Bressay progress, and other thoughts

I’ve made it through the pre-yoke colorwork on the body of Bressay, and it’s GORGEOUS! This is probably the most challenging colorwork I’ve ever done, because of how similar so many of the colors are, but the end result is just so beautiful. I’m excited to get to the colorwork at the top of the first sleeve!

Bressay Progress

I took these photos this weekend, so am actually quite a bit further along on the sleeve, except…I’m noticing that my gauge on the sleeve is quite a bit tighter, both in terms of stitch gauge and row gauge, than it is on the body. And this is a problem, because I’ve now reached the point where I’m supposed to start the colorwork, but the sleeve is significantly shorter than it needs to be. I’ve measured the colorwork band and added it to the length of my sleeve, and it’s coming up at least an inch shorter than the pattern calls for, which is itself a bit shorter than I need because I have disproportionately long arms. Should’ve been paying more attention, and definitely need to think about increasing the number of rounds between increases when I try again on the sleeve so that I can get the length right!

One part of the problem though, I think, is that I’m using a size 2 Chiaogoo stainless steel circular (I got myself a couple more sub-size 3 needles from them; my Tulip bamboo interchangeables only go down to size 3). It seems I knit tighter on the steel needles than on bamboo ones. So I’m debating whether it makes sense to try the size 2.5 stainless steel circular, or go back to the wooden size 2 circular I used for the body (which might be a little too short for comfortable magic looping; I’m also nervous about breaking that needle like I broke the size 1 needle). Or should I just jump all the way up to the Tulip size 3, on the basis of small-circumference knitting generally being tighter than large-circumference knitting? The beginning of a sleeve is small enough to serve as a “swatch”, so I’m going to pick one of these options and start the second sleeve and see if it works; if not, I’ll rip back early and try again, and I just won’t touch the first sleeve for reknitting until I’ve figured out what works on the second one.

The "care package" bag from Ysolda's shop

On a completely different note, I mentioned in an earlier post that I had ordered one of the small, personalized “care packages” that Ysolda made available in her shop as a way to say goodbye before the shop closed. It arrived at the end of last week, and I thought I’d share what came in it. The bag is really pretty, and a nice size, too! Inside it were 4 skeins of yarn, a sweet personalized postcard, and a needle size gauge.

Lichen yarn from the Ysolda care package

Three of the skeins were Lichen, an Ysolda exclusive yarn spun by Hillesvåg; I’ve written before about how much I love the yarns from this Norwegian company! The colors are very “me”, too: bright acid green and a nice neutral light grey. Ysolda sent along a code for a free copy of Stac Shoaigh as a suggestion for what to knit with the bright green Lichen; another pattern I’m considering making with it is Estimar. I’m just not sure which I’d get more wear out of, honestly; I already have a Willow cowl in a bright green (though it’s much more of a yellow-leaning green) and an Icarus shawl in a slightly darker and slightly yellower-leaning green, so I’m not sure which would get more wear. I typically wear cowls more, mostly due to ease and not needing to fuss with them throughout the day, but I do think that Stac Shoaigh is really lovely, so that’s probably what I’m going to do. And then with whatever leftovers there are (because with Stac Shoaigh at least, there would be some), I could do some sort of colorwork with the grey + green, perhaps!

One skein from the Ysolda care package

The fourth skein was another Ysolda exclusive yarn (it made me very happy that my care package was all yarns that I would have no other way of getting than through Ysolda!): Hyrrokkin, a fingering weight yarn from Polwarth, BFL, and Zwartbles fiber. It’s an undyed natural grey (I *love* these greys!) and 150g, a little over 600yards. I’m debating what the best use for this would be. I’m tempted to stick with the Ysolda-theme and knit another Ishbel (I’ve knit one for my grandma, years ago, but never one for me); I have enough to knit the second-largest size, I think? Another possibility that my mind jumps to is Frida, which is a pattern I already own; I bought it back when it came out because I was just fascinated with the loop stitch and wanted to know how it was done. But I do wonder if Frida’s better-suited for a woolen-spun yarn (like the BT Loft yarn it was designed for); the Hyrrokkin is clearly worsted-spun. This is the sort of question I would have tried to answer for myself by looking through finished projects on Ravelry, but I still haven’t gone back to the site since the end of March. But no matter what, I’m pretty sure this yarn is going to become a nice neutral grey shawl. It’d be really interesting if I ended up with two new shawls from this package after not knitting shawls for such a long time!

Fox needle gauge

The final item in the bag was a needle gauge in the shape of a fox. I love foxes, so I was delighted! I do already have a couple needle gauges (one plastic one that came with the Tulip interchangeable set, and a wooden one from Katrinkles that dates back to my earliest days of using Etsy), so I may end up giving this one to my daughter. We’ll see.

So anyway, that’s what I’m up to at the moment: plotting future shawls and trying to figure out next steps on Bressay.

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