Near the End of the Tunnel
I can see the light now! Summer break will be here in five days. This week I am pretty much past caring if anyone does their work well or not. You get to a point when just getting it done, however badly, is just good enough and we are at that point. If I am honest, I will say that I have been there for several weeks now.
Anyhow, I am excited to show you my latest finished sweater. It’s Vanadium made with Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity silk. If you remember, I got this yarn when I went to New York City a few months ago. I got just two skeins of this stuff (It sure was expensive!) and I knew I would want it to become something special and I wanted to use every bit of the yarn. Most people, I think, would choose a shawl, but, even though I love shawls, I wanted something I would wear more often. Because I am constantly cooking and chasing around kids, shawls are not really everyday wear for me. I wear them to church and on special occasions.
It’s tough, sometimes, to match a special yarn to a project. My tendency is often to just hold on to the yarn, and just kinda pet it every once in awhile. But, somehow, this yarn was just too special to stay in its skein. It just needed to BE something right away. So, after thinking for awhile, I ended up with this criteria:
1. It needed to be a top down sweater. This way, I could knit the body to the length I wanted it to be and then use the rest for the sleeves.
2. Because of #1, it needed to look ok as a short sleeve sweater because there was no way I would have enough yarn for full length sleeves.
3. The pattern needed to be knit at a looser gauge than the yarn itself. It’s a fingering weight yarn, the type often used for socks and shawls, but I knew if I knit it on small needles, I would get a child-sized sweater. For the amount of money I spent on this yarn, I was determined that it would be for me, me, and only me.
4. The yarn has a lot of variegation in it, meaning that there are a lot of colors, so I needed a fairly simple pattern. A pattern with lots of cables or lace would just get lost in all the color changes.
I spent a lot of time searching around for a pattern that would work and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Thankfully, this time, it did.
As I have said before, this yarn is a dream to knit with. It’s really soft and silky and just glides through your fingers. This sweater practically knit itself. Really. From start to finish, this sweater took me 30 days. Before blocking, I have to admit I was a little worried. It looked a little small, but blocking often works miracles. Yay!
The sweater has a wonderful drape and feels marvelous against bare skin. It’s a snugger style than I am used to, but I think it will be perfect over tank tops and slim t-shirts to take the edge of air-conditioned places.
My only discontent with the sweater comes from having bound off a but too tightly at the hem. I only had a couple of yards left of the yarn, so I couldn’t redo it and somehow, I have misplaced the gauge swatch I did for this, or else I would rip that out and redo the bind off. Ah, well, maybe I will find it someday. It’s just a little annoying that the hem won’t stretch to meet at the front, but as the sweater is meant to be worn open from the chest down, no one will notice but me.
I am especially happy that the yarn and sweater goes so well with these amazing buttons by Moving Mud that I got last year from the Fall in Full Color yarn and pattern club by Knitspot (by the way, sign ups are open now for the yarn club starting in August). I wanted to use all the buttons I had, so I made two extra button holes, which I think turned out rather well.
So, if you have two skeins of luxury fingering weight yarn and you want to make a sweater for summer, I highly recommend this pattern. It was easy to follow and creates a very versatile sweater. I love it.