At this point I’m really only working on two projects.
I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the sweater for my nephew. I will finish the first sleeve cuff today, and then cast on for the second sleeve, which I will work on tonight. I’m loving how this one is coming out – it’s such a simple knit with just a few textural details.
The second sweater is one for me. Bulky yarn is making this one knit up fairly quickly, even if I only get through one lace repeat a night. As of last count I was about 11 or 12″ into the body so I have a few more lace repeats before I divide for front and back and things get interesting.
Finally, I did finish that first sock I was working on. I’m hoping to cast on and make decent progress on the second one this weekend.
I’ve decided to devote the rest of April to finishing some WIPs. I have mom’s blanket, a scarf, and another sweater that has been in hibernation. I’m not going to let myself cast on anything new with one exception: once the current socks are done I’m going to cast on a new pair with this fabulous yarn from Northbound Knitting that I could not resist.
Welcome to episode 176! This week is all about sweaters – one for me and one for my nephew. Also a few spins and some discussion about upcoming events. If you’re going to Ply Away next weekend please say hi!
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Adagio Teas, Cri-Tea-Cal Role, White Tower
- In progress: Simon and Simona by Elena Nodel, Miss Babs Yowza in Shaken, Not Stirred
- In progress: Wolf River by Melissa Schaschwary, Cloudborn Fibers Bulky Wool Twist in Slate Heather
Each year, sometime in August, the switch flips and all I can think about is knitting warm, cozy fall sweaters. A few weekends ago we had a weird weekend; the weather got down into the 60’s and it was rainy and the world smelled like fall. It has since gotten warmer again, but that was it for me. I started thinking about all the sweaters.
The first sweater I’m eager to knit is with a gorgeous speckled sportweight yarn. I actually used the same yarn and colorway previously when I knit some socks. It was when I knit those that I decided I had to have a sweater in the gorgeous colorway. The yarn is Spun Right Round Sport Sock 80/20 Superwash Merino and Nylon in the colorway The Walkers.
It took me a bit to find a pattern that would show off the yarn to it’s finest, and I think I’ve settled on a plain pullover: Verve Pullover by Mary Annarella.
I also have a gorgeous sweater quantity of The Ross Farm Shetland Sport weight 3-ply from Heliotrope, one of the sheep in their flock. It is a gorgeous surprisingly-soft natural colored yarn that I bought this past year at Ply Away.
I have been browsing sweaters and I think I might end up knitting the Assam Cardigan by Tabetha Hedrick.
The final sweater I’m sort of dying to knit is one I don’t have yarn for so I need to knit at least one more out of stash before I’ll let myself buy yarn for it. The sweater is the Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Stacey. Even though it isn’t really what I’d consider “my style” I just love it and it looks so cozy for winter.
What sweaters or other items are you contemplating for fall?
This year while at Rhinebeck, I looked up and found myself in the Green Mountain Spinnery booth. Immediately I confirmed on Ravelry that a sweater pattern that I had been longing to knit called for the yarn I was standing in front of at the time. I eagerly purchased 6 skeins of Weekend Wool in the Teal colorway.
When I got home, I purchased the pattern that I wanted to knit: Faro Pullover by Amy Christoffers.
It took me a few months to get around to casting on, but I did in early January, dreaming of my lovely Aran weight sweater that would be wonderful in the cold weather.
The Faro Pullover is knit from cuff to cuff, meaning that you start knitting at the cuff of one sleeve and continue to build your sweater across, increasing for the body, separating for the neck and then rejoining and decreasing for the opposite sleeve. It was fun to knit a sweater this way – it’s something I haven’t done before. My one concern in knitting the sweater in this manner was that I wouldn’t be able to try it on as I went. However, I trusted in the pattern and kept knitting.
Last week I finished knitting the body of the sweater. I washed and blocked it, and then seamed the sides, adding the hem last.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the sweater. It’s fairly warm, and will be a casual piece that I’m excited to add to my wardrobe. The Weekend Wool was really nice to knit with. It’s a bit rustic, but it shows the cables and stitch details beautifully, and since I’ll be wearing a top underneath it (much like the modeled shot in the pattern shows) so I’m not worried about the itch factor.
