Today, there are so many amazing shops out there for knitters. So many gorgeous yarns to choose from, and so many awesome patterns to knit. But I think Wool and the Gang‘s knit kits will always have a special place in my heart. Wool and the Gang is that company that made me wanted to learn how to knit. And when I did, with the help of their video tutorials, it was a Wool and the Gang knit kit that got me knitting my first sweater.
This year, they also launched my favorite yarn to date: a white cotton with black specks. I just had to get my hands on some and knit their Lucky Star tank pattern with it. Now it may not be Summer anymore where you are, but if not, keep this one in mind for when temperatures go up again. Because it has already become a staple piece in my wardrobe.
First of all, let me be transparant about how this pretty piece of knitwear came into existence. When I saw that Out of Space Dyed – 101 Spots yarn for the first time, I knew I had to have it. It basically screams Chain Twenty, and I knew I’d totally wanna wear something made out of this. So I simply asked Wool and the Gang if they wanted to collaborate with me. They said ‘yes’, I was beyond excited, and they generously send me the knit kit of my choice for me to review and promote. It’s just another example of how amazing this maker community is and I just couldn’t be more thankful for such an opportunity. Additionally, Wool and the Gang’s trust in me as a maker / influencer really boosted my self confidence. It taught me that, as a business owner, you just gotta go after your goals. This collaboration very much signified, for me, that I was taking steps forward.
THE LUCKY STAR KNIT KIT COMES WITH THREE BALLS OF HAPPY SHINY COTTON, A SET OF 6.5 MM ROSEWOOD NEEDLES, THE PATTERN (DUH), A TAPESTRY NEEDLE, AND A LABEL
Unfortunately, my kit took for-ever to ship. Oh no, not to ship, to arrive, haha. It was nothing to blame Wool and the Gang for, it was all thanks to Spanish customs and the whole postal system around here. I’ve learned to be patient since then, and I think I’m regaining my trust having stuff shipped to my Gran Canarian home, haha. Anyway, once it got here, it was all good. The yarn is stunning, as I expected, as are the needles, which I actually never tried before. And the kit comes with a tapestry needle and a lovely label to attach to the finished object.
SWATCH ON 5 MM NEEDLES
I had some adjustment ideas in mind even before I had received the kit, such as that I wanted to try knitting it in the round. But after gauge swatching with the 6.5 mm needles I also decided to go down to a 5 mm needle, because I wasn’t liking the loose fabric I got on the 6.5s. Actually, this would be my main (and only) reservation with some of WatG’s kits: the large needles they recommend for their yarns. This is just a personal preference, because there’s no right or wrong way to do this, but I love a more densely knitted structure. The Coco Sailor sweater, made out of the same Happy Shiny Cotton, was actually worked on 8 mm needles! I’d do that totally different now.
Anyway, 5 mm circular needles it was! I swatched again, did some maths I can’t reproduce anymore (haha), and came to the conclusion that if I knit the size L on the smaller needles, I’d end up with a size S.
Rewriting the pattern to be knit in the round wasn’t too difficult, even though I did make some silly mistakes. I simply doubled the amount of stitches to cast on. Then I turned two of them into faux-seam side stitches (like the ones in my San Agústin facecloth pattern). I didn’t anticipate that would leave me with an odd number of stitches on both front and back panel, while the pattern requires an even number (because of the v-neck). I fixed that by doing an extra decrease somewhere around the armhole, which is pretty much invisible. All good.
I added a lot of extra rows to the body as well, because the smaller needles made the top a lot shorter. However, I stopped when I got afraid I wouldn’t have enough yarn. In retrospect, I had loads of yarn left, so I wish I had done more rows. But hey, at least now I can use my leftovers in a cute scrappy blanket sometime soon! And I have not problem with a more cropped top. I kitchener stitched the shoulder parts together, instead of seaming them, which I think gives a more professional finish.
The knitting itself was a dream. Again, this yarn. THIS YARN, it’s so much fun. I only wished I had alternated between skeins a little, because the last skein I used was much more speckly than the one before that, and that’s very much visible in the finished object. It’s just one of those things I need to get used to doing. Knitting the pattern in the round meant a lot of only-knit-stitches and I loved that! It was so much fun to work on, not having to concentrate too much. I was kinda sad when it was done.
Ever since it was done, I’ve been wearing my Lucky Star tank a lot. And many people are surprised if they hear I made it myself. It’s good to finally be able to wear my handknits, which I don’t do too often because of the sunny climate. And now that knitting this is over, I’m trying my hands on designing a Summer top myself! Knit in the round of course, to make it fly by as easybreezy as this project did.
Now all there’s left to say is thank you, Wool and the Gang, for letting me try this lovely knit kit. It definitely sparked my interest for knitting Summer garments. And I feel like my love affair with 101 Spots has only just begun. 🙂 Wanna give it a try yourself? Find the make-it-yourself kit here!