coffee table of unfinished knitting projects


Another monthly update of all the projects cluttering up my coffee table. You can read last month's update here and all the months here.


First up, my Fern & Feather jumper.


grey yoked jumperFern and Feather by Jennifer Steingass, available to buy on Ravelry


Fern & Feather is a top down jumper with a stranded colour work yoke. Designed by Jennifer Steingass it uses only two colours and has a simple fern design. Perfect for a first colour work jumper. And because it is knitted in an aran weight yarn it is a quick knit too. I'm using King Cole Wool Aran in shades of grey - Steel and Cloud.


I have now finished the body and I'm onto the sleeves. So far this jumper has been a very quick knit. I fully expect I'll now to spend a while on sleeve island.


hem of grey jumper


Because this jumper falls past the hips I felt it was important it had a stretchy cast off. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. You can see a tutorial here. It's one of the simpler stretchy cast offs.


I ended last month's blog with 3 goals for May:

  1. to have completed at least two more repeats of the Wonderball Wrap and to photograph it on the shop mannequin
  2. be able to show off a new WiP (I was waiting for the kits to arrive in the shop), and
  3. cast on a shop sample for John Arbon Appledore Lace

So far I can tick off 2 of these.


multicoloured lace wrap


This wrap is knitted in Rico Melange Aran Wonderball. It first appeared on the coffee table in September 2022 and then it sat on the counter in the Pittenweem shop for a few months. It was so admired I felt motivated to get it finished but alas my aversion to rectangles remains and it's still not done. If it were a triangle it would be finished a lot quicker.


multicoloured wrap


So I now have a grand plan to knit it every day. I've worked out that one repeat of the 12 row lace pattern takes me 40 minutes and adds 5cm to the scarf.

It currently measures 72cm and the finished length will be 180cm so I have about 15 hours of knitting left... or 22 days if I do one repeat a day. There are two new shades of Wonderball coming in July so it would be great to have a finished sample in the shop to show off the yarn. 22 days takes me to 14th June so I've got lots of time, even allowing for a few missed days.😆

(The Wonderball Wrap is a free pattern which is only available in the PIttenweem shop but if you want one and buy anything online leave a comment at checkout and we'll pop a copy in your parcel).


The big reveal from last months WiPs is my Brights Pic & Mix cowl.


brightly coloured stranded colourwork cowl


We now stock a Pic & Mix cowl kit from Wee County Yarns. It's 15 mini balls of Scottish yarn and a printed pattern for a cowl. You just add circular needles (3.25cm x 40cm long).

The motif is over 12 stitches and 22 rows which your repeat over and over, picking your own colours from the selection in the box. 

Each shade collection has a range of lights and darks.

It's such good fun. Although it's the same motif over and over its always different as you get to choose the colours and how to use them. The pattern gives you ideas on how to place the colours but really its up to you.

I'm using a Brights kit to knit a shop sample. I started with some simple combos:

  • one foreground colour and one background colour
  • one foreground colour and two background colours


brightly coloured stranded colourwork cowl


I then started adding more colour combos:

  • two foreground colours and two background colours
  • two foreground colours and three background colours



brightly coloured stranded colourwork cowl


This cowl is knitted in the round which means the right side is always facing you and you don't need to purl, making the stranded colourwork easier.


    brightly coloured stranded colourwork cowl


    As you are knitting a tube all the ends are hidden inside so there's no need to weave your ends in. Just tie the ends together and trim. I did have a couple of wonky stitches at the beginning so I used the ends to neaten them before tying a knot.

    To make a cowl you join the cast on and cast off ends together.

    There are different ways to do this. The pattern suggests a provisional cast on which will keep the cast on stitches 'live' so you can graft it to the live stitches on your needle at the end. You can see this in action on our Moonwake cowl. And if you read about that you'll know it took me more than one attempt to get it right. 😆

    So I did not do a provisional cast on with this cowl. The thought of grafting over 100 tiny stitches (its 4ply) of a sticky woolly wool did not appeal to me. So I just cast on as normal and I plan to cast off, then use mattress stitch to join the ends.

