FO: The Oban Sweater

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a Thea Colman pattern. I love a good warm pullover with cables. So when Thea gave me the opportunity to test her new Oban sweater, I was thrilled. The cable pattern and styling of the sweater was right up my alley.

I bought ten skeins of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter in Fossil and knit the sweater as written. I’d heard good things about Shelter, and I really wanted to use it. As one of the owners of my LYS said, a Brooklyn Tweed sweater is the sort of thing that you save your money and frequency points for. Shelter worked beautifully well for the sweater. I can’t say enough good things about the way that Shelter cables.

The only “glinch” I encountered is that my gauge is a bit tighter than written, which made the sweater more fitted than it’s written. I can’t really complain about that because I prefer my clothing to be more fitted.

The cables are easy to memorize and the pattern is really easy to follow. I especially appreciate the detail with which Thea writes her patterns. They’re detailed and easy to follow.

Overall, it’s fun sweater and moves relatively quickly. The only impediments that I had in my process came from person conflicts rather than anything in the knitting process.

Raveled here.

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FO: Reposado

I’m deeply thrilled to have a finished object post to share today. It’s been far too long since I had one. (Since November!) I have been knitting. I’ve even finished three pairs of socks.

But I finished a thing! And it’s gorgeous. AND….it has an AWESOME name.

If you pay much attention to my knitting, you know that I *love* Thea Colman’s Baby Cocktails designs, and I’m always thrilled to have an opportunity to test designs for Thea. I pestered Thea for the opportunity to test one of her newest designs, Reposado-a sleeveless top from her new Tequila Collection. (The Tequila Collection is a collaboration with YOTH yarns.)

Reposado is knit with YOTH’s Best Friend, a fingering weight yarn that is 75% cotton, 25% wool, held double. Best Friend has a delightfully rustic feel to it. I used oyster, which is a creamy white, and I had so much fun just looking at it and feeling it. I also really got into taking pictures of the yarn because winter sun+rustic white yarn=GORGEOUS. The yarn is held double. Thea recommends winding each skein of yarn and then rewinding them so that two skeins are wound together. The only reason that I didn’t do this is that a very wonderful human being wound my yarn for me, and she wasn’t comfortable winding the skeins together.

Overall, I think that the sweater came out quite nicely the way that I wound the skeins. I’m really pleased with this sweater. The lace pattern is very easy to memorize, and I found this sweater made GREAT tv knitting. I watched two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries while working on this, and I’m now completely convinced that Miss Fisher would definitely wear a Reposado top. But hers would be black or red. Or maybe a stunning purple.

Raveled here.

FO: What the Fade

Over the summer, I came to realize that I really loved Andrea Mowry’s designs. She was starting a mystery knit-along at the end of August, and I’m all for trying new things at least once, so I joined in. I chose six skeins from the numerous skeins of Plucky feet in my stash, used YouTube to teach myself brioche, and waited for the first clue to fall. She was calling the pattern WTF or What the Fade, which appealed to my fondness for cursing.

The first clue fell at the end of August. The final clue of the shawl fell in early October. I finished my shawl in late November because I’m not a monogamous knitter. That said, I’m completely in love with the finished product.The first clue fell at the end of August. The final clue of the shawl fell in early October. I finished my shawl in late November because I’m not a monogamous knitter. That said, I’m completely in love with the finished product. This knit was a challenge for me. I’d never knit brioche before. The pattern called for two color brioche. I learned on my feet. I’m not sure that was the best method, but I’m glad that I can knit brioche now. It’s a unique skill and a gorgeous fabric. I’ll definitely revisit it.

Pattern here.

Raveled here.

FO: So Faded

In late March, I was sitting a meeting of a local knitting group that I sporadically attend when we began discussing Andrea Mowrey’s Find Your Find pattern. Another group member mentioned that she wasn’t planning on starting one yet because she was waiting until the similar sweater pattern was released.

Now, I thought that the shawl was lovely although I hadn’t started plotting one of my own yet, but the idea of that concept/design on a sweater…now that was right up my alley. I waited patiently (ish) for the pattern to be released, and then when So Faded was released, I started toying with my stash to produce the best combination for a sweater. I have a couple of groupings packaged together in my stash to use to make future So Fadeds.

But I didn’t use stash for this one. Around the time the pattern was released, the Plucky Knitter had a “Mix and Match” update filled with pairings perfect for So Faded, Find Your Fade, and Starting Point. One of the pairings was almost but not quite perfect for me, so I asked Sarah (aka the Plucky Knitter) if she could think of a good sub for the color that just wasn’t me and she gave me two choices. I picked one and bought five skeins of yarn on Plucky Feet. And now…we have my So Faded. From top to bottom: Fondant, SB005, Biscuit, SB001, and Cecilia.

Joy calls this my dessert sweater. It supposedly makes her hungry every time she sees it. Therefore, I knew that we had to take pictures on National Ice Cream Day. Doesn’t it just look like a dessert sweater?

The pattern is very straight-forward. The directions are well-written and easy to follow. I may have been knitting for several years, but I suspect that this would be a good pattern for a more novice knitter. I really enjoyed knitting it, and I’m planning on knitting a few more out of the pairings that I put together out of my stash earlier this year. I think that it could also be quite lovely if one chose to knit it out of only one color as well.

While it’s too warm for it now, this sweater will be perfect for fall and spring. It goes perfectly into the plan that I mentioned in an earlier post to add more lightweight sweaters to my wardrobe. I really like Plucky Feet for this purpose. It’s a sturdy yarn that knits up in a lightweight fabric that is quite delightful. 

