half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

FO: Mmmalabrigo Jacket

Um… am I missing the point of NaKniSweMo if I finish in 10 days?


Pattern: Drops Jacket in blah blah long name purple monkey dishwasher, modified up the wazoo
Size: Small (roughly)
Yarn: MMMMMMMMalabrigo merino worsted in Cinnabar, every last little scrap of 4 skeins
Needles: US 9

Here’s a brighter pic, but it shows less details. This sweater doesn’t like to be photographed, apparently. I don’t like to be photographed either, but I’m still on a “no more headless pics!” mission.


So. 10 days. Wait, what? Granted, I did all my pattern reworking, and swatching, and blah dee blah before November. That’s allowed, right? Didn’t cast on until November 1st, though, and finished last Saturday. I haven’t blogged it until now because it took FOUR DAYS TO DRY. Which worked out fine, since I wasn’t able to go button-shopping until yesterday anyway, but still.

I’ll forgive the sweater, though, because I loooooove it.

Yeah, it ate all my yarn, but I had just enough to finish. And I mean just enough. I kept going back and forth between the sleeves and the body, monitoring how much yarn everything was eating. I do not recommend this. Yes, you can make this sweater (in size small, with some modifications) with 4 skeins of Malabrigo. However, you will go mad in the process. Is it worth it? Huh? Is it?

(I already went mad long ago, so what do I care?)

Whether you take the path of sanity or not, make this sweater. It’s yummy. I was very wary of the idea of an A-line sweater, but it works, it does sort of a ruffly thing at the bottom instead of making you look like a giant umbrella.


Yeah, I modified the crap out of mine, but all the unmodified ones on Ravelry look great too, on all sorts of body types. Make it! Make it now! It only takes 10 days!*

* If you’re a lunatic.

So. About the modifications. As written, it’s a bottom-up sweater knit in pieces. I made it as a seamless top-down raglan. And then I got a whooole bunch of messages asking for details on how to do that. Here’s the thing. I took really sparse, messy notes. Mostly they are a bunch of numbers scribbled in my sketchbook. And then I ignored or changed half of those numbers on the fly when I actually made the thing. So no, I cannot rewrite this pattern for you as a top-down raglan, unless I start over from scratch and do it, and I’m not gonna, because I hate writing patterns.


I’ve seen a lot of people on Ravelry and elsewhere trying to turn standard sweater patterns into top-down raglans, whether it’s because they like raglans, or like knitting top-down, or hate seaming, or whatever. So I’m thinking I might write up a tutorial on how to do just that. With any pattern, in general, not necessarily this one. Is there any interest in that sort of thing?

Other mods… let’s see. I left out the 2×2 ribbing at the bottom because I couldn’t figure out why it was there and it looked funny; just went straight to the garter stitch (which was enough to stop any curling). I ignored pretty much everything the pattern said to do with the sleeves. I made the bottom edge smaller than the pattern wanted, because the numbers seemed huuuuge; I think I took off about 4 inches from that measurement. I tweaked lots of the numbers slightly, like, by 2 stitches or so, little things that aren’t really worth documenting and are mostly just me being a control freak.

And then there was the collar. I’d heard horror stories about this collar, and with good reason. I read the instructions for the collar and went “WTF?” I read them again, and got it, but then went “WTF? Why are they doing it that way? Why seam the edges when you can just pick up extra stitches as you go?” So I did. And it seems to have worked out fine. By the way, picking up stitches along a curved edge SUUUUUCKS.

Like the buttons?


I found those within a few minutes of entering the store, then spent a zillion years looking at every damn button in the store, only to go right back to those in the end. It figures.

So. I guess that’s NaKniSweMo all done. I picked something quick and easy to take the pressure off, but I guess I should have picked something slow and impossibly difficult. This wasn’t masochism, it was fun! This is all wrong! Where’s my standard November pain and suffering?

Well, my next project is the Back to School Vest from Fitted Knits, and I hear it’s crawling with errata and weird increases. That sounds promising in the masochism department…

The Thing That Ate My Malabrigo

I has a yoke!


This sweater is quick. It may be knitting itself when my back is turned, because I don’t think I’m that fast. That picture was from yesterday and since then I have a bit more body and a big chunk of sleeve #1. I will have no problem at all finishing it in a month. That’s the good news.

The bad news?


