Work-in-Progress Wednesday | Reagan & The Beast

When I wrote about working on Intersect last week, I was actually suffering from “almost-nothing-on-the-needles” syndrome. It’s a bad thing, especially when working on something that needs full concentration. One of my favourite pastimes is binge-watching Netflix while knitting, otherwise known as “knitflixing”. It’s a thing amongst knitters, believe me. Intersect and Netflix however, do not gell. At. All. The only thing I can manage to watch while knitting those cable charts is the weather report and that gets old fast.

This means that Intersect is actually Work. As in, not mindlessly relaxing, but once you get into the flow it’s enjoyable nonetheless. It requires brain cells, and mine are sometimes incapacitated by a thick fog.

So what was needed was a mindless knitting project that could be done when Intersect was too much for my brain to handle, and Netflix was beckoning. In the past, I have been known to have multiple projects on the go at any given time. Every knitter has his or her ideal number of WIP’s, right?
My WIP list used to look something like this (or multiples of this)

  • 1. simple stockinette in the round (not too big so can travel to doctors office)
  • 2. something with a bit of lace or colour for when my lucid moments
  • 3. a fresh cast on, preferably a test to give me a deadline
  • 4. a shawl (this is recent, I never used to dig shawls much, but things have changed!)
  • 5. sleeves. (no socks, no please no socks but Sleeve Island is never far)

On any given moment these 5 would be on rotation, #1 (most likely a sweater body) would be finished; #3 (the fresh cast on) would progress past sleeve separation and morph into the #1 spot. #2 and #4 might occur in the same project, no problemo. And sleeves, well there is always at least one, right?

Lately, however, I have found myself finishing. all. the. things. And not casting on something new. And when you do that often enough, you end up with just The Beast to knit. Said Beast grew into a bolero with 2 sleeves (yay) last week, which left me with nothing mindless to knit. Because cables.

After much to-ing and fro-ing I decided to uproot my entire queue and careful planning and finally cast on that eternal dream: a black lace cardi. Now since black lace cardis come in many different guises and there’s only a fine line between coolness and rocking your gran’s style, I chose a pattern that has been on my wishlist since the day it was published.
Reagan by Isabell Kraemer

© Isabell Kraemer
© Isabell Kraemer

Imagine this in black and presto: UTTER coolness if ever I saw it. Wear it upside down, sleeves folded, I mean come on! Even in black you couldn’t look like your gran if you tried!

As luck would have it, I also had the original yarn in stash in black. Kismet I tell you. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
Anyway, Garnudsalg Blackhill CottonWool is the original yarn, and it’s definitely in my top 3 of all time favourites, because: non-itchy, non-scratchy, great colours, and works fabulously at a multitude of gauges.

Approx. 230 meter/50 gram (mine is still the old 100 gr.)
2½ – 3 -3½ mm needles
Approx. 22-28 stitches per 10 cm
50% merino & 50% cotton for a dreamy 4-season cardigan.

Looks pretty unassuming maybe, but trust me it’s a workhorse. 

Blackhill Cottonwool
© Monique Heijboer

Reagan calls for a provisional cast on with 2 cables, and although I have used that cast on and liked it, I decided to try out a new one named COWYAK by the unsurpassed Techknitter. Talk about a rabbit hole of knitting tips and tricks. My go to source for all knitting woes. 

So off I went and it’s seriously as easy as pie. Another thing learned which I love doing with every new project. Try to learn something I did not know. Check.

Reagan by Isabell Kraemer
© Monique Heijboer

As of yesterday evening, the mindless part has almost been completed, meaning I have 2 sleeves, held together by the back/shoulder piece and I am about to embark on the lace part. Nice and mindless.

©Monique Heijboer

How did I progress on Intersect you ask? Ask me again next Wednesday. In the meantime I am crossing off my Netflix to-watch-list.

Happy Humpday fellow knitting enthusiasts.


Work-in-Progress Wednesday | Intersect

Happy Humpday everyone!

Last day of February, Spring is upon us (at least according to my calendar) but we are having a bit of a snow day here in Holland on the cusp of the new season. I’ve been hibernating like a bear for most of this winter, and I am in need of sunshine instead of snow.

Intersect sweater
Copyright Brooklyn Tweed

On the upside, there is much knitting to enjoy and to keep me warm. First and foremost I am working on the cardigan for my oldest sister. She requested one handknitted by me last year and we decided on Intersect by Norah Gaughan.

Admittedly, this is a sweater I put in the mix I presented her to choose from because it would not only suit her but also be a nice challenge for me to knit. Well, fellow knitting enthusiasts, let me say I have been thoroughly challenged by this beast.

We decided to go with the original yarn, Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft, a wonderful lofty (duh!) woollen-spun 2-ply yarn that comes in an array of delectable colours. My big sis loves her greys and a sweater like this should go with everything, so “Sweatshirt” it became. Purchased at Stephen & Penelope in Amsterdam, one of my favourite wool dealers in the whole wide world, but more on them another time.

Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Sweatshirt

So if all was well in gift-knitting-life, how come it took almost a year to get even halfway through you ask?
Well, there were some hurdles to take along the way, being a trip abroad with no room for 10 skeins of wool, and then there was the start… First of all, you knit the back yoke strip and then add a little strap to start the shawl collar.

off to a good start on Intersect

However it happened, (and I am pretty sure it had nothing to do with the pattern but just a lack of knitting prowess on the part of yours truly) I ended up with 2 different lengths of the collar.
My row gauge was spot on        (a first!), my length was equal on both sides..  BUT.
There were 8 repeats of the pattern on one end and 10 repeats on the other.


Yes indeed. Now how I fixed this is a matter for another post, but suffice it to say I did, and it took me all but 3 weeks.

Intersect is definitely not a project for the faint of heart, especially when said knitter decides to make modifications to the pattern because she is allergic to sewing knitwear together. Even buttons are sometimes too much for me.

Let’s just say I could have finished 3 times over while figuring out how to fix my own boo-boos. Also, Intersect is not a TV project. At all. Which means I can only knit on it when I am fully concentrated. And that means I need to do other (mindless) projects in between.
Still, when all is said and done, I am still happy to work on it. I have to be in the mood for it, that’s true but when I am, it’s all good.

I managed to join the body mid-January so I could try it on her to see the fit. It looked narrow-ish so I was a tad worried but the fit was fantastic and it gave me a boost to carry on.

Currently, the first sleeve is done and I am picking up the second and working the short rows to shape the sleeve cap. Which required some math on my part because in the pattern the sleeves are worked bottom up.
I will write down a summary of what I did to enable top-down knitting, my favourite! If you’d like me to post it, let me know!

Happy Wednesday everyone!