Raveled here.

FO: The Idiomatic Stripe Parade

At some point in the past six or eight months, I started thinking that it would be really nice to have more lightweight sweaters-sweaters that I could wear in the spring and fall. Maybe it might even be nice to have something lightweight that I could throw on over a dress on a summer evening or in an overly air conditioned restaurant. Now I could buy such garments, but I wanted more hand-knit garments of that ilk.

Now I had a goodly amount of fingering weight yarn at that time, and I’ve accumulated more since. But I had to decide what to make with them. I had three skeins of Plucky Primo Fingering in Pinky Swear and two skeins of the same in Sprinkles on Top, and I knew that they needed to become something together. Somehow, I found myself led back to Amy Miller‘s fabulous Stripe Parade. I decided to use the knitting directions for Stripe Parade but play with the striping directions. And in my humble opinion, the result was a real winner.

This sweater took a long time (over four months) to knit up. Here’s the thing: It was not just because fingering sweaters take longer than worsted or dk. It was actually largely because I was working on Angostura, Oaxacan Rose, and the Bounce Blanket while I was working on this. I was not making this the focus of my knitting until about the past two weeks. And this baby flew once it got to be the center of attention. So…there will definitely be more fingering sweaters in my future.

This sweater includes numerous modifications. I cast on for the smallest size possible but then knit it to fit a size 36 bust. I wanted to raise the neckline, which I did, and I really like this modification. I’m tentatively planning another revisit to this pattern later this year, and I think that I’ll do this again.

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My real play came with the stripes. The yoke was a time for me to play with stripes, and I didn’t really have a rhyme or reason to what and how I did the striping. Then, after I divided for sleeves, I started a silly but fun pattern. The first stripe in Pinky Swear was 14 rows, then four rows of Sprinkles on Top. Then came 13 rows of Pinky Swear followed by four rows of SOT and then 12 rows of Pinky Swear…do you see the pattern? I kept this up until I had a stripe of four rows of Pinky Swear followed by four rows of SOT. The next row in Pinky Swear was five rows and I began increasing rows of Pinky Swear again. I really like the effect this created, and I want to play with this kind of striping again sometime.

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I have to say that this really is the sweater that I wanted it to be. The sleeves are a little baggier than I’d planned for, but that’s the only thing that I don’t LOVE…and it’s my own fault. The fabric is delightful-soft and light, and it reminds me yet again why I love Primo Fingering as a base. It’s a nice sweater for wearing in my overly air conditioned office. I’m thrilled that I have something that I love so much, and I definitely plan to continue making myself lightweight sweaters for a few months.

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On my third revisit to this pattern, I still really love it. I’m planning to visit it again as I said earlier, and I can’t wait to see what I do with it next.

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Raveled here.

FO: Angostura

I don’t think that it’s any kind of a secret that Thea Colman is one of my favorite designers. (And I swear that it’s not just because we share a love of cocktails.) So naturally, when I learned that she was looking for knitters to test a new sweater pattern for her, I jumped on the chance. After some back and forth with Thea, I bought six skeins of Harrisville Shetland (from Spun in Ann Arbor; I love that place!) in Garnet and set to work knitting/testing Thea’s new design, Angostura.

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Angostura is all kinds of fun. The front and sleeves are simple-just straightforward stockinette. The sleeves made great movie watching knitting back in January. But the back…oh man, the back is where the action is. The back is a lively cable panel that looks far more complex/intimidating than it really is. img_2677

The sweater is knit bottom up and then the sleeves and body are joined at the yoke. Thea used saddle sleeves to make everything flow together smoothly. This is one of the best things about this pattern. I was talking to a friend on Skype while working the first saddle, and I was a bit wary of the saddle as I’ve only ever used it for Chartreuse before. However, the directions were clear and easy to follow. In no time, I was back to talking to Laura and barely looking at the pattern. img_2679

This was my first time using a Harrisville yarn, and it won’t be my last. Before I started, Thea commented that Harrisville was really going to “pop” the cables, and she was so right. I really love how the yarn looks with those cable. The tweeding of the dye is consistent, and subtle, which allows the cables to really show off. img_2685

Raveled here

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FO: Ease

After I finished Recoleta, I wanted to a quick and easy project. Worsted weight, stockinette-something comfortable and straightforward; I didn’t want to have to spend hours looking at charts. I just wanted to knit and see progress quickly.

A few years back, I had queued Alicia Plummer’s Ease. Ease is pretty much exactly what I was looking for-stockinette, top down, worsted weight. I had a sweater quantity of the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Worsted in a gorgeous gray-purple called French laundry. Looking at it, I knew that it was meant to be Ease. It just made sense that this color would be Ease.

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So after finishing Recoleta, I started on Ease. It took me exactly four weeks, but I made it. It is simple and gorgeous. The color really was meant to be Ease. The yarn, the color, and the pattern suit each other very well.

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I did have a few issues with the pattern. From reading over others’ project pages, I determined that I wasn’t going to get gauge with the recommended size 10 needles. Instead, I went with size 8 needles for the stockinette, size 6 for all ribbing, and size 7 for the neckline. I’m pleased with the resulting fabric; I made the right decision.

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The sweater is loose-fitting, and that works. The fabric of the primo worsted is soft and squishy; it keeps me warm on a chilly day. It’s something that I can wear when it’s cold or I don’t need to impress anyone. It’s a Saturday sweater, and everyone’s wardrobe needs a Saturday sweater.

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Raveled here.