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Just Yoking

Remember last week when I mentioned that I did not like knitting sleeves?  Well, I take that back now.  Sleeves are awesome.  Sleeves are fun to knit.  They are especially great when you have three swim meets to go to in a week.

In fact, between swim meets and watching Victoria on PBS, all four of my dark grey sleeves are now done.

In some ways, I prefer sleeves to socks for travel knitting.  There’s no heel to turn or tiny stitches to drop accidentally when something exciting happens.  They are usually stockinette and you just have to remember to increase every once in awhile.  They also tend to grow faster than socks

For these colorwork sleeves, I did the plain parts while I was out and about, and then saved the colorwork part for home knitting.  Once I attached the sleeves to the main body, I discovered that I could not stop knitting it.

In just a few days, I had a nearly completed sweater.  Last night, I finished the knitting and have been wearing it all day.

It needs a blocking because the stitches are uneven and some of it is puckered.  However, it is comfy and warm.  My only complaint about the pattern is that the neck line in the front is a bit high for me.  I’d like for the front to scoop down a little more, but maybe that will be better after it is blocked.

As soon as I cast off Boreal, I immediately went to work attaching the sleeves on my next yoke sweater.  I’m excited to be finishing some sweater projects after a long spell of not finishing much.  It has also inspired me to dig around in my stash to plan for upcoming sweater projects.  I feel like I’m on a roll here and I would like to ride it as long as I can.  Unfortunately, swim meet season is now over, so no more poolside knitting for me.  It almost makes me sad that it’s over.  Almost, but not quite.  I’ll be glad to have some freedom back in our daily schedule, but it will probably mean that I will get less knitting done.  But wait.  The Winter Olympics are starting in a couple weeks!  Yay!  I need to get some knitting organized for that two week long tv watching marathon.  Be back soon.

 

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Sweater Love

What are your requirements for a favorite sweater?  For me, they are as follows:

1.  The sweater must fit in length.  Often, sweaters that I buy are too long in the sleeves for me.  What can I say? My arms are short.

2.  The sweater must look good with any outfit, especially jeans.  I am really one of those people that just can’t be bothered with having select outfits.  If a sweater is not flexible in my wardrobe, chances are it will not get worn.

3.  The sweater must be warm.  It’s surprising to me how many sweaters are sold that are not really warm.  Usually this has something to do with a really wide neck line that just makes me feel cold and exposed.   If I feel like I need to wear a scarf with my sweater, I think that my sweater is not really doing its job.

4.  The sweater should be fairly light.  Many times, if a sweater is bulky, it is heavy and restrictive.   Also, they tend to be boxy, which was great in the 80’s, but not so much now.

5.  It should be comfortable to move around in.  I do a lot of stuff in the kitchen and around town, just like any mom.  The last thing I want to feel is my sweater pulling at the armpit or riding up in the back/belly if I reach for something.

6.  The sweater needs to fit comfortably under my coats.  This is harder than you might think.  Modern parkas and coats can be rather snug fitting and I don’t want to have to change sweaters just because I have to put a coat on.  Also, I don’t want to catch my sweater in the zipper–that would just make me cry.

7.  It should look nice, but not be so trendy that I will be embarrassed to wear it in 10 years.  I like my wardrobe to last, especially if I am knitting it myself.

Anyway, I am really happy to say that my newly finished Rosey Pullover sweater fits all my favorite sweater requirements and more.

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It is a simple style, yet pretty and classic enough that I think it will be wearable for a long time to come.  And it is really light.  In fact, when I am wearing it, I barely feel the weight of it.  I cannot be more happy with the yarn.  It’s Rowan Felted Tweed.  This stuff is really wonderful.  The yardage is great, it’s light, easy to knit with, and warm without being bulky.

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I made a couple of modifications to the pattern.  The first was unintentional.  I had fully intended to make the second size, and I did, down to the armholes.  Somehow, when I was dividing for the body and sleeves, I missed the part where I was supposed to cast on an extra stitches at each armhole!  I was a little worried at first that the body would be too snug, but as you can see, it fits perfectly.  I think it might have been too wide if I had knit the pattern as directed.

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To compensate for my mistake on the sleeves, I picked up six stitches at the armholes when I began the sleeves, three on each side of the center marker.  This still meant that I was 6 stitches short, so I knit straight for about 28 rows before I began decreasing.  Also, I omitted the colorwork at the cuffs, not because I did not like it, but because I was knitting while watching Downton Abbey (Love, Love that show and so sad it is over now.) and I did not want to have to look at my knitting and miss any of the show.  Honestly, I don’t miss it and I’m glad I was able to keep working on it.  And the best thing about the sleeves is that they fit my arms!

The last modification I made was to add short rows on the back of the neck before I began the colorwork and on the back, after I divided for the body.  I do this for almost any sweater I make nowadays because I think it just makes the sweater fit better.  Otherwise, this sweater would be symmetrical, front to back, but my body isn’t, so the sweater would probably ride up in the back or scootch up my neck.  The short rows prevent  all the tugging at the neck or back that I often do with sweaters that do not have this feature.

I predict that I will be wearing this sweater a lot.  And I am seriously contemplating making another one, but there are so many other things on my queue.  The problem now is:  Will any sweater I make next be as good as this one?  Hmmm.
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