Sweater Seven, Installment One: Alafoss

Alafoss is a pattern from the spectacular book, Knitting With Icelandic Wool

I'm adjusting the colour scheme a little -- this really only affects the yoke, of course -- as I'm trying to knit from my stash and only have three colours of Cascade Eco.  This yarn is really good value, and it comes in these MASSIVE skeins.  When I roll the skein into a ball, I end up with a cabbage-sized solid ball of yarn.  It's pretty amazing: when my mom, who doesn't knit, saw one, she asked how many balls of yarn I had used to make the yarn cabbage, and when I said one she was visibly surprised. 

Not too much exciting to report about the body and sleeves.  In Icelandic yoke sweater tradition, there's kilometers of stockinette to knit in the round before you get to the very exciting yoke.  I don't mind tons of stockinette -- it means I can knit while reading! -- but there isn't much to say about it.  The only smallish snag I hit up until now was that the set of DPNs I bought was too short.  Have you ever tried to shop for 7 mm needles?  This is, weirdly, a rare size.  I think that's weird because we regularly use needles in 0.5- or 1-mm increments all the way up to 6.5 mm needles, and from 8 to 10 mm needles, but somehow there's a gap between 6.5 and 8 mm needles.  It can be tricky to match gauge if you happen to fall into that gap, and while I've never found that I needed to own 7 mm needles before, I couldn't make it work with either 6.5 or 8 mm needles. 

I looked around a lot and ended up ordering a 7 mm circular, which I used to swatch.  When I got the correct gauge, I then had to look around and order a set of 7 mm DPNs, and I think I erred a little too much on the short side.  Look, the Knitter's Dreamz needles really are wonderful to knit with; they're light and incredibly smooth, and the yarn just flows off them.  But, and this goes hand in hand with high quality, they're not cheap.  So instead of spending what now seems like a tiny bit more for the 7" set, I got the 6" set and spend a lot of time monitoring the stitches at the ends of the needles, to make sure they don't fall off, and very carefully manipulating the sleeve that I'm knitting so as not to lose stitches. Just look:

 So many stitches about to make a great escape!

So many stitches about to make a great escape!

I wish I had a way to tell how long my DPNs should be, based on the number of stitches and the stitches per inch in my tube.  I found this helpful chart for circular needles, but I'm not sure if a similar one could be made for DPNs.  It kind of seems like there are just too many variables, so I will just have to do my best guessing.