Asta Solilja from Yokes
Istex Lett Lopi, purchased from Deramores. I wrote about choosing colours in this post, and it was a big decision! I'm happy with my choices, as there are some subtle colour changes among the greens as well as bolder combinations.
Added length to the body and arms. Reading Ravelry feedback, I decided to knit extra short rows at the back neck and a couple less rib rows for the neckband. I also used a larger needle size to knit the yoke because I didn't want this area to feel tight at all, due to my broad shoulders.
What was it like to knit?
I love how Kate's patterns are designed, as they are as enjoyable to knit as to wear. There's obviously a lot of stockinette in the round, so if that's your bag, you will enjoy this. I find that kind of knitting perfect for an evening on the sofa. Plus you have the interest of the colourwork at cuffs and hem and the great excitement of knitting your way up to THE YOKE.
For the yoke, you never have to use more than two colours per row, which is ideal because it saves you getting in too much of a tangle. I loved knitting it, and seeing the design develop. Though do check the Ravelry group for errors before starting because there are a couple of mistakes in the book yoke chart which suggest that in 2 of the rows you need to knit 3 colours.
I would knit it again although I'm not planning to because I don't feel the need for more than one of these sweaters at the minute.
Next time I would knit a size smaller for a neater fit. I can never get the gauge required for Kate's patterns, and judging by Ravelry I'm not the only one. I usually end up knitting a smaller size as well as using smaller needles. This time, my gauge swatch suggested knitting a size 3 to get a size 5 but when I started the sweater hem, this was coming up too small so I switched to a size 4. Although this was closer in size at the hem, the body has ended up large overall. The sweater has waist decreases and bust increases, so there is still an aspect of shaping, but I wish I'd kept a better eye on the measurements as I was knitting. My bad. Or I wish I could match the gauge in the first place!
Did you use any new techniques?
Yep! I knitted both sleeves at once on a circular needle using magic loop. This was the first time I'd tried the 'two at a time' technique, and also done magic loop properly. It was amazing, and well worth learning. I can highly recommend this tutorial for magic loop and this tutorial for 'two at a time', which you can use for socks as well as sleeves. I wrote about the tutorials I used for both techniques in this post.
Following recommendations on Ravelry and Kate's blog for blocking Lett Lopi, I put a dollop of hair conditioner (Aussie 3 Minute Miracle) in with the water when blocking. I think it did help to soften up the wool nicely and would do the same again with similar type yarns.
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, it's lovely to knit
Yarn About £40
It's probably the most beautiful thing I've ever knitted. I love the colours together and the sweater is warm but light. But it's bigger than I wanted it to be. I don't like the very fitted 'negative ease' style of knitwear on me, but this pattern has enough shaping to make it feminine and just fitted enough, if you knit it at the right size. I know I will wear and love it, but it's turned out to be a comfy loose sweater rather than something more form fitting. That being said, it's way too warm to wear it at the minute, so will see how I feel about wearing it once the weather turns cooler.