The Gyro Experience

I thought I could do it. A test knit. Test a pattern for accuracies before publication. I counted the weeks, predicted how much time I could dedicate to knitting each of those week . . . and calculated. Yep, I could do it, I thought and then . . . nope, notta, nothing. The due date came and went. Much like one fails at fostering and adopts, I failed with this test knit and knitted a beauty.

I first saw this design called Gyro on fb. It immediately caught my attention, as to me, it looked like the model was wearing a sort of shawl over a knitted dress. Oh, I thought, that shawl would constantly be falling off my shoulder. Annoying. I looked twice and came to realize it was a one-picee affair and immediately, my love affair. All my knitting plans shifted, the search for yarn (in the house) ensued, and I became a test knitter for the designer.

Linda Marveng‘s patterns are sophisticated and not for the faint of heart. Small needles, yards and yards of yarn, intricate cables; her mucho finishing details are abundant. Her patterns are thorough in direction and Linda, herself is very approachable and appreciative of all suggestions to her patterns. (Within the time frame, I was able to help with a thing or two.) And, when I realized the deadline could not be met, she was very understanding of that, as well.

Well, in life, who knows what the next day is going to bring. And, in knitting, what is planned sometimes goes south.

I’m all about utilizing stash, especially leftover balls of yarn. This pattern offered two opportunities to do that.

Yardage figured out, tissue paper pattern made to help visualize the shape the knitted piece needed to be, my needles in hand and soon learned my gauge was off.

I had to ditch the scottish tweed for the sleeve sections. Could the felted tweed be used for the sleeves?

Yup, almost, as while the stitch gauge was right on, my row gauge was off causing me to need more yarn than what the pattern called for. No problem, I thought. I see all kinds of felted tweed still available. What I didn’t realize was the discontinuation of THIS color and two of the sleeve sections had already been completed. Ravelry to the rescue.

Reaching out to the very few Ravelers who had this dye lot in their stash, I received a friendly and helpful response. She said she could help me but to be prepared as, in her experience, dye lots look very different with this line of yarn. I received her bundle, and to my dismay, she was correct, and attempted some sort of blending by alternating knitting two rows of one dye lot, then two rows of the other on the last two sections of the sleeves. You can see the result, below.

Well, turns out I fell in love with the ‘striping’ and had enough of the darker dye lot to be creative on the solid pieces. So, well . . . you know. (When you think of ripping out as opportunity for more knitting, it doesn’t feel so bad.)

When it came to the sewing, it became strategic to make sure the striping lined up at the sides, and across the back and the front. You can make out the subtle striping, here that does just that.

Here’s a better view.

The cable section ended up being knitted in Tinde, a delightful new yarn to me, written about, here. It is of a lavender hue that shows its magnificence in the light of day.

The rest? Just a lot of knitting. The only change I made to the pattern was to create a selvage by knitting the first stitch of every row. I used the twin stitch method for short rows, and I did not find the need or want to block.


Oh, and one final thing . . . this is my first photo shoot with Sally, my iphone tripod. You can see the remote in my hand in the photo, below. Let’s just say, from beginning to end, it was quite the ride to create this epic look.

Label Lovers, Anyone?

I love knitting from past issues of VK magazines. And, it appears I am not the only one as seen by the continuing invitation threads posted on Ravelry from the Vogue Knitting group. These invites are meant to inspire and motivate and they indeed do, not to mention they are just plain fun sharing enthusiasm with other knitters who have a similar passion.

Recently, an invitation entitled Label Lovers caught my attention. The idea was to choose a designer pattern from a past issue. There was considerable discussion at the onset as to what constituted a designer pattern. I just knew I love labels. Whether on wine bottles or on printed bands around skeins of yarn or on designer wear, labels, themselves are little works of art to me. Memorable is the word I have used when choosing patterns and while I was perusing possible patterns (posted with the invite), designer James Coviello caught my attention. His patterns have lovely, feminine details; the little short-sleeved jackets drew me in. I wondered why I had never knitted anything designed by him before and figured it was time so I chose pattern #21 from Vogue Knitting Fall, 2008.

Frustrating for me, however is how these older patterns use yarns that have long been discontinued. So, I was not surprised that this was the case. This forced the search for replacement yarn. Even in understanding weight, textures, ply, and fibers it is my experience that yarns simply knit up differently even having similar characteristics. Two unfamiliar yarns, Universal Yarn Deluxe Chunky Tweed and Universal Yarn Eden Silk were held double throughout the pattern I wanted to knit.

What a bit of luck I had! When looking these yarns up to find their characteristics, I wondered, fingers crossed, if perhaps anyone might have them in their yarn stashes. (How fortunate are we that we have Ravelry and some people post their stashes there.) And, pay dirt. Two separate stashes, I found each yarn and in ample amounts.

Would they look good together? I gambled and here is the result. The solid grey held with the purplish tweed make a sort of marled look.

The knitting of this was fast and easy, seams crocheted together, my preferred method,

one row buttonholes so buttons do not pop out and the buttons themselves are sewn on with split yarn. I did add seam tape around the neck to prevent stretching.

This photo shoot was back in February and the sweater hasn’t been worn, due to our home bound decree. How I look forward to enjoying it once lockdown lifts.

The project as seen in Ravelry has a few tips regarding yarn overs. Oh, and stay tuned for “LL2” (label lover 2) later this year. Here is a sneak peak.

Happy blessed Mother’s Day, everyone!