Knitting project planning - Kate Davies Ásta Sóllilja Sweater

A new project on the needles...

Pattern 
Kate Davies Ásta Sóllilja Sweater from her book Yokes. I got the book for Christmas and although this wasn't initially my first choice to knit, it became the pattern that I kept coming back to. Cardigans are a useful everyday (workwear) staple for me but I have been wearing, and loving my Ysolda sweater so much that I decided another beautiful sweater would have its place.

Yarn Selection 
It was SO HARD to select yarn colours for this project. Looking at finished versions on Ravelry, most people have selected the same colours as Kate. I can see why, because I love her colours and they work beautifully together. You can read her post here in which she talks about the rationale for the choice - a dark blue to the bottom to blend in with dark trousers or skirt, plus shimmering shades of blue and grey.

asta12

However I wanted a sweater that was different from everyone else - that’s one of reasons to knit, right? I used the recommended yarn (for once!), which is Icelandic Lett Lopi. I ordered a swatch booklet/shade card from Carreg Yarns (£3.80 inc. P&P) because it was hard to decide without seeing the yarns in person. Yarn was ordered from Deramores as it was cheapest there, at £2.69 per 50g ball plus free postage. 
 
I highly recommend getting a shade card to help in a project like this, where the yarns have to work together. I found it most helpful to snip off strands of yarn and hold them together to check how they worked. I needed a Main Colour (MC) plus 1 main Contrasting Colour (CC) for the bottom and ends of sleeves, and 4 additional contrasting colours for the yoke design.  I tried to select yarns in the 'spirit' of Kate's selection - a light MC with dark main CC and a selection of toning and complementary shades.
Yarn motorcycle display team, with MC at bottom and main CC 2nd from bottom row (left and middle)

I kept the orange and mustard CCs from Kate's palette as these went well with the selection of beautiful blue-greens I chose. I decided on Straw as the MC, partly to be different from the light grey and also because the warmer tone was more 'me' and went well with the other colours. 

I am really, really hoping that I have made a good selection and the colours work when knitted up. This was so much trickier than choosing one colour of yarn.

Gauge 
Having knit 2 previous designs by Kate, I suspected I would never be able to get her gauge and would end up knitting a smaller size. My measurements put me as a 5 but I am knitting a 2 as she recommends a 4.5mm needle but couldn't even get gauge with a 3.5mm needle, and I won’t go any smaller. That way madness lies. 

I've done this before with good results, and Kate provides an excellent measurements table covering many aspects of the garment so that I can ensure that my sweater matches the measurements of size 5. This makes the project less daunting, so that I can ensure I'm on track. I will have to be diligent about checking measurements throughout the project, in case my calculations are incorrect. It has been known. I am planning to use a larger needle for the yoke section as this would be easy to work too tightly and the stranding will make the area smaller, while I have broad shoulders and need extra width here.

I'm really hoping my planned adjustment will work, although I have been knitting for a good few years now, I find adjusting knitting patterns daunting.

Knitting!
Now I just have to knit, knit, knit!. My last project (Tin Can Knits Lush cardigan) is blocking and awaiting buttons, soon to be photographed. Look out for this new project in a Work in Progress Wednesday post. With any luck I'll have it finished at the height of summer (insert Scottish summer joke here) and it won't pose any significant problems to knit.

K x

p.s. Don't ask me how to say the name of this pattern, I've never tried...

17 comments:

  1. that's going to be really lovely! look forward to seeing your version kerry!

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  2. Beautiful colors. The nerd in me had to research the name of the pattern. It is a name of a girl from a book and translates to: "beloved sun lily". I'll pass on trying to pronounce the name as well. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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    1. Interesting, thanks for passing that on pattyc :-)

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    2. It's from a book called 'independent people' by Halldor Laxness and it's really good! You have to enjoy reading heartbreaking stories about stubborn Icelandic farmers but if you do, I'd definitely recommend it.

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  3. Those colours are goregous, this is going to be lovely. If it's any consolation, I always have trouble getting the right tension on Kate's patterns too. Good luck with your jumper.

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  4. I've just finished Asta Sollilja! And in curiously similar colours!
    It's a lovely jumper.

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    1. Oh really! Are you on Ravelry so I can have a look at it?

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  5. It's going to be beautiful Kerry! Thanks for the links too! I've wanted to try Lopi

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  6. You have chosen really beautiful colours! I look forward to seeing how it turns out. Is it knit in the round? I am almost at the end of knitting my second jumper in a row, I do wear cardigans a lot but jumpers are useful too!

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    1. Yes, it's knit in the round, which would be my preference over knitting flat

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  7. Oh it's such a beautiful pattern and will really suit you. Those colours are lovely too, so fresh and spring like. Can't wait to see the finished result. X

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  8. You've picked gorgeous colours. Can't wait to see the finished jumper.

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  9. The colours you've chosen are beautiful. I can't wait to see your finished jumper.

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  10. Ooh sounds like a very interesting knit. I like the colours you've chosen and can't wait to see the finished jumper. Also really looking forward to seeing your lush.

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  11. This pattern is gorgeous and I love the yarns you have chosen, I look forward to seeing it knitted up! I was recently in Iceland and purchased some yarn - I think it was this brand - but am already wishing I had bought more so it is good to know that I can buy elsewhere and in so many gorgeous colours. I loved the traditional Icelandic jumpers but they were SO expensive so I am toying with the idea of knitting my own, however it would be nice to use Icelandic yarn. I will add it to my very long list...!

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  12. This pattern is gorgeous and I love the yarns you have chosen, I look forward to seeing it knitted up! I was recently in Iceland and purchased some yarn - I think it was this brand - but am already wishing I had bought more so it is good to know that I can buy elsewhere and in so many gorgeous colours. I loved the traditional Icelandic jumpers but they were SO expensive so I am toying with the idea of knitting my own, however it would be nice to use Icelandic yarn. I will add it to my very long list...!

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say