Fourth Quarter Challenge!

Now that Camp Loopy is over (except for the bonus yarn – hopefully ready by the end of next week!), it’s time to turn our attention to the Fourth Quarter Challenge.

The nice thing about Camp – you have a quick month to get it done and it teaches you how fast you really CAN get things one when you focus on one thing. (Talking to myself here …..)

The nice thing about Quarterly Challenges - you have 3 months to get it done, which allows you plenty of time to insert other projects in there for variety, as you knit along.

I think there are advantages to both, but I’m ready for a little longer amount of time on this next project! The Challenge is to knit a project using yarn held double. Have you done that before?

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Here are the details and then I’ll talk about a couple of ideas.

- Your project must use two yarns, held and knit together. (Two strands of lace, or two strands of fingering, or two strands of DK/Sport, or two strands of worsted, or two strands of bulky, or a combination of any of those weights.)

- It must be a 400 yard (or more) project. This means you’ll be using 800 yards of yarn: 400 + 400 knit together. You can begin any time after today.

- The project must be done (with pictures uploaded to the Fourth Quarter Challenge Gallery) by December 31st. That gives you three months!

- If you want to purchase yarn for your project, you can get a 20% discount on one project’s worth of yarn for this challenge if you order between now and next Thursday, September 20th. You will need to leave us an order note, telling us which yarn you will be using for the challenge. We will apply the discount after we receive your order. If you are going for free shipping in the U.S., please do a bit of math ahead of time to be sure that your discount won’t take you under the $75 amount, or the website will add the shipping back in. We can only apply the discount to one project in one order during this shopping week, so choose carefully and calculate yardage wisely!

- If you do purchase yarn during the Challenge Week (Sept. 12-20) and if you finish your project and upload the photo by 12/31, we will double your project’s Frequent Shopper Benefits when we approve your photo. That means if your yarn is $30, you’ll get FSB points for $30 when your order ships, and another $30 in FSB points when your project is finished and photo uploaded by the deadline.

- You can also use stash yarn and upload your photo to the gallery to be included in the random drawings, as long as it’s a yarn base/brand that we carry here at The Loopy Ewe.

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So what are you going to make? I’m planning to use two skeins of laceweight held together to (finally) make the Charleston Tea cardigan. I don’t have a lot of success in sweater completion. I’ve knit two sweaters (a Mr. Greenjeans and a Zoe Cardigan), and I have 3 sweaters currently in time-out (for no reason except that sweaters take so long and there is always something else that comes along that I want to knit instead). This time, I found a friend to knit along with me, and SHE has a great track record in sweater completion, so I have hope! I’m using this Wollmeise Laceweight  in Spice Market that I bought when I visited Claudia’s shop in Germany, so it’s a little heavier laceweight than the wispy stuff.

Besides doubling up for a sweater, another thing you can do is something felted. Felting frequently has you knitting two skeins of worsted yarn together (so that it knits up big and fast), so you might want to make yourself a new bag. How about a Sara Purse, or a Go Green Shopping Bag? (Or hey – design yourself a bag!)

I’ve been working on another project with two yarns held together. It’s the Cabled Rib Wrap, which is knit holding Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca DK together. It’s awesome and I love working on it. One of our Knit Nighters is working on a beautiful lacey scarve with a skein of fingering weight and a skein of that Silk Cloud held together and each time she brings it we all admire it. I think there are probably many open-lace scarf patterns that would lend themselves to that (adding a laceweight in either a different texture or color, to make it more interesting.) Check out Moiraine, or Pergola Lace Wrap, or the Summer Wind Cowl. Adding two different textured yarns together is fun. (Shown here in Silk Cloud Suit and Zitron Filigran Denim. With the two slightly different shades, you’d also be adding a bit of dimension as well as texture to your piece.) You could alter any of those patterns by adding in a second skein of something soft/warm/shimmery (alpaca, cashmere, silk) or something in a little different color, alongside your regular fingering weight skein.

If you’re adding a yarn to an existing pattern that was written for one yarn, keep in mind that it will turn out larger when you add more yarn to it, and you will probably have to go up a needle size or two. That’s why scarves/wraps/cowls are great, because in most cases, it doesn’t matter if they get bigger. They’re not fitted, and that just means more to wrap up in. In my case (with the sweater I’m doing), the pattern calls for a sportweight, and I’m using two strands of laceweight to equal a sportweight, so it should not come out bigger or require a different size of needles. (Yes, of course I’m swatching to make sure.)

