Valdres Pullover: Inside Out
I kept knitting last week, though the only thing on my mind really was the school shooting two miles down the road, across the street from our graphic designer Hannah’s house. Here in Nashville, we’re all furious and heartbroken and motivated to get folks registered to vote and to get those voters to the polls on election day.
Meanwhile . . .
This Valdres Pullover is really working for me.
You cannot knit this thing without feeling a boost in your mood. It’s superzingy, colorful, and excellently Norwegian. Every time I look at this Valdres Pullover, it makes me smile. There’s such humor and wit in it—it combines a number of traditional Norwegian sweater design elements, but it’s its own thing. Slightly bonkers, actually. Arne & Carlos really know how to engineer a handknit.
My Latest Tips
Tip No. 1: Colorwork Chart Top Tips. Kate Atherley’s post here offers superb advice on working with colorwork charts. She is amazing, and this new post is a 100% confidence builder even if you already knit from charts.
Tip No. 2: Check your gauge. Pattern calls for a size 4; I’m using a size 6. In other words, Your Mileage May Vary when it comes to stranded knitting.
Tip No. 3: Turn your work inside out. This is such a helper if you’re worried about sleeves knitting up too tightly.
When you turn your work inside out, the floats have a slightly longer path to follow, and they won’t short-cut across the interior as they can if you knit with the outside facing out. When it’s inside out, you still see the front side as you go.
Tip No. 4: Use magic loop technique. I’m using magic loop for these sleeves rather than double-pointed needles. Highly recommended for minimizing laddering, lost DPNs, general misery. Here’s Jen Arnall-Culliford’s brilliant video tutorial on using a long single circular needle for small-circumference knitting in the round.
Tip No. 5: Sticky notes. Seriously, use sticky notes when following the chart. This chart has certain symmetries and certain subtle non-symmetries—just enough to throw me off while trying to watch Episode Nine of Daisy Jones and the Six. Maybe the tip here is actually: don’t watch Daisy Jones and the Six while doing this colorwork.
Tip No. 6: Remember to increase. Doing increases in a sleeve that has stranded colorwork requires a certain focus. It’s not hard, but it’s not nothing either. I write out a set of numbers for the increases, and cross each one off when I finish it. Low tech! I think I’ve done the added stitches in the way that best fits them into the stitch pattern. But I didn’t fuss about it too much because they’re all on the underside of the sleeve and only when waving along to Daisy Jones and the Six will anybody see how those increases turned out.
This top motif is where I really got my groove on—there’s a mental mindset that comes with this sort of knitting, and I’ve got it now!