As you all know I’ve recently completed the Where the Wild Sheep Roam cardigan for Tiny Wolf. I’m still absolutely in love with it and there are many beautiful examples of other finished projects over on Ravelry. If you are anything like me then gazing at beautiful knit items makes you want to knit them yourself. Immediately. Do you feel like that as well? But you don’t know if this is the right pattern for you? Then go on reading. In this review of the pattern, I’ll tell you all about what skills you should have, what you should do before you start and whether or not you might enjoy knitting this pattern.
It is always a good Idea to read any pattern thoroughly ahead of time. Highlight any instructions specific to the size you are knitting or that are just simply important. (Like those magic words “at the same time”…) This way you can also make sure that you have understood everything. If not you can then look for an answer before you run into a dead end.
It also a good idea to have a tool ready to mark the current row of a chart you are knitting. Highlighter tape works well if you can get it (the only place I’ve found it here in Germany at least is Amazon). Post its also work really well. You will, however, need multiple ones for longer chart rows. This pattern has some pretty long chart rows (the sleeves), so you will definitely want to use something to mark your place. There are also apps for some mobile devices that supposedly do this well, but I haven’t found one that worked well yet (on either Apple or Andriod). If you can recommend one please let me know in the comments, I’d be happy to try one out.
If you are printing out the pattern, print the charts first to make sure you get a decent contrast. My printer messed up there. That made the charts very difficult to read. Especially the yoke chart with the missing stitches was a problem for me. It was hard to make out the difference between existing stitches and previously decreased stitches.
You get a link to a crochet steek tutorial by Eunny Jang with the pattern. But if this is your first time doing a steek I’d advise looking at more references and especially a video or two as well (for more links check out my earlier post on steeks).
One last thing to note about the pattern: It tells you to knit the button bands before cutting the steek. Most tutorials explain the procedure the other way around. I don’t see any problems in doing it either way. You can do it which ever way you like.
The only problem I had with the pattern was that most charts turned out a bit small when printed out. I would have like all charts in the same size as the yoke chart. That makes them easier to read and follow I think.You can probably enlarge them yourself if you want (it should be possible somewhere in the printer dialogue, I think?) but I’d rather the pattern gives me the charts in a nice from the start, so I don’t have to fiddle with anything.
There are a few things you should be able to do, a few knitting skills you should have if you want to knit this pattern.
The basic skills include increasing and decreasing, casting on stitches in the middle of a row and picking up stitches.
The instructions in this pattern are a bit vaguer than most I’ve come across Ravelry. You should know how to increase evenly across a row or how to space buttons holes evenly. You need to do the math yourself, the pattern doesn’t it hand it to you. There are a couple of places in the pattern where you are required to think for yourself. That is not a bad thing mind you. But you need to be prepared for that.
If you’ve never knit a stranded colorwork piece before I would advise you to practice that on something small first (like a glove or a hat). Figure out how to tensioning both yarns at once works best for you first. You won’t get consistent gauge otherwise and your floats might be too tight. I hold one strand of yarn in each of my hands when doing stranded colorwork (I’m picking and throwing). That did take some practice in order to get to a decent speed, be able to concentrate on the pattern and keep the tension even.
Also, you should be able to catch longer floats. There are a few times in the pattern where the floats end up kind of long. The rule of thumb is to catch them whenever they get longer than 4 or 5 stitches. Again you should have practiced this before trying to knit this cardigan. You’ll find it easier to concentrate on the charts and pattern then. Less stress, happier knitting time.
Is This Pattern Right for You?
So now you are wondering if the pattern is the right one for you to knit? I think if you are a relatively experienced knitter, if you’ve knit stranded colorwork before and can read charts easily, then you could knit this cardigan as well.
The pattern leaves you some freedom. There are instructions for how to make it longer and you can knit dozen different feet positions for the little sheep. If you do differ from the default chart you will have to be able to follow two charts at once (the feet positions are in a different chart) or have to make your own new chart.
If you have at least some experience with stranded colorwork but you have never done a steek than this might be the pattern for you. Especially if you are like me and you don’t like knitting things you have no use for (i.e. countless swatches 😉 ). It’s a relatively small project. And that makes it a lot less scary to try something as drastic on like cutting through your knitting. It would help if you have a recipient in mind. Imagining Tiny Wolf in that cardigan was definitely a huge motivator for me.
Where the Wild Sheep Roam is a fun knit for knitters with some experience. If you don’t have enough knitting practice this might turn out to be frustrating when you run into problems. I can’t stress this enough: Especially the tension can be a problem if you haven’t done a lot of stranded knitting. If you are feeling adventurous however then go for it. But try and knit at least a few swatches first to get the hang of it.
Would you like to knit this cardigan or have already done so? What else would you like me to include in reviews of patterns? Do you like these reviews? Please let me know in comments below.
I’ve been thinking of writing a piece on how to use patterns in general. If you have any ideas for that, please let me know. In general, if there is anything specific you would like me to write about (other reviews or products, patterns or yarn, how to pieces, whatever you can think of) then please drop me a line here in the comments or via the contact form. I’m planning on adding a newsletter at some point in the hopefully near future as well.
Things are still crazy here in the wolf den. With the weather turning towards fall (lots of wind/storm and even more rain) the wolfs don’t get to play outside as much anymore and currently both have a cold. Colds make wolflings cranky and that leads to less sleep for me and less mental capacity to get stuff done. Let’s hope it’ll get better soon! At least I’ve managed to almost finish my Petrie shell, just needs a bit of sewing and a good wash now. That’s good because I need to get started on a new shawl for myself!
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