Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Dear Vivian,

I collected my new chunky yarn for Vivian, hoping this time I will get gauge so we can get started. Isn't it nice? It looks even better than the picture on Ebay. (I always worry that the pictures online will be wrong and I'll end up with a really BAD colour:-)) But this one is lovely - just what I was looking for. And as the seller lived just down the road - coincidence or what? - she let me collect rather than pay a lot of postage and have the 4-8 business days wait, which was much appreciated as time is a-ticking for this here Vivian:)

So I started knitting pronto to see if I would get gauge....... YES:-)) First time too. Right size of needles and perfect gauge in both st st and seed stitch. Whew! The pics are a bit luminous as it was very late saturday night when I took these but proof positive before the big knit begins.

Of course, being impatient, I started casting on late saturday night, thinking it's only just a couple of rows and I'd feel a lot better knowing I've at least started. Ahem. Anyone who has already knitted Vivian or read the discussion boards on Ravelry regarding Vivian (which I had, no excuse), will know that the first 2 rows need a lot of concentration to set up and to get a feel of the structure of the pattern as this is knit in the round (i.e. back and the two fronts all at once on the needles with no seams).

Shall I show you the results of saturday nights hard work? Yes? It's quite impressive....:-)


Ta Da!!

Yup, a big pile of ripped back knitting. At this point, I went to bed! But I did learn a lot although at this point it doesn't look like it. I learned that the pattern starts on a WS row!!  (as well as don't start anything this complex when you are tired:-) Fresh day on sunday......

Sunday - sunshine!
Hiatus for Mothers day here in the UK on sunday. Very nice day visiting, lots of food and conversation - a nice break from knitting:-) I'll get back to vivian on monday, promise!

Monday - positive mood:-)
Cast on again, 188sts using the long tail cast on on 5mm circulars. This cast on is perfect for this pattern as it automatically sets the knitting up for a ws first row. Cast on fine, check. Row 1 WS row - I remembered:-) - followed each chart along the cast on row. Done. Go to start row 2 - problem.......

As you know, I'm a bit of a perfectionist! But I also like a bit of a challenge as well as a new project that pushes my learning skills. I haven't knitted a lot of garments using charts so I'm not really in practice as it were but I like to think I know the basics. Today's lesson in humility is refresh this knowledge often - or, to coin a very apt phrase,  use it or you lose it!

I had a little problem with row 2 as I had to start two of the 6 charts on row 2. But this didn't make logical sense as the rest all cable on row 4 and this would cable on row 5. Ysolda is a very logical and considered designer so this wouldn't happen. But I rechecked row 1 and it just doesn't mention these two charts. Hmmm. Time to call in the big guns - ravelry!

So yesterday, I spent a very pleasant afternoon chatting on the Vivian KAL on Ravelry where I got so much help! I was right, the cables do all cable on  row 4 - whew! BUT I realised that I'd been reading the charts from the wrong side and all the pattern  would be backwards.

Note to self: WS rows read from left to right
                              RS rows read from right to left

Yes, you know what's coming, don't you?

Yup. Another pile of ripped back knitting. But more lessons learned. See how positive I'm being?!

Monday - later on.....

I have cast on again, got past those tricky first two rows and feel like I'm making some progress, finally. I can actually see the pattern emerging now and I am much more confident about progressing. In reality, just minor blip in my memory! At least I had some really good help on Ravelry to make this a lot less painful than it could have been.

Now here is some progress for you:-) 14 rows of no mistake knitting. All cables slanting the right way, all present and correct. Soon there will be decreases and increases to shape the waist:-)) Just don't ask me to watch TV with this one, ok?

I've done some more detailed notes on Ravelry if anyone is interested - the kind of stuff we think we should know and don't want to ask if we can help it, but in truth would prefer a reminder of, kind of stuff :-)) If you're not in ravelry and want to know more details, just drop me an e-mail, happy to help. (But ravelry is such a lifesaver for projects like these, it would be worth joining (it's free) just for their help and support, never mind access to all the free patterns!!)

Back to Vivian now, nearly time for another cable row:-)


  1. Wow. I love the pattern. I have 2 other Ysolda sweater patterns (Liesl and Coraline) - I'm interested in what you decide on this one. It looks terrific so far (I scrolled quickly by the frogging pics). Maybe when you're done we can trade Ysolda patterns. But I worry that I"m not thin enough for the shaping to look good.

  2. oooh, it looks lovely already sis! such a pretty colour. You must have the patience of a saint ;-)))
    can't wait to see the finished result xx

  3. Elaine, I'm not slim enough either but the shaping is meant to make us look slimmer and flatter our fragile egos:)- I like that aspect a lot!! I so hate sweaters that end up looking like a potato sack:-)

    I do have Liesl on my to-do list too but haven't found any yarn yet for Coraline and as I tend to only manage a few larger projects in a year, I thought I'd focus on Liesl sometime in the spring.

    Anyway, I'll let you know how the shaping looks as I go so you can decide if you want to have a go at knitting it:-)

  4. Hey sis! Glad you like the look of the yarn - looks really good with all the cables I think. Can you imagine wearing it already? It's quite a dense knit so it'll be a warm top/jacket.

    I think the pattern required more perseverance than patience:-) But I knew I would need a few days to wrinkle out the initial problems so in a way I am on schedule! Blogs sometimes give the impression that everything just miraculously flows off the needles so I thought I'd show you my real weekend! Granted this is more of a worst case scenario, most things do go smoothly most of the time but occasionally everyone has a 'blip':-) Maybe I've just blown my image of super knitting infallabilty - if I ever had one LOL!!

    Anyway, Vivian is going strong and is at 30 rows as of last night. Off to knit some more soon - keep watching the WIP counter for progress:-)and I'll take some more pics tomorrow for you. xx


Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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