Navia Knitalong: Updates and Progress


Did you hear that? That was the sound of the last three weeks flying by! We’re still excitedly plugging away at the knit along, though, and wanted to share our progress with you.

Real talk, you guys. Between illnesses that never seemed to end, deadline knitting that I just shipped off, and a super secret gift I’ve been working on, I haven’t had a lot of time for my knitalong sweater! I did, though, manage to knit two swatches while sick in bed a week or so ago.

kate second swatches 2.jpg

One was useful in that it was to check gauge and to experiment with washing the swatch in my machine, and the other was useful in that it showed me a color option that very much did not work. I absolutely love the hand of the fabric once it was washed, but my stockinette gauge is too loose (14 stitches to 4” as opposed to the recommended 15”) on US 9 needles, so for my next swatch I’m going to see what happens on US 8 needles.

As I mentioned in the last post, despite black being one of my favorite colors, I wasn’t sold on my original choice. I then went with the below option, thinking the four colors looked great together - which they do! - but, as you can see in my swatch, the light brown and mid grey just do not work well together in the stranded colorwork pattern.

So now, I’m going to try a third option, going back to my original colors, but switching up the order a bit.

KAL Colorways Charted_b.jpg

I’m leaning towards the all natural (which will put the green as a contrast only used in the yoke), but I’ve been so determined to make it work in the body and hems that I want to try some alternate options with the green as well. Decisions, decisions! Crossing fingers once I get through these last few swatches, I’ll finally settle on a color combo and can actually start knitting soon!

I am loving knitting this sweater. I had been convinced all these years that I “just can’t do colorwork” and was super frustrated every time I tried and made something that ended up too tight to wear. However, with the encouragement of Kate and Courtney, I sat down and knit not one, but two stranded colorwork hats using Navia Duo (which I LOVE) and they came out great. So I decided to leap right into a traditional Faroese stranded yoke sweater which uses 3 colors in a row in some places!

Meghan progress.jpg

I am really pleased with my sweater so far and a few days ago I moved into the single color portion of the body. Using size 9 needles, this part of the sweater is practically knitting itself. I even went to see White Christmas in the theater last night and knit the whole time! At this rate, I’ll be at the yoke in no time.

This has been my sweater for when I just can’t knit on my deadline sweater anymore. I am a two-timing knitter, it is true. But, I am super happy with my Christmas-y color choices and am still absolutely convinced that I will be knitting the yoke during our family’s Christmas Eve festivities (the dreaded deadline sweater is due on December 19).

Courtney progress.jpg

I am using a size 9 needle for the body, and I machine washed my swatch, which is how I plan to treat my finished garment as well. You may notice on all of our sweaters that the knitting looks a bit loose and not at all how we are used to seeing a “good” knit fabric look. That is just the nature of this Faroese yarn! Tradition is meant to be knit a bit on the loose end, and once washed it blooms delightfully! According to Navia, most Faroese knitters machine wash their sweaters on the wool cycle, which allows for even more bloom. I think it works like a charm, and I’m not sad at all to let my front-loader do my work for me.

And that’s it! Hopefully next update Kate will actually be knitting her sweater and Meghan and Courtney will be done with their bodies and well into the sleeves.

Bohéme Christmas Hat by Faroe Knit

Last night while relaxing with a cup of Sleepytime tea and some Instagram therapy, I happened upon the perfect Christmas-y knit to add to my holiday knitting basket—which I definitely do not have time for, but will absolutely cast on anyways!

Designer Randi Hjelm Debes of Faroe Knit, designed this simple and adorable stocking cap using Navia Duo in classic red and white. The pattern is designed for 1-2 year (baby/toddler), 4-5 year (child small), 7-8 year (child medium), and 10-12 year (child large), and adult small. The pattern is available as a PDF download from Faroe Knit in English and Danish. Click here to purchase a PDF of the pattern.

