Monday, March 02, 2015

Warm & Woolly

Yes, I know it’s pretty much spring here already. (Don’t hate!) But woolly sweaters are still welcome. Case in point: he’s barely taken this thing off since I finished it. It wasn’t even quite dry from its blocking session yet!


I think it’s a success! Despite the mistakes and the frogging and the fact that the gauge wasn’t quite right. Doesn’t Thom look handsome in his new pullover sweater? He insisted on wearing his leather Aussie Barmah hat with it even though the photo session was indoors because I wasn’t dressed yet. Heh.

Here’s a close-up of the thick wooden buttons that I dug out of the stash and the seed stitch button placket:


I had to wait until he was in his jammies to snatch the sweater long enough for another photo off his back! You can still see the shine of the NZ RomneyX wool through the surface fuzz, can’t you? It’s an interesting fabric, both crisp and drapey at the same time. The fuzz of the woollen-spun yarn traps a lot of heat yet it also wicks moisture away from the body. We’ll have to see how badly it might pill.

I think my neckline worked out well and fits him the way he wanted. Happily I also learned how to do a really great one-row buttonhole from Knitting On The Net, Barbara Breiter’s instructions here. It was a bit fiddly to learn but after I pulled out the row several times, it got neater and easier to do even without looking at the instructions. This buttonhole looks great on both sides and is nicely reinforced. It’s similar to others I’ve seen but not quite the same. The twisted purl cast-on is unique to Barbara’s version and makes a firm upper edge to the buttonhole. Those thick wooden buttons went through a 3-stitch buttonhole perfectly.

Sending some love out for Jared Flood’s Brownstone pattern (even though I changed the neckline and collar on this one). It’s so clearly written and easy to follow, even if you’re a beginner at sweater knitting. If you take a look at the finished versions on Ravelry, it looks great on every man – and a few women too. The two sections of short-row shaping in the back really help fine-tune the fit.

Another view:


Successful project. Yay!

Now to the not-so-successful. Yes, I’m still avoiding dealing with the Little Black Cardi, though not for long. Instead I dug out this sweater from 2012:

OakmealCardi original

I haven’t worn it very much because something is just off about the proportions on me. I’ve frogged a couple of inches off the collar, which I felt was overwhelming my small face and bound off again. And then I took out the cuffs and am currently knitting them longer. There wasn’t much of this wool left but hopefully I’ll have enough yarn to make them long sleeved with a long turn-back cuff. I did like the original version, Quercus by Julie Turjoman, but mine just seems like too warm and bulky of a sweater for short sleeves. As you can see in the photo I already had folded them down. Wearing long sleeves underneath helps but not enough for my taste. Or warmth.

There will be photos when I’m done messing with this poor sweater. I hope the changes will make me like it better or it’s going to go for a full dip in the frog pond! That would be very sad so I’ll do my best to refashion it instead.

So since it’s sunny and relatively dry, I’m planning to go out in the garden this afternoon and start the cleanup that I didn’t get to last fall thanks to the Hand Incident. The season is about 3 weeks ahead of schedule here so I should be getting some seedlings planted asap. However, I’ll forego the blissful spring photos in deference to those who are still in the icy grip of Old Man Winter. Sending clear skies and warm wishes to you all. Don’t give up hope! You’ll be complaining about the heat and humidity very soon, I’m sure.


Sharon in Surrey said...

I just love the new sweater on Thom!!! And the hat is sooo perfect with it. Lovely job, but you know that already since he won't take it off.
Your sweater is lovely but not on you. I think it's too square & too long for you. And that open front with a couple of top buttons is all wrong for anyone with boobs. The collar is too big for narrow shoulders & you already know the sleeves are the wrong length. Maybe a zipper & long sleeves will make it better.

Louisa said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Sharon. I've already reduced the collar and am midway in the process of lengthening the sleeves. Hopefully that'll help. The front is simply closed with a shawl pin so I can put it wherever I want. However your suggestion of a zipper is an idea I hadn't thought of.

Dixie said...

Thom's sweater is just perfect! It looks so good on him. If it was mine I'd probably never take it off, either.
Thanks for the well-wishes regarding the weather. I can't believe you have spring already. I was looking at the snow pile on my north side flower beds today and thinking I'll probably be able to work there in May or so. Well, if nothing else, I'll learn patience!

Louisa said...

Poor Dixie! I can't imagine what the piles of snow are like for you. We rarely get any that lasts more than a week at most. When my kids were little they insisted on making snowmen at 10pm because they knew the snow would be all gone by the next day. And they weren't often wrong either!

Spring will come. Promise!