After a rather soul-destroying past couple of weeks at work, I was really looking forward to a cozy weekend filled with all the comforts: warm (and warming) beverages, strolls in the fresh autumnal air, slow-cooked dinners with mashed potatoes, and digging through bins of gorgeous apples at the farmer's market. When I wake up in the morning now the street lights are still on (which is shocking and a bit disheartening) and I really have to make an effort to get outdoor time in daylight during the week.
The thing I was looking forward to the most was finishing the most bad-ass sweater I've had the pleasure of making.
I started this way back in February using Cascade Eco in my favorite drab grey-brown sheep color. I didn't get very far before the weather warmed up and I made the switch to linen and cotton and this got tucked away unseen until touching it became bearable again. The pattern, while well written, was a bit complicated. The asymmetrical banana tree cable pattern was not difficult but required a lot of pay-attention time. The cables were crossed on both sides of the work, and it changed every row. Therefore, I couldn't seem to memorize the pattern despite repeating it dozens of times over the course of the sweater. Also...if I had to tink back due to an error, I found it hard to figure out what row I would be on. It took some time, but I'm so happy with the sweater I can say it was completely worth it.
I wasn't getting gauge no matter how many swatches I made, so I ended up crunching the numbers and making the small size to fit me. I made quite a few mods from the original pattern. I knit the body and the front panels in one piece up to the armpits in stead of in pieces. I usually do cardigans like this if I can- less seeming and you can knock out rows of patterns a bit quicker. I also left out the belt as I think that is kind of frumpy. It's oversize to begin with, and the belt is just too bathrobey looking to me, and I already get plenty of that in my neighborhood [shudder].
I added a couple more short rows to the collar (I love big, dramatic collars) and added buttonholes. I was thinking of getting some wood or antler buttons and go for rustic, but I found these shiny slabs of mother or pearl at Beverley Trimming and pounced. That store is legendary for having an amazing selection, but you have to dig for everything and squeeze yourself into a claustrophobic corner and crane your neck at a weird angle to see the buttons. It's well worth hunting for the perfect piece though- you can find gorgeous vintage buttons for whatever the store owner priced them at 20 years ago. I originally sewed the buttons on so the fronts lined up symmetrically, but then decided to bump them over a little bit and have the fronts meet a little off center. It's such a traditional-looking cable sweater, I felt like I need to do something slightly unexpected to give it a mod-ish twist.
I also made it a bit shorter than the original pattern. I like sweaters to hit just below my hip. Any longer and I feel like it's creating an undesirable tent effect over my derriere with all that thick fabric. The lace tunic I'm wearing is very long indeed and gives the sweater the illusion of being shorter than it is, but it hits right below my hip and that's exactly where I like it.
By the way, the necklace can be found on my Etsy shop. It's a perfect black pearl in a silver wire cage. Very delicate and unique.
I used a few yards shy of two full skeins of Cascade Eco- about 956.0 yards of bulky-weight yarn. This is the second sweater I've made from this stuff and it's great. It's woolen-spun so it's a much lighter weight finished garment than expected. It's not the softest yarn, but it's a great workhorse of non-pilling, uncomplicated warm wool. I used size 8 needles for the majority of the sweater and size 9 for the ribbing. I reinforced the buttonholes with a bit of crochet- the buttons were slipping out too easily with just a regular buttonhole, so I tightened them up until the problem went away.
I love it and I will wear this until it's a tattered rag. It's perfect.