Remember, the purpose of our Quarterly Challenges is to encourage you to do something you might not have tried before (or to complete something that pushes you a little further in your knitting in some way). I hope you’re up for the challenge! Who’s in?

Sheri whoneedstowindmyyarnandgetgoing


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35 comments on “Fourth Quarter Challenge!

  1. I am definitely in & the wheels are turning :)

    I have designed one pattern using two strands, 3rd quarter last year, Northwoodz Vest.
    I won’t do a vest this time, hmmmmm, thinking thinking, not sure

    Shopping first, yup get the yarn then let it talk to me :)

  2. I looked at the Go Green Shopping Bag and I think that one would be something I would enjoy knitting. Just not sure what yarns to pick or what colors. Will study your huge selection and I’m sure something will pop out at me.

  3. I’m in. :). I am starting to look through my patterns to see what I can do! So we need to use 400 yds of each yarn held together, right? So many fun colors to choose from! Thanks!

  4. SOOOOOO tempted!

    Have 1460 yards of two laceweight yarns I bought from you ages ago and I have been debating knitting a cardigan with the two held together…….but I am already in the middle of a cardigan and worried neither will get finished……

    Thinking, plotting, planning, debating……

  5. I’ve been wanting to try to make felted slippers – but it might not use enough yarn. If they do come up short can I make two pair? Would that be an ok project?

  6. Can you double knit something? I already have plans to do a double knit scarf for my son with colored motifs on it. You’re not really knitting the yarns together, but you are holding two yarns together as you alternate. Does this qualify?

  7. Kelly – in double knitting you are only knitting with one strand of yarn at a time, right? This project needs to be knit with two strands held together and worked at the same time.

  8. Definitely count me in!!! Now I am “off” to shop at The Loopy Ewe! : D (not sure what I will make yet, but I am sure the inspiration will hit!)

  9. Hmmm…. I think this looks like a project I can do. It looks like a project for a Christmas gift.

    Now to go make some decisions.

  10. Sheri,

    So it doesn’t have to be two different colors or two different yarns? You can knit with one yarn doubled? I am thinking of making one of the felted bags you mentioned out of Cascade 220, in different colors, but at times, I’d be holding one color doubled. So that’s OK as long as the whole project takes at least 400 x 2 yards?

  11. I’m with Wendy. I bought two skeins of laceweight yarn a gazillion years ago to make a crocheted cardigan. It was too expensive at the time to make the sweater for the Shepherd Sock, but I never got around to it. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl or maybe I’ll make something else and buy something new. Payday is between now and next Thursday!

  12. Just a reminder – double knitting would not count on this challenge, because the two strands aren’t being knit together as one.

    Nicola – yes, you can use one color, doubled up. The whole project would be taking 800 yards, though. (400 + 400, held together).

  13. This is perfect timing. I haven’t been knitting much lately and decided to knit something special for my mom’s 65th birthday. I’m so excited!

  14. I think I’m in. I have double stranded many times before. There are several baby blanket patterns that call for this, to offer another suggestion. Otherwise, toys are another good one, to make sure your knitting is nice and tight so the stuffing doesn’t show through. Hmmm . . . But what am I going to do? I just don’t know.

  15. I’m in! Just ordered 2 skeins of Swan’s Island fingering. I was wondering – if I select a pattern that only calls for 380 yarns (which I will double) and am still 20 yards under the 800 yards but I add extra rows to make up for the missing yardage is that acceptable? Thank you!

  16. OK, I’m in for this one. Still haven’t finished my 3rd Camp project, finished the second at the last minute but didn’t get photos up because we had no power after an extensive derecho storm blew through so I’m feeling like its all getting away from me. For this one, something I need AND know I’ll get done on time: a nice new pair of felted clogs from Cascade 220. Just need to check the yardage and then settle down to the pleasant task of choosing my colors. Perhaps red and green for the upcoming holidays?

  17. If you are going to do the challenge, you definitely need a yarn caddie so that both of the strands of yarn can flow together nicely. If you have one already, just cut a circle out of card stock, old file folder and then cut an X in the middle, put on your first skein of yarn, and then the paper circle and then the second and you will be knitting like a breeze.