Over a year ago, Cephalopod Yarns decided to surprise us customers dyeing a last round of Little Traveller. This yarn is the thinner version of my beloved Traveller – it comes in 115g skeins per 512m, so it’s a light fingering 3 ply, perfect for lace projects. That’s what I’ve used it for the first time I knitted something with it – you may, or may not, remember this beautiful shawl I’ve done for my mum a while back. But this time I tried something different.
The Ōshima Pullover by the talented Olga Buraya-Kefelian has been in my queue since its release and I immediately saved the two skeins of LT I purchased in the color Hobart to knit it. But everything went really together like in a puzzle when I was in Italy and went to my LYS in Florence, the huge yarn store Campolmi Filati. There I bought some Super Kid Mohair in a deep eggplant color that complements very well the Little Traveller, with the idea of pairing the two in a squishy combo.
Using the mohair with the light fingering merino gave extra softness and warmth – all I needed for a super comfy boxy pullover! – but obviously a thicker thread to work with and different gauge too (19 sts x 24 rows in 10cm against the 20 sts x 32 rows of the pattern). To get the right size I had to use different needles size and change the numbers a bit – I’ve basically followed the instructions for the smallest size recalculating the number of rows for each stripe. I wanted to keep this project easy and minimal, as it is, and I’m happy with how everything went together naturally and smoothly.
The last feature was given by the different dye lots of my two skeins of Little Traveller. One had more cool blue tones, while the other one was leaning more towards red shades, so I had the idea of using the two different lots for the stripes. Instead of alternating the two colors every row to mix them together as I’d normally do, I’ve used them separately to knit the stripes as per pattern, creating a very subtle contrast. You can definitely notice the difference from distance, but the striping is very nice and soft, just perfect. I also love the purple halo of the mohair mixed with the Little Traveller beautiful warm rainbow of colors and it’s amazing how this yarn appears so different if in direct sunlight or shadow – it really glows when the sun hits it!
It’s awesome how all these little pieces – pattern, different yarns, different dye lots – played together so well and harmoniously. They really were made for each other.
The only modification I made was to knit the sleeves longer – that’s because I wanted to use every last bit of LT, so I kept going until I run out of yarn. I really like the 3/4 length of the sleeves, I think they balance very well the relaxed fit if the body and they look very good rolled up too.
Lastly, to make the sewing of the side seams easier, I’ve washed and blocked the pullover first. This way the edges were flat and unrolled and I could sew them together in a matter of minutes.
The Ōshima pullover has a fair amount of positive ease built into it, for a slouchy fit, and on me it might look even too big, but this isn’t for me – it’s the first of my Handmade Xmas Presents for 2014 and the recipient is a couple of sizes bigger than myself. That said, I’d wear this pullover without problems, I just love it!
I’m very happy to have went out of my “comfort zone” of knitting exclusively with Traveller and it has been a nice change using different yarn weights and fibers, I really enjoyed it. That’s probably why I got this project finished in just a week – I’ve been knitting up a storm and I just wanted to see how this thing would have looked once finished. The whole pull is just plain stockinette stitch, but thanks to the stripes, isn’t too boring and I’d definitely make another one if my to-do-list wasn’t so crowded already. Ōshima is an easy pattern, but very cool indeed!
This is what has come off my needles lately, what are you working on instead? :)