Colour Concoction

Where do I even begin, telling you about this latest project?

Well, I can tell you that the pattern is the Lizzie Sweater by Susanne Sommer and I fell completely head over heels in love the picture of Suzanne wearing it.  The colour of the jumper and her fabulous hair is just gorgeous!  This is also the latest in my attempt to work through my designated 'use these yarns from stash' pile, so that along with the stunning photo, had an impact in the colours I choose.

I loved the bright minty green colour and although I didn't have enough yarn of any one colour in my stash pile, I did have some shades that were reasonably close to the kind of thing I wanted.  So in the end I decided on two that I thought would team up nicely and decided to graduate those in the jumper.  The contrast colour I couldn't really match at all, but I did find a stunning hank of Qing Fibre that I had swapped with a friend a few years ago.  (I think I was definitely channeling Susanne's hair at this point.)

This is my second brioche pattern and to be quite honest, I'm glad it wasn't my first.  I made another of Susanne's patterns as my first ever brioche project a few months ago, the Shusui Shrug (that I talk about in this podcast).  By complete chance on that occasion I happened to pick a pattern which included a tutorial video on the brioche set up which was so helpful in explaining the technique.

This pattern, although also brilliant and well written, didn't have that extra help.  It wasn't a problem at all of course, because I could now understand what was needed to work the brioche section.  But I couldn't have gone in cold to this pattern, so that was lucky.

Being a rather naughty knitter, I didn't really do a proper gauge swatch, especially for the brioche, so I do have a few notes for my future self if I should ever work this pattern again...  

First of all, I used a 3.5mm for neck line as I started with 3.0mm and the neck seemed sooo tiny.  (In retrospect, I wonder if it probably would have stretched out fine with the weight of the rest of the jumper and blocking?)  

For some reason I deemed it unnecessarily to go down a needle size for the brioche section.  I don't know whether that was a conscious decision on my part, or if I just forgot to swap after the neckline and then couldn't be bothered to go back and change it.  Either way, that was a mistake.  I should have used a 3.00mm as the pattern says.  

Brioche does want a bit of blocking to get the stitches to show nicely and I underestimated that.  My brioche/yoke is bigger than it should be and so I blocked it as lightly as I could, but the fit isn't as good as it should be.  The width isn't such a problem, but smaller needles would have made the yoke shorter and that would have meant that the position of the sleeves would have also been in a better place.  Mine are a bit too low!

The 3.5mm (Knit Pro 'Royale' tips) were perfect for gauge on the body part of the jumper.  The only problem I had here was running short of yarn.  I had two hanks of yarn for the main colour which should have been enough, but I probably used more than I should of in the yoke.  I ended up adding in a mint green mini that I found in stash to try and eek the yarn out a little further too.  It happened to be a pretty perfect match.

I did switch down a needle size for the hem and made it a couple of rows longer, just because I wanted use every scrap of yarn I could.  I still not completely sure it won't curl up though, so if I made it again I may make it longer still (like the sleeves).

I ended up making these a shorter than they should be as I was running out of yarn and my priority was making the body a decent length.  So I think I'd certainly make sure I had a bit more yarn if I ever knit this pattern again.  I stopped the sleeves two decreases short of where they should be, so I tried to block the sleeves (and body below the yoke) quite aggressively to try and get as much length as I could!

: :

Despite my own long list of short comings in making this garment, I do still love it.  Seeing the brioche coming off the needles and the way those two yarns played together was so exciting, I really enjoyed that and couldn't stop knitting on it.  I was also I little concerned about graduating the yarns and although it still wouldn't be my first choice, I don't mind how it looks here.  In fact, the bit of the body I like best is just under the yoke, where I was alternating the two main colours.

The part where I was starting to run out of yarn was less enjoyable.  To try and gauge how much I would need to make the sleeves, I started working one of those while the yarn was still attached to the body.  Not a huge problem in itself, but the Knit Pro needles, being the screw in type, are such a nuisance!  They are very hard to swap once they are in a project.  I wanted to try this one on a few times to see how the body  was doing, but it was a huge pain to change to a larger cable in order to do that.  So note to self - don't ever use Knit Pro needles for garment knitting again!

Anyway, aside from those minor irritations this was a fun project and I do really love the finished result.  I probably would have got a better fit if I hadn't messed around with the needles sizes but it's still definitely wearable and although I'm drawn to much more muted shades lately, for this particular pattern these bolder colours seem to be a good fit and are making me very happy!

Pattern | Lizzie Sweater by Susanne Sommer
Size | I made size 3
Needles | I used my Knit Pro Needles and the 3.5mm 'Royale' (teal) tip
Main yarn | Back ground of brioche and upper body - Stranded Dyeworks in 'Feathered'
Rest of body - Spun Right Round in 'Mintilicious'
(also topped up last bit body into hem with a little mint green mini as I ran short of yardage)
Contrast yarn | Qing Fibre in 'Penguin'
Yardage | 1,120 yards (all of Main colours, about 20g of contrast left)
Mods | Used the 3.5mm for the neckline as 3.0mm was too tiny.
(Other mods I made I probably shouldn't have - see above!)

S x