Of course, I soon realized that the hat pattern was based on a sweater pattern for babies and kids, and the wheels really started turning. Imagine all the kids in matching sweaters and hats for a holiday photo! There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

I haven’t yet knit much with Navia Duo, but Meghan has finished a colorwork hat for some of her holiday knitting and the yarn feels incredible. It’s surprisingly soft when washed, but sturdy enough to feel like real Yarn-with-a-capital-Y.

Of course red and white are a classic combo, but there are nearly 30 colors of Duo — enough to please even the most discerning child.

You can now purchase Navia Duo from our wonderful stockists — Webs in Northampton, MA; Elegant Ewe in Concord, NH; and Handknit Yarn Studio in Hamilton, Ontario are all brand new Navia retailers.

Are you a shop who is interested in carrying Navia, or any of our products, in your shop? Contact us!

Navia Knitalong: Swatches and colors

Despite a bit of snow that surprised every meteorologist in the tri state area, we all managed to do a little bit of swatching in preparation for the Navia knitalong beginning today.

Kate’s Swatch:
I took the “quick and dirty” approach to my swatch, mainly using is as an opportunity to test my color selection. (And even with that, I still veered away from my initial MC/CC assignment!)

Kate swatch 1.jpg

As I feared, I’m not 100% sold on my colors. Surprisingly, it isn’t the green that I now want to reevaluate, though, it is the black. The black is a very gorgeous “true” black, with no heathered tones, and against the other shades it looks just so….dark. I’m now considering switching out the black for light brown, and using the green either as the main color (body), or one of the secondary main colors. This means more swatching (and actually paying closer attention to gauge!), which I’m happy to do in the coming days.

Courtney’s Swatch:

Kate swatch 2.jpg

Courtney’s swatch was quite successful. Knit on the recommended needle, the US 9 (5.5 mm), her unblocked gauge (shown here) is a little loose, but she has plans to wash the sweater in the machine (on the wool cycle) for a final gauge check, as that is how she plans on treating her finished sweater. She’s feeling good about her colors, and once she confirms her gauge, she’ll be well on her way!

Meghan’s Swatch:

Meghan swatch 1.jpg

Meghan’s swatch, on US 8 (5 mm) needles, is a little small, so she needs to go up a size to the recommended 9 (5.5 mm) and try again. Other than that, she’s happy with her (unique to her) color choices!

Garment Size and Modification Plans:
We spent some time this morning in the office trying on the sample Troyggja Við Mynstur from Kris at Navia in order to pick our size. The pattern (now expanded) comes in 35.25 (38.5, 41.5, 46.5, 49.5, 52.75, 56)”, and the sample we have is the second size, the 38.5”. In addition to having the Navia sample, Courtney also recently finished her Sweater With Stars. She knit the 41.5”, so it was incredibly helpful to try that one on as well!

The three of us are shaped quite differently, and even though the 38.5” technically fits, we’ve all decided to knit the third size, the 41.5”. Meghan, the most busty of the three of us, found the 38.5” to be too tight in the yoke and needed more balance in the proportions of the sweater. Courtney isn’t as busty, but she and Meghan often wear the same size, so she, too, needed a little more ease. I am the least busty of the three, but also found the 38.5” to not have enough ease for the fit I am going for. I do worry, though, that the arms will be too baggy, so I am going to knit the 35.5” or 38.5” arms and the 41.5” bust. All three of us plan to shorten both the body and sleeves by at least 3”, and I am definitely going to add short row shaping to raise the back neck.

Its worth noting, too, that while it was fortuitous that we had both samples at our fingertips, we still could have made an informed decision about sizing by looking in our closets and finding sweaters with similar construction and sizing to give us an idea of what the fit would be - so don’t think this is a special option that only we have!

Next week, we’ll talk a little bit more in depth about working with Navia Tradition, and some of the unique properties of the yarn that make it both so warm and light. And, we’ll see what the washing machine did to Courtney’s swatch!

We’d love to see your progress in the knitalong if you choose to participate, so don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at KelbourneWoolens, Navia at NaviaFaroeIslands, and use the hashtags #KWNaviaKAL and #kelbournewoolens.