I'm happy to finally share my most recent "real" sweater project with you. I've been knitting lace and other smaller woolies for so long that I'm getting pretty starved for sweater knitting. I'm devoting the rest of my vacation time to the Pi shawl but back in Brooklyn sweaters are gonna be back on center stage.
This sweater was a collaboration between knitter and recipient - we merged ideas and I imposed my Seamless tendencies on all possibilities that were presented. I knit the majority of this beast in the Fall but didn't get around to choosing buttons (and sewing them on, my least favorite part of any cardigan) until a few weeks back. Brooklyn's first snowfall prompted the photoshoot and the sweater has been in regular rotation for a few weeks already.
Pattern: My Own Materials: Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed in "Big Sky Heather" (100% wool) Amount: 8 skeins (1680 yards) Needles: US9/5.5mm Addi Turbos Gauge: 15 sts to 4 inches Buttons: 7 Leather Cased Buttons from M & J Trimming Started: July 2007 Finished: September 2007 (Knitting); December 2007 (Officially)
About the Pattern: The sweater is a cardigan knit in the round, back and forth (yes, I purled) with a shirt yoke (one of two seamless hybrid variations) a la Elizabeth Zimmermann. The yoke is my favorite part of the sweater - I wasn't sure how it would work out with a chunky yarn, but it turned out just right. I've yet to find a pair of shoulders that this style of yoke doesn't suit wonderfully. My first one is a fit-superstar in my sweater collection. I still marvel at how those shoulder stitches travel horizontally across the body - amazing!
The collar and button band were knit last, after body, sleeves and yoke. I picked up stitches around the collar opening and knitted straight for a few inches for the stand-up collar and the picked up and worked the buttonband in a 2x2 rib to finish everything off. For anyone thinking about a vertical ribbed buttonband, I love how it turned out - and don't judge it until you block it, it will behave very nicely for you. I extended the 2x2 ribbing up the underarms to make the sweater a bit more fitted for the body type. It also adds a nice little design detail.
As for the yarn, I know I've said it before but this is one of my favorites - probably one of the best values out there. It's the same stuff I knit my Tomten out of earlier this year and I'll tell ya - it wears just as nice as it knits. Not only is there color palette unmatched for nature-tone lovers, but the yardage alone is unbelievable. For a thicker yarn, you won't believe how light it feels. It blocks beautifully and can take some serious real-world wear and tear. Yes, Beaverslide has a big fat BT stamp of approval for anyone who is considering it.
All told, I'm very happy with how it turned out - and it always sweetens the deal when you see a non-knitter wearing a handknit on a regular basis. As I mentioned before, revisiting this project has sparked my interest in going back for round 2 on any one of my multiple half-knit sweaters. Unfortunately they're all about 3000 miles away. I'll have to settle for lace and colorwork for another week... nothing to complain about I suppose.
Hope everyone is warm and relaxed with knitting nearby. Don't feel bad about wrapping up an unfinished knit tomorrow morning - it still means a lot! Merry Christmas to all.