Stash top

Several coincidences led me to knitting this stash top – a weekend in need of a knit. A stashed handspun yarn in need of a project. Hands and mind in need of wool on long work meetings.

The idea for this sweater project started quite a while ago, but was sparked by a weekend in need of a knitting project.

Yoga practice

I practice yoga asana every morning and evening. Towards the end I want to put something on to avoid getting cold, but nothing too warm. I started to look for patterns for a cropped top, something to just throw on before the final relaxation of my practice to keep my chest warm. I found the Ursina pattern by Jacqueline Cieslak and saved it for later.

In need of a knit

A few weeks ago I went with my wool traveling club to our annual wool journey. I realized I needed a knitting project for both the train ride and for our hours and hours of chatting.

After browsing Ravelry for a while I found the saved Ursina pattern and decided it was time for it. I had some low twist lopi style handspun yarn left after knitting a Telja sweater by Jennifer Steingass and it was the perfect fit.

Colour scheme

I had five colours left of the yarn – the natural white, light grey and dark grey and some light blue and medium blue that I had dyed. Stripes was my choice for the project. I picked the smallest yardage for the neckline and changed into increasingly larger yardages as I knit. I added a thin white stripe between each colour shift to avoid a gradient feeling.

A top on a hanger outdoors. The top has a short body and long sleeves. It is striped from light blue at the neckline, through medium blue and dark grey to light grey at the hem. A wood shed in the background.
To optimize the colours in the stashed yarn I decided to make the stash top striped.

I have knit stripes with stashed yarn like this before in my Bianka sweater, and the fiddly part is always after separating body and sleeves. both times I ended up with live stitches on cables in body and sleeves, knitting a couple of rounds at a time to end up in an even stripe across sleeves and body. In the end it’s worth it, though, for a smart striping and efficient use of stashed yarn.

Knit reknit

Due to optimistic measures of gauge I ripped and reknit the top. Twice. But I didn’t mind, it gave me something to knit on meetings at work. I remember some of my colleagues looking at my knitting and wishing they had something to do with their hands too to avoid falling asleep in a stuffed conference room.

Ursina and Jacqueline

I want to tell you about this pattern. Of course I fell for the design – the cropped body, the brioche stitch triangle at the hem, the brioche stitch faux seams and the sweet V-neck.

But after having bought the pattern and cast on I was astounded by the pattern description. I have never seen a pattern description with such a well-planned structure! Not only does Jacqueline Cieslak accomodate for different body sizes, bust sizes, body shapes and yarn weights, but she has structured the description in a unique and very clear way to make it easy and effortless to find where you are in the pattern. She is a true pattern construction and pattern designer star and I want to knit all her patterns.

My new post-yoga stash top does exactly what I wanted it to do – it keeps me warm after my practice and is cozy to wear. I may knit another one.

Happy spinning!

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