My only real complaint with the finished sweater is that it’s a bit wide on me. While the sleeves and neckline fit well, I feel I could have knit a smaller size for the body and ended up with a bit less fabric on the sides. Finally, I feel like the seaming is a bit bulky. The yarn is an Aran weight, and the stitch patterns mean that the sides aren’t quite a straight seam (the fabric ripples slightly where the cables and lace end). This results in a slightly bulkier seam than I would prefer. I contemplated ripping back to fix the body width issue, but ultimately decided that I would still wear the sweater as is and enjoy it.
Now I just need this abnormally warm February to send us a bit of a chill!
For years now I have wanted to go to Rhinebeck, or the New York Sheep & Wool festival held in the Rhinebeck Valley in New York in the fall. Late last year Ana and (sadly blogless) Beth and I decided that 2016 was the year.
In our flurry of preparations, we have each been talking about knitting a sweater for the event for months now. The “Rhinebeck sweater” is a ritual that many festival attendees create each year. I spent some time trying to decide what kind of sweater I would want to wear at Rhinebeck (I’m hoping the weather cooperates – some years it is hot and others it is snowy!). Frankly, I wanted it to be a sweater of the “magnum opus” variety. That is, I wanted to knit something spectacular to wear there. So I perused Ravelry and came up with something I really thought would be a good fit for me. Cables? Check. Tunic length, meaning excessive yardage? Check. Overall cozy New England feel? Check. Good for use in Kansas winter? Check. I selected Dallas by Amy Miller.
Next it was time to ponder yarn choices. The pattern called for Plucky Primo Worsted which was a little out of my budget. I debated whether I wanted my yarn to be buttery soft, but with potential for pilling (thank you Yarn Harlot for making me realize I was making yarn noises!), or a bit hardier but eliciting a fewer oohs and ahhs. I also wanted to buy a color I didn’t already have in my wardrobe. I ended up deciding to use Cascade 220 in a fabulous green shade called Irlande.
Then I set about swatching for my sweater. I don’t always take the time to swatch carefully before knitting (I know… I know…) but I really wanted this sweater to be a success. As I knit the swatch, however, I found that I wasn’t completely excited about the sweater. I don’t know whether it was the seed stitch in the cable, or the suggested positive ease of 4-9 inches, but I wasn’t feeling this sweater.
So I had a little heart to heart with myself (and some text messages with a friend). I went through the pattern search on Ravelry again. I looked for my cables, and my extra yardage, and my “New England feel but good for Kansas weather” sweater. And I re-swatched. And I’m happier with my second choice – Ardara by Carol Feller.
So now I wait for the swatches to dry and I contemplate all the possibilities for my Rhinebeck sweater. I guess I’d better get to knitting pretty soon, right?
Sometimes when a knitting pattern gets published it captures my attention and I have to cast on as soon as I see it. This was the case with Hylda by Bristol Ivy.
Hylda became available in early February of this year and I cast on for my version on February 19. I even had what I thought would be the perfect yarn in my stash: some Wollmeise DK Merino in the colorway Moses that I had been hoarding for just the right sweater to come along.
The pattern is extremely well written and presented a bit of a challenge to me in getting all the different sections established. The sweater starts at the neck, and proceeds top down with raglan shaping for the sleeves. The sweater itself isn’t shaped, but rather relies on a series of yarn overs (the mesh section) and twisted rib to create hour glass shaping and the intricate looking back.
I worked on this sweater in fits and starts – I put it down frequently to work on other projects that I committed to, but I knew I would finish it. Over Memorial Day weekend and in the week that followed I dedicated myself to getting this perfect sweater off the needles and ready for wear next fall. Once I washed and blocked the sweater, the yarn just bloomed; it had been a pleasure to knit with but now it is so squishy and soft. I cannot wait for fall!
Special thanks to my husband who found just the right patch of sunlight for the final photos.