    This would be even easier if I hadn't started with a dark colour! I'll need to sit in good light to make sure I catch every stitch. 

    I only have one more pattern repeat to do so there should be a big ta-dah next week. We've also just had a big restock of all the kits. Brights is just one of six shade collections and we have a Knitty shop sample too.👇



    I have not cast on a project with the Appledore Lace... but I did cast on a new tee-shirt pattern using Vivacious 4ply. However, it has not gone smoothly.


    lacy sleeve tee shirt

    Photo credit: Tori Yu. Uptown Tee by Tori Yu, available to buy on Ravelry


    I thought this tee shirt was so pretty. Lovely and summery on its own with lace short sleeves and a practical knitted tee shirt to layer over. I decided to use Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply. Unbelievably we don't have a garment sample in this yarn.

    After some deliberation I went with Heavenly, a dappled pale lilac shade, although I was also drawn to the more dramatic Grape which would have given a totally different look.

    Uptown Tee is knitted seamlessly from the top down. As I was using a semi solid hand dyed yarn I need to alternate the skeins to prevent any pooling of colour and to ensure the skeins are blended. I didn't want to risk an obvious stripe when I started the second skein or any colour difference if the skeins had a different colour make-up.

    In the past I have just carried the yarn up the inside, knitting two rows from each hank. From experience I know to do this somewhere unobtrusive... not bang in the middle of the front.😆

    For this project I thought I'd try helical knitting, a way to achieve jogless stripes when knitting in the round without carrying the yarn up the inside of your project.

    You can watch a tutorial from Arnall-Caulfield here where she slips the last three stitches of each round alternating the yarn so there is no step in the colour. I've done this before when making a one row striped hat.

    Now, I knew not to start the helical technique until after the short row shaping. By definition you're not knitting full rounds when doing short rows or helical knitting so I didn't think it was possible to combine them both. Or if you can it wasn't immediately obviously.

    So I started the helical knitting after the short row shaping. I started it at the back of the tee shirt (the beginning of the round is bang in the middle of the front). 

    But... I didn't consider the impact the helical technique would have on the eyelet lace sleeve pattern. As you are always slipping 3 stitches each time you pick up the other yarn, if you do this on the sleeve you are not completing the lace pattern. This pattern has to be completed on the next round, but at the same time you are slipping another 3 stitches. So the pattern gets more and more out of sync. Thinking about the implications hurt my head but I felt I was coping.*

    Obviously not something I would advise AT ALL. I can just image the look on customers faces when they just want to knit the tee shirt and I'm wittering on about spirals and working different parts of the pattern at different points.😆

    *(In retrospective I could have slipped more than or less than 3 stitches to suit the pattern or even used the carry up the inside technique when it became a problem... but of course... hindsight).

    But then I had a lace disaster.

    I feel very confident knitting eyelet lace. We have a free knitting pattern for an eyelet lace shawl which I've knitted many many times. So I can fix mistakes if I go astray.


    lace tee shirt

    Photo credit: Tori Yu. Uptown Tee by Tori Yu, available to buy on Ravelry


    Which I did.

    I had to pull out 4 rows of one sleeve. I felt I had picked all the stitches up correctly but I was at the part of the pattern where there was additional shaping. And I couldn't get it to look nice. And since the sleeves are the main point of interest, wonky stitches would be glaringly obvious. so I took the painful (very painful) decision to rip the whole garment back to a point I recognised was correct. Which of course was a tangle as I was doing helical knitting. 🤦‍♀️

    So I was on track to get the sleeves and body separated and photographed on the mannequin this week... and I'm now back to the beginning of the raglan sleeves.

    Oh well. It does knit up quickly and it is a lovely yarn and it will look good when finished.

    And no I will not do helical knitting on the yoke. I'm going back to my usual carrying the yarn up the side.

    After that headache inducing summary I'll leave the coffee table update at that.😁

    Fiona Wright
    Tagged: WIPs

    Get in touch

    What are you making just now?

    We'd love to know. 👇