Yes, I’ve already acknowledged that I don’t have enough yarn for the sweater and I’m prepared to work around that. But, I said, okay. If I can get to the point where I split off the sleeves in under one skein of yarn, I’m good. I’ve made top-down raglans before. I can estimate how much yarn they’ll eat. I’ve got 4 skeins of Mmmalabrigo. If the yoke eats less than a skein, I can finish the body with another 1.5 skeins, and the remaining 1.5 should be enough for 3/4-length sleeves.

The sweater heard me.

The sweater laughed.

I used up the first skein of yarn one row before splitting off the sleeves.

That can’t be a coincidence. It just can’t. The sweater knows my plan and is out to foil it. It’s waiting until I think I’m safe – until I’m just about to split off the sleeves with my tiny little remaining nub of skein #1 and BAM, out of yarn.

I made you, sweater. I can unmake you. Ribbit, ribbit.

But I’m not giving up yet. It’s going to be tight, but I may juuuust have enough yarn. I abandoned the body for awhile, and started a sleeve, just to see how much yarn would be eaten, and the news isn’t bad. The sleeve is gently nibbling at the yarn instead of greedily slurping it down.

I made some on-the-fly changes to the sleeve shaping – decreasing every inch instead of every 2 inches – tried it on, and the sleeve fits fine. The body seems to fit about right too. I’m a bit concerned that everything fits, because the sweater’s going to grow a little after washing. But my swatch didn’t grow toooo much, so it’ll be all right. You hear that, sweater? You grow too much, and I will feed you to my monster hat.

The Malabrigo is DELICIOUS. It’s soft and beautiful and soft and a pleasure to knit with and soft and so very, very soft.

I may or may not have tried on the sweater naked.

And I’ve lucked out with a fairly consistent dye lot, it seems. I’ve heard horror stories about Malabrigo’s colour variation; even within the same dye lot the colours can be completely different. I did not want to do that thing where you switch balls of yarn every couple of rows. You know why? Because I’m lazy. That’s why. I stared and stared at my 4 balls of yarn, and came to the conclusion that 3 of them were exactly the same. The 4th is just a touch darker than the others. So I am not switching balls until I have to deal with that 4th skein, and you know what? I can’t tell where the skeins change at all. S’all good.

(Heh heh. Balls.)


Mad Sweater Science, Part II

In typical last-minute fashion, I’ve decided that NaKniSweMo is a go. And the sweater to be knit in a month will be…

*drumroll* (yeah like you really care)

DROPS jacket in ”Eskimo” or ”Silke-Alpaca” with A-shape and ¾-long or long sleeves – yeah, what kind of crapmonkey name is that? I’m not typing that over and over. I’m not even copying-and-pasting it over and over. It will be called the Mmmalabrigo Jacket. Because it will be made of Mmmalabrigo. And it is a jacket. Except, it’s really a sweater, but they call it a jacket, so I will too.


I’ve gone and rewritten it as a top-down raglan. Partly because of my usual seaming-phobia, but mostly because I totally don’t have enough yarn to make it. I have 4 skeins of worsted Malabrigo. That’s 864 yards. I’m making the smallest size, and probably going with 3/4-length sleeves, and not flaring it out as much at the bottom, but I’m still going to run out of yarn. So making it top-down means I can run out of yarn at a spot where I can go “oh well, it’s long enough, I’ll just stop”, instead of, “oh crap, I have no left front shoulder!”

And I thought that this would be the perfect time to finally try a compound raglan. I’d taken that Maggie Righetti book back to the library already, but I remembered the principle – increase every other row down to the shoulder tip, every 4 rows down to the underarm, and every other row for another 1-1.5″. Okay. No problem. Wheeee!

Then I started doing The Math.

The Math told me that the distance from collar to bust with the original pattern would be between 7 and 8 inches.

The Math told me that the distance from collar to bust with a traditional raglan line (increasing every other row all the way through) would be between 7 and 8 inches.

The Math told me that if I did a compound raglan the armholes would be somewhere around my waist. That seems like a problem, since that’s not where my arms are.

I think The Math is screwing with me. Or I screwed up The Math. Or my arms are growing out of my neck and I just never noticed. Whyyyy doesn’t it work? I don’t know. I’m tired and don’t feel like figuring it out. So traditional raglan it is! But I’ll get you someday, compound raglan. I know where you live, compound raglan. You can’t hide from me.


I’m sticking pretty close to the numbers of the smallest size in the pattern and I’ve worked out everything except the collar. I haven’t decided what to do about the collar. I think it might eat me, so it’ll have to be modified a bit.

I’m swatched and ready.

And after a week of knitting, I’ll discover that I got all the numbers wrong and have to frog and start over. Yay! Looking forward to it! Kill me now!

Ahhh, now that feels more like November.