Weekend sweater-knitting

Published April 7, 2014 by Jackie

I started a sweater on Wednesday, after my trip to the Festival Theatre. What is remarkable about this?  Well, since I started knitting again, around 2007, I’ve dodged garments like I don’t know what! I’ve also dodged baby-clothes too, and that has gone by-the-by too!

But now I seem to be in garment mode, which is rather surprising given my startitis. This is my second adult-sized garment of the year, and I’ve made 2 toddler sweaters too. Now my next challenge is to finish a garment for ME!  Here’s a brief (!) run-through my recent sweater history.

Last spring/summer, I was given a bag of Donegal Aran by my friend, she had started and ripped a sweater for herself several times, and, having spent quite a bit of money on the yarn some time before, had never wanted to see it again.  My compromise was to make Levenwick for her daughter, who also happens to be my god-daughter, in time for her birthday in early July.  If I’d not started quickly, there was a possibility it would languish in the bottom of my expansive stash, and simply be forgotten. It’s one thing for me to keep quiet about the amount of yarn lingering in my stash, quite another for someone to give me something they paid good money for.  You can see my Levenwick on Ravelry here

Early 2014 saw me visiting the sale in Jenner’s yarn department. They have moved location in the store, downsized their stock, and are subsequently selling off current yarns at around 50% off

I got 400g of lovely Rowan Purelife, undyed BFL, a milk chocolate brown colour, and in a random search through yoked sweaters on Ravelry, I found a stunning Norwegian style sweater from Sandnes that would be perfect. I added a couple of balls of the natural ecru from the same brand, and got going. The pattern was free, and downloading it, I was pleased to discover it was in a 48-page booklet with at least half-a-dozen more sweaters.  Less than pleased to discover it was only available in Norwegian, and that it was a bottom-up sweater!  But this is just the kind of challenge I relish, so with a little help from Google Translate, and the Drops Norwegian to English Knitting Terms page, I managed to work it out. I turned the charts upside down, added increases not decreases, and then once I’d ironed out some issues with the neckline, it was plain sailing.  I lovelovelove colourwork! I could sit up all night until I can’t see any more, and the yoke was over all too quickly. I think I was on the body by Sunday, having started on a Thursday.

Top-down yoked sweaters are just so much easier to manipulate than bottom-up, you are taking sleeves OUT rather than adding them in, there’s no pull or strain where they join, and by using a provisional cast-on for the underarm stitches, there’s nothing to seam either.

Although the sleeves took two goes ~ I was decreasing too infrequently ~ I managed to finish this DK sweater within the calendar month. Christmas gift number 1, TICK!

Next…. I’d been lining up some discontinued Twilleys Freedom Purity for a Boreal in Coal and Limestone, but seemed to have managed to also rack up enough random balls for another sweater, possibly for myself, with all the other colour options. Stephen West has a stash-busting sweater called Ombre Yarn Eater, meant to use 3 strands of lighter weight to achieve a bulky weight. Purity is bulky already! These were meant to be combined into a sweater. I’ve saved the original Coal & Limestone for Boreal, but have 5 shades, perfect!

Meant to be on 9mm, but I’m glad I opted for my 8mm Nova Cubics for this.  The beauty of this pattern is that it starts the same for every size with a 12″ roll-neck, then you stop the spiral increases when you are at your required size. On smaller needles, I opted for the Large instead of Medium.  I’d have had enough yarn for a sweater for me (XXL) but the creamy Chalk is not my colour, so this will be Christmas gift number 2!

I’ve called this weekend knitting, despite starting on a Wednesday ~ my previous post will tell you what I was up to every evening last week, so I’d only just worked the tube of the roll-neck midweek, so the majority has been completed this weekend!  And yes, the majority. It’s Monday lunchtime, and the jumper is at home, too big for bus-knitting now. The body has one block of colour and a rib to go, and the first sleeve is knit already ~ almost too long, am glad I checked the pattern as I’d almost gone too far. I might finish this one within a week!  Photos will follow

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