About six weeks ago, we shared the idea for a quick and simple Mojave KAL. Conveniently, that very weekend Courtney and I were about to embark on a 16 hour round trip to Vermont to teach at a knitting retreat.
What is a more perfect time for banging out a cute summer top than 16 hours in a car and a weekend in a hotel with no kids or pets? None that I can think of!
I’ll admit: I was skeptical of this pattern, Ranunculus by Midori Hirose, at first. Not the design, which I think is really lovely - there is a reason why there are over 2,600 projects on Ravelry, and I have wanted one for myself for a while - but because the neck circumference seemed, in a word, impossible. I’m also not a huge fan of yarn knit very, very loosely, and I never knit things top down. But Linda at Knit New Haven was knitting one in Mojave, so I knew it would work, and Courtney basically told me I absolutely had to knit it as written as some sort of cognitive behavior therapy to break me of my color/design/method rut.
I don’t have a ton of “selfish” knitting time as 99.5% of what I do knitting and crochet-wise is designs and samples for publication, so in an effort to actually complete the top, I opted not to work the ribbing as written. (I’m also very stubborn,) Instead, I provisionally cast on the number of stitches after the first set of increases and worked the body before tackling the neck.
The yoke worked up very very quickly, in part thanks to the hours of knitting time we had, and ease of working the pattern. By the time our Vermont weekend was over, I was well past the yoke and whipping through the body. It only took a week or so of sneaking a few rounds in here are there the following week and I found myself with a super cute new summer sweater!
I did make a few other mods to the design: I added a few rounds between the raglan increases, didn’t work as many body increases, and knit a few extra yoke rounds to account for my denser row gauge. Finally, I followed Elizabeth’s modifications and worked a twisted ribbing to anchor the sleeves a bit. Once the body and sleeves were complete, I unzipped the provisionally cast on neck stitches, decreased 10 stitches (I still had 20 more stitches than as written for the cast on), and worked the neck in twisted ribbing. The body, neck, and sleeve ribbing are all bound off using a tubular bind off.
Start to finish, the sweater took about two weeks to knit, and I have worn it countless times since binding off, including to TNNA, on our recent yearly vacation in Maine, and an event at a local shop! Definitely a successful knit!
My favorite way to wear it is with the Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress (modified with a V-neck and lengthened 8”) that you see in here. Despite the fact that this was the third time I wore this outfit the week we were in Maine, these photos were taken minutes before we got in the car to head back home - I think documenting my finished projects is about as hard as actually finding the time to work on them!