Remember the cotton version of the Shakerag Top I had on my needles, and how I was going to finish it before the Knitting Getaway at Shakerag Workshops in June?
Yeah. Didn’t quite happen. My head was turned by another deep blue project I just had to cast on. (Karida Collins’s Simple Swoncho from MDK Field Guide No. 18.)
But look how close I am!
Do you think it would jinx it if I said I am planning to wear this on vacation next month?
It probably would jinx it, now that I think of it. But I’m so close. Just the front neck and shoulder shaping and 3 simple edgings on the openings, and I’ll be prancing around in this lovely top on every warm day from now through autumn.
A Couple of Tips
Sometimes when I’m knee-deep (or shoulder-deep) in a project, I start to doubt my choice of size. In this case, I had my first Shakerag Top as a handy reference and reassurance. I’ve checked my WIP against that beloved sweater a couple of times, just to make sure I was on track for a fit that I like.
Sylph on the left, Summerlite 4ply Cotton on the right.
Here’s the thing, though: it doesn’t have to be the exact same sweater. Any sweater that has a fit you like can provide reassurance that the sweater on your needles is going to fit well. (Or a warning that it will not, before you put more time into it.)
This tip is specific to the Shakerag Top. The lighter/darker stripes of the Shakerag Top are formed by alternating 6 rows with a single strand of yarn and 6 rows of a double strand of the same yarn.
On the single-strand stripes, the strand-not-in-use just dangles on the edge until you need it again. If you keep using the same strand for all 6 rows/rounds, you end up with a snaggy loop of the strand-not-in-use on the inside of the garment when you go back to double-stranding.
I thought the solution to this would be to cross the strand-not-in-use over the working strand whenever they met, as one does when striping different colors, but I kept forgetting to do this and getting the loop. I was also annoyed (mildly, but in hot weather a mild annoyance can get on my last nerve) that it meant that the 2 balls of yarn would not run out at the same time. These are the kinds of problems I tend to ponder while knitting round after round of stockinette: not significant in the scheme of virtually anything, just how my mind works.
Then, far too recently, it hit me: I should actually alternate the 2 skeins of yarn within each single-strand stripe. For some reason, this is easier for me to remember to do—when I get back to the strand-not-in-use, I pick it up and start knitting with it, and drop the other strand. No loop! And it also makes the 2 skeins get used up more evenly.
This probably seems obvious! But I mention it here in case there is anyone else missing this one as I did.
See you in August!