks pretty good, no?
The simple 4-stich cable is beautiful in this fabric, and I appreciate how the cables are mirrored across the center front and from front to back.
I also like how the cables and the garter stitch background battle it out to be noticed. Actually, that isn't your run of the mill garter stitch. Kim Hargreaves often "stripes" her garter stitch by alternating each row with 2 very different needle sizes.
Hey, this is easier to say than do! Transitioning from a small needle to a large needle forces you to put some pressure on your stitches to stick the needle in. My advice to you is to only insert the very tip of your larger size needle into the stitch to avoid stretching the previous row's stitches.
Transitioning from the large needle to to the small is easier, but if you have issues with slippy yarn slipping off slippy needles, I suggest that you have one needle in wood or plastic and the other in metal.
Another note, doubled Kidsilk Haze is very warm! I find that I only need to wear a tank top under the sweater most of the time.
As with most Kim Hargreaves patterns, I wholeheartedly recommend this one. It's quite quick to finish and the fit is so perfect that it requires no fiddling! You might need a little more yarn than the pattern states, it's hard to say -- but if you find yourself playing yarn chicken -- fool that hen with another color!
See my Navel Cables on Ravelry
So, what's been going on with me? First of all, I've been busy doing monthly Tips and Tricks videos for KnitCrate, the yarn subscription box. Check them out because I always make sure my tips are useful for all manner of projects -- not just what's in the crate. (That being said, you can get 20% off your first box here with code "DK20"... that would be only $19.99 for the standard box, international shipping included!)
SOME OF MY TIPS VIDEOS:
- Rewinding an open or loose skein
- Casting-on without a unsightly slip knot
- Measuring gauge in a complicated stitch pattern
- When to to slip the first stitch of row
- How to "spit-splice" yarn of ANY ply number
Wait, what is THAT you ask?? It's the newest addition to our property, a barrel sauna! My husband and I made it from a (very large) kit -- I still can't believe we did that. It is wood-fired, about 5' 6" inside with a sweet little 2-foot porch. Man, we LOVE it, and there's nothing more satisfying than huffing and pushing to leave a 180F room to find a beautiful, snowy Maine landscape. Anyway -- if you need me, I'll be in there...
Follow Dayana Knits on Facebook
Follow @dayanaknits on Instagram