A few weeks ago, after the last session of the BSJ class I took at Stitch Your Art out in State College I had a hankering for some tweed. Boy, did they have some good choices. But the Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed in this awesome green color (292111) couldn’t be ignored. I wasn’t sure how much yardage I would need since it was a chunky weight. This stuff is a bit pricy, but oh so pretty… I asked Cynthia how many hanks she thought I should get and she pulled out the knitters handy pocket reference (I can’t remember its exact name, it has a chart based on gauge and bust size to tell you about how much yarn one would need). My only griped about the chart is… it says I have the chest size of a 8 year old. Srsly, I know that I don’t have much up top, however I didn’t need a laminated chart to tell me that. I’m going to try to look at it as a good thing cause it meant that I would need a little less than 6 hanks. And cause I’m ok with my body image. Now yarn usually hangs out in my stash for awhile before I start something with it, but with this I was worried about having enough yarn. A part of my brain kept saying “650 yards for a sweater?! No way.” I had to cast on right away, and finish it quick, quick, quick. Just in case I needed more, it would be easier to find.
So ater I finished up Kailey’s BSJ (yeah, its done. I’ll show you. Soon. Its hard to get decent “action shots” where you can actually see the sweater not a colorful blur). I knit up a little swatch, measured it, washed it and hid it from my children just in case I would need the extra yarn. Swatches are usually stolen to be used for doll blankets, doll house rugs or pirate eye patches. Yes, my children can be very imaginative. They are also driving me freaking nutters, is it Spring yet?! I got a crick in my neck and my eye won’t stop twitching. Gesh, they have cabin fever, b.a.d. Anyway, I don’t know why I knit a swatch really, maybe to see what the yarn did after it hit water? It did help me choose what size needle to use. I loved the fabric on the US 10.5 (6.5mm) US 11 ( 8mm) seemed way to loose. The yarn does really bloom up and drape after a good soak. But it didn’t help me figure out how many stitches to cast on for the yoke, I get raglan construction now. That I’m done with this sweater, cause yeah I’m slow like that.
I searched all around ravelry for a pattern to use for this yarn. Couldn’t find anything that spoke to me. I absolutely wanted something super simple in this yarn, to show off the friggen gorgeousness of it. I envisioned a garter yoke cardigan and my vision wasn’t wavering. After I searched and searched. Tried one of the raglan calculators, didn’t agree with it. 40sts for the collar? Um, no. I had my oh-duh-aha moment. I thought about the shalom sweater and how high it sits up on my neck. I thought about how many I cast on for that and thought well, maybe a couple more would work. (Very mathematically scientific, right?) So I CO 64sts knit 4 rows. And used a bit of EZ genius I put buttonholes on both sides (just like the bsj) so it would be easier when it came time to sew on the buttons. My button hole rows (which I repeated a total of 6 times, ever 8th garter ridge) k3, y k2tog, knit to last 4sts k1, yo k2tog, k2. kit one row. While doing this I increased to 70sts and then placed my raglan markers (k14 pm, k13 pm, k16 pm, k13 pm, k14) for no better reason than I thought I should, and so the collar area would be a bit smaller than the yoke area. Yeah, makes no sense. I know. I increases before and after each marker (increases where next to each other making a visible “line”) I kept increasing until just under my shoulders. (30 sts for each front, 41 sts for each sleeve, and 42 sts for the back.) after I put the sleeves on hold I casts on 3 sts for each underarm. I’m not to sure how I feel about the increases being very visible, granted this might just be something that I see.
It wasn’t until I was almost done, way past my waist that I thought of waist shaping. I probably could have used some, but its ok with out it. For the bottom hem I worked 7 rows garter. Cast off on the purl side. Cause I just like they way it looks, it looks so much cleaner. And started sleeves, while I trolled around etsy searching for the perfect wood buttons. I searched through so many pages, and pages and pages of wood buttons. There where many choices. And I wasn’t quite sure how big my buttonholes would end up being. I feel in love with Jay at Wooden Treasure’s buttons. Really, how could I not? I ordered a set for this sweater and another for a future, while I was waiting I worked on the sleeves. And for the sleeve decreases I k5 rows, decrease 2 sts 8 times (started with 47 sts, decrease down to 31) and knit it till I came to about 1″ before my wrist. Worked 4 garter ridges, using the jogless garter technique. (Kathryn Ivy explains it well right here.) And again I bound off on the purl side, that would be right after the last ridge. It didn’t take long for the buttons to arrive and they are perfect, beautiful and extactly as pictured.
2nd NaKniSweMoDo sweater.
pattern: my own. if you want to go that far.
yarn: 5.42 skeins (590.8 yards)Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed Colorway 292111
purchased at Stitch Your Art Out in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania
needles: US 10½ / 6.5 mm
started: February 17 2009
completed February 24 2009
raveled here. With the notes too.
notes about the yarn: of the 6 hanks that I wound, 2 had knots where 2 yards where added on to make the correct yardage. (gr) Still a lovely yarn to work with, blooms beautifully and surprisingly soft!
Final notes: green + tweed + wood buttons = L O V E
Cynthia, I ran outta yarn….. I think I need more ; )
PS. Lest you think I’ve been having a good run with sweater luck, last week I casted on for Wisteria. Hoping that if I dropped down needle sizes I could get a smaller gauge using yarn that I purchased for it at Rhinebeck. No such luck. The smallest size is a 37″ and for my apparent 8 year old chest, that’s ubber big, I’m going to need some dk weight yarn. Cause the solana, isn’t going to work.