Summer 2014 sweater update

Okay, as promised here are the rest of my notable knitting projects.

In some 13+ years of knitting, I have only made one adult sweater (a boxy men’s pullover) and a handful of kids’ and babies’ sweaters. And in the past year or so, I haven’t knitted at all! But suddenly this has all changed. I have sweaters on the brain.

First up, during the recently-mentioned inventory of my yarn and fiber stash, I discovered my superwash merino yarn. I had taken 4 ounces of blue/yellow dyed fiber, 4 ounces of purple/orange, and 8 ounces of red-purple/gold, and combined them all into one project that used the concepts in Color in Spinning to get a beautifully heathered and flecked blend of complementary analogous colors. I had 13 ounces of bouncy round purplish DKish 2-ply and knew that quantity would not be enough yardage to clothe my little girl for long. So I looked for a simple stockinette cardigan that would showcase the colors and textures of the yarn while being a fast knit, and no annoying buttons. I found a winner in Harvest, the free pattern from tincanknits that’s sized for newborn to 4XL. My gauge wasn’t quite right, but it was dead easy to adjust by knitting from a larger size’s stitch count. I started this in June, and now the body is done and one sleeve started. Not long now!

handspun-harvest-wip-2

 

Next, I started contemplating my fleeces. I had that gorgeous gray Corrie/Merino…I started searching for long lightweight drapey cardigan patterns, and quickly rediscovered Old Town by Carol Sunday. I loved the lines, the sleeves, the lace. I knew that the funky modular construction would keep me chugging along better than a typical architecture with long monotonous sections. I spun a quick sample of my yarn and swatched it, hit gauge immediately with a semi-woolen sport weight that had amazing elasticity and made a cohesive fabric but still showed up yarnovers nicely in my swatch without blocking. I started spinning the yarn for TdF, and once I had about 8 ounces spun I couldn’t stand it any more and plied up enough to start knitting. I’m now through the yoke and ready to start the sleeves; I estimate I’m 1/4 of the way through and I’ve used about 2.6 ounces. This is going to be an airy sweater! I’ll spin up 14-16 ounces for good measure, since I’m planning to knit the tunic length.

old-town-wip-2

Finally, in my quest to reduce the volume of my stash I bumped into my sweater quantity of Holiday Yarns Super Sheep DK. I’d purchased it for a cardigan KAL but when the knitting hit a snag, I realized I had never actually wanted a cardigan in this color anyway. :\ I’ve been debating for years whether to send the whole lot out to be overdyed, but this time when I pulled it out, I started mulling over a non-cardigan pattern for it…maybe something cabled, to use up as much as possible of the yardage…and I realized that for a close-fitting pullover, this color was just fine! Well, close-fitting means it has to fit my figure, and I’ve got me some curves. I knew I wanted a pattern that would accommodate vertical bust darts and other tweaks to the shaping. This search lead me straight to Amy Herzog, who apparently in my year of knitting hiatus has become THE guru of fitted knits! Her Alta pattern is textured and cozy, fitted and flirty, with the detail up the arms and the big ol’ cowl neck that should balance my figure nicely. Between my gauge (I’m knitting a little finer than the pattern calls for) and the adjustments I wanted to make for my figure, I had to do a little math, but in the end I am somewhat confident in my decision to knit the stitch count that will give me an inch or so of ease at the high bust, but add an extra inch or so of room to the full bust. I’m not actually sure if I’ll be brave enough to knit and wear that impressively large collar, but I have plenty of time to decide to adjust it to be a scoop neck. In the meantime, I’m actually kind of liking this knit flat in pieces thing! An entire arm is done — done! — and I’m probably 4-5″ into the back.

alta-wip-2

The last two sweaters in my lineup are still in the planning stage. DS has been watching as I knit sweaters for his sister and myself, and as I talk about and execute various yarn design strategies. He’s grown increasingly excited to have me knit a perfect sweater of his own. The original plan had me using scrap fiber from my stash, and DS sketched me up a design that was full of stripes and glow-in-the-dark fiber and various features included to maximize snowball fighting efficacy. But over time we’ve gotten (hopefully) more practical. I’ve accumulated a range of very soft blue wools that I will blend into a single heathered yarn. I also got ahold of some glow-in-the-dark fiber that I will blend with some assorted white wool as an accent. I might just design a simple raglan from scratch, or base it on the Wonderful Wallaby. But DS and I do both love Veronik Avery’s Magnus hoodie from the BT Kids collection. First things first: card the fiber, sample the spinning, THEN we can make final decisions on the pattern!

blue-sweater-fiber

The last sweater is another planned stashbuster. After my baby knits business petered out, I was left with a couple of pounds of Peace Fleece inventory. I’ve thought for a while about making it into a big cozy colorwork sweater, but finally this month I started acting on this plan. I *hope* I have enough yarn to make an Elizabeth Zimmermann Three-and-One cardigan. It will be knit in the round and steeked. I will incorporate other shades of Peace Fleece and even a little Bartlettyarns if I have to on the sleeves and/or buttonbands. It will be shapeless, but with two layers of PF it will be so warm! And the colors are to die for. I have my needles set and my yarn wound and my colorwork chart copied out, but I think I’ll make myself finish another big project before starting this one. We’ll see.

three-and-one-yarn

Phew! I will aim for a fall knitting update and hope to show lots of progress…back to school is in two weeks! My baby girl starts kindergarten, so for the first time I may have multiple full days per week in which to accomplish household tasks and my own projects…we will see what the future holds.

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Filed under Knitting, Spinning, Sweaters

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