Monday, April 09, 2018

FO: Solbein sweater

When my friends at Berroco Yarns, who distribute Lopi yarn from Iceland, mentioned a Lopi Knit Along , I was all in. At the time we were shooting  Lopi samples  (psst! that link is to five free patterns) in New Hampshire. Not, sob! in Iceland.  My Stopover, knit in Lett Lopi a couple of years back,  is in such constant wear that my neighbors  are ready to do an intervention and I'd been eyeing the Solbein Cardigan by Mary Jane Mucklestone.

Amy Christoffers, (aka Savory Knitting and the Creative Director at Berroco)  and I played Sweater Switch last month--she's in my Solbein and I am in her utterly fabulous modified Birkin. That's an Instagram link where she explains it all.

I like that the Solbein yoke is traditional in proportion yet modern and abstract. I love how Mary Jane's pattern samples had two subtle colors and one higher contrast. Oh did I mention I also love a sweater knit on size 10US needles? That is the charm of both Solbein and Stopover knitting up quickly.  LettLopi- which is technically light worsted weight,  airy and fluffy--on larger needles creates a light warm fabric*. The halo from the yarn--which gets fluffier with wear and washing, filling in the stitches so is is not saggy or loose. 

Cautionary Tales of the Color Confusion Variety:  at the time I cast on, the pattern was only available in the hefty print magazine version. I took the yarn with me to cast on while traveling, and quickly copied the pattern into my phone via a scan in B&W. Ooops! Turns out the grayscale version of the colorwork chart translated into not being able to tell the difference between CC1 and No Stitch spaces.  So, strictly speaking, there may be some minor differences in my yoke and the pattern.

Along the same lines-- if you choose to go with subtle color difference for the colorwork, don't spend so much time knitting in low light!  The Oatmeal Heather of the body and the Frostbite  of the yoke background look exactly the same while you are watching TV in my house, or knitting in a car at dusk ...or on a plane.... or seemingly everywhere I knit ..
With partial crew at a recent chilly photo shoot. That's Amy Christoffers again, Emily O'Neil, artist/styist and my assistant, Yliana.  I wear this sweater ALL THE TIME!
You can see my color discerning problems didn't stop me much, it's a lovely knit.

•  I converted it to a pullover by omitting the center front steek stitches and adding a stitch so the ribbing etc would work out.
•  I added a few short rows  just behind the neck- you can see them in the top photo.  
•  I omitted the hem colorwork because my hip line needs not extra decor  ;-)
•  I added length to the body. I didn't start out with that plan but it is knit top down. As I got near the lower edge, I was thinking about how my Stopover is just exactly perfect in length for my life.   I measured my Solbein against it, above,  and knit to the same hem.  This meant I ran low on my main color. Since the sleeves are knit down I saw it coming . I added an extra repeat of colorwork motif at the cuffs, as there was more than enough of the contrast color yarns. You can see that in the top photo, as well.

If you feel like a Lopi knit might be fun but the whole Lopapeysa yoke thing isn't your jam, check out Saltwater Bay Cardigan by Amy Christoffers from Knitty. It is one of the pieces we were shooting when the whole Lopi KAL conversation started :-).

* if you wear your sweaters with nothing underneath them, then you may find Lopi a little woolier than you like next to your skin- I've worn mine over a sleeves tank and been just fine. They  get soft and fuzzy and are weightless-- still lovely and warm-after washing.