Life has been busy recently and I don’t have as much time for knitting as I’d like to. The only project I’m working on in the evenings is my first real stranded colourwork garment: the Stavanger Jumper. It’s a free Drops pattern and I’m knitting it with Drops Alpaca, which is just so amazingly soft and wonderful. I’m still feeling intimidated by Fair Isle/ Scandinavian patterns, but I think that the only way to change it is through practice, so I decided to give it a try.
My first attempt was really bad: because this yarn is so thin and light, it’s more difficult to keep the right and even tension than while using a heavier yarn. However I decided not to give up and keep knitting and as I progressed along the yoke, my tension improved a little.
Well, right after I’d finished the yoke, I unraveled it and started again, with some changes to the colour scheme. Initially I followed the original pattern but I didn’t like the yellow and dark pink together with the other colours, so I amended parts of the colour chart. This is my second attempt at the Stavanger jumper’s yoke:
I think these shades look better together, or maybe that’s just my preference. The tension is still not good (and again it is definitely worse closer to the neck opening, where I used shorter circular needles – it improved a lot as soon as I had enough stitches to switch from 40 cm to 60 cm and then 80 cm long needles). This time though I think I’ll keep it. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I hope I’ll improve with practice, but for now this is what I’m able to knit with this lightweight yarn and I like it enough to wear it, despite its faults. I could probably try a less ambitious beginners pattern but I generally prefer to jump head first into something more challenging – this lets me see the progress faster, even if the learning process is difficult 🙂
Despite finding stranded knitting challenging, I’m also enjoying it a lot. To the point that I ordered some more Scandinavian and Fair Isle knitting books and I’m already thinking about all the sweaters and hats I’m going to knit in the future!