I’ve recently finished another test knit for Thea Colman, and now that the pattern is published, I’m thrilled to show y’all how gorgeous this sweater is.
Oaxacan Rose is a fairly simple pullover knit almost entirely in seed stitch with a very simple cable motif in the middle of the front.
I knit my sweater using Malabrigo Twist in the gorgeous colorway “Teal Feather.” I love how the seed stitch works with this yarn. The thickness of the yarn is perfect, and the color is delightful. The detail on the cable is just stunning. Fitting with the general pattern, it’s very simple. The pattern is very simple. It’s not a challenging knit in any way-as long as you know how to knit seed stitch and cable both right and left, it’s an easy pattern to knit.
I’m really glad that I was able to test this for Thea. I really love Malabrigo Twist, and I’d never even heard of it, let alone knit with it before this. But it came highly recommended, and it really lives up to the hype.
The only issue that I have with this sweater is that I finished it in April and the pattern is coming out in May. I won’t get to really appreciate this sweater until next fall. You’ll notice if you look at the pattern versus my sweater that mine is more fitted. I’m generally not much for loose-fitting clothing, so I made my Oaxacan Rose more fitted to better suit my comfort level.
I love the neckline. It’s simple but classic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you pay much attention to my knitting posts, you may have heard that I really like the work of a designer named Thea Colman. In February, Thea released a sweater pattern that I knew that I needed to make. It’s name is Sazerac, and it looked like the comfy sort of sweater that I love. Thea had used YOTH Yarns Big Sister, which is DK weight. I’d never heard of YOTH before Thea started referencing them on Instagram and in her Rav posts, but I thought I’d try them out. Thea spoke highly of them, so I sprang for a sweater quantity of Big Sister in Thyme. Thyme is a brilliant blue-green that spoke to my mood back in February. As soon as it arrived, I was in love.
Sazerac is not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written. If you can follow a chart, the cable chart is really straight forward. To be honest, I had the chart memorized fairly quickly. The reason it took me a little more than three months to finish the sweater is that I was busy and it requires focused attention. The cabling is NOT hard to do or to memorize, but it does require that you focus on the pattern. This is not mindless knitting. This is not a pattern that you can work on while you watch War and Peace or Captain America.
It is, however, a pattern that is definitely worth the time and the effort. Prior to this sweater, it had been quite a while since I’d made a sweater worked in pieces and seamed together. But this was worth the time. This is a gorgeous piece that I’m thrilled to have in my wardrobe for the winter.
It’s only about 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. This sweater was only worn for the photo shoot.
Overall, the sweater took me five and a half skeins of Big Sister, which leaves me with a skein and a half leftover. I’m hoping to make myself a cowl for winter with that selvedge. But for now, look at more pictures of the sweater! Aren’t those cables glorious? I’m really thinking that I’ll need to make a baby blanket using this cable pattern some day. Heck, maybe that cowl I’m dreaming up will use that pattern.
Those cables! All those books…I love books. I think that I need more books.
My most recent knitting project was a another pattern from the fabulous Thea Colman. From the time I first saw the Rolling Rock pattern, I knew that I needed it. However, it took me several years to actually get around to knitting the sweater up. I was waiting for the perfect yarn.
The perfect yarn came in the form of the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Sport. Primo Sport is an amazing yarn. It’s soft and gorgeous. It gives any color beautiful definition. But there was something special about this color. See, this color is named “Smitten with the Mitten,” a reference to the Mitten State. And it’s the perfect color for me. It’s an amazing mix of blue and green that just feels Michigan to me.
The only modification I made on this one is in the front. I added a bit of the bottle lace to the front of the sweater to give it a little something extra. I think it works well.
As far as sizing goes, I went for a more fitted sweater. The sweater is designed with positive ease to make it a bit loose, but I wanted something a little more fitted.
And trust me; I’m quite pleased with the end result.
In late April, The Plucky Knitter released her spring pattern collection, Spring Forward, that features patterns from the Plucky Knitter herself as well as Amy Miller and Jill Zielinski. There were a few patterns that caught my eye and ended up in my library, but there was one pattern that I knew that I needed. It was Amy Miller’s Stripe Parade. I procured yarn for the sweater; I wanted to use Plucky’s primo fingering and after a bit of destash hounding, I ended up with three colors that I really liked. My goal was to make a sweater with pink and gray stripes and a purple accent stripe. It’s not exactly my normal color palette, but it is colors that I like together.
I’m not the world’s fastest knitter, and I’ve been a bit busy this summer. (Also, in June I decided that I wanted to make it into a sweater dress instead of a regular sweater but I digress.) But I finished the sweater on Saturday morning. And I love it. It is exactly what I wanted.
But it’s done now, and I love it. I recommend the pattern highly. It’s well-written and easy to work with. And the yarn, well, it’s delightful.
When Tanis Lavallee started posting sneak peeks of what would become the Lifesavers cardigan last summer, I knew that I needed that sweater. When the pattern came out, I wanted one RIGHT NAO. I cast on a few days after the pattern came out, and then it took me nearly three months to knit the sweater. It’s not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. My problem was twofold: firstly, I was knitting it at the same time that I was working on other projects that were a higher priority for me, and secondarily, it’s a fingering-weight sweater and it went slowly.
But it’s done now! And it’s lovely. The thing that makes my sweater unique is the fact that I used TFA’s Cosmic Blue Label for my three contrast colors. My main color was TFA blue label (80% wool, 20% nylon), but my contrasts were blue label (84% Merino, 16% Nylon) in Chris grey, blushing mauve, and dove. They sparkle, and it’s gorgeous. The sparkle is subtle but perfect. I love the little detail/delight that it adds to the sweater. I love it. And I highly recommend using Cosmic Blue Label for another Lifesavers cardigan.
The sweater is a nice, lightweight option for spring. The yarn isn’t too heavy. (And okay, aside from the photoshoot for this post, I’m probably not going to wear it in 80 degree weather, but you know…) It’s soft, and it fits well. The thing that I really like about it is that I can wear it with a variety of different kinds of outfits. I could wear it with a skirt or over a dress, and it would look great. I could wear it with jeans, and it would look casual. Today (as you can see) I’m wearing it with my purple pants, and it looks fabulous. I really love this sweater.