Palette Sweaters #2 & #3

FO: Palette Sweater #2 & 3

Pattern: No Pattern
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (#2: Rainforest Heather, Tidepool Heather; #3: Abyss Heather, Mist)
View My Ravelry Project: #2 /#3

After finishing my last sweater, I immediately cast on a second — but I widened the body and the sleeves, opened up the neckline a bit, and cropped the body a little. And ten days later: #newsweaterday. I rushed to block it because I couldn’t wait to wear it, and thank our sheepy friends, fingering-weight wool dries overnight.

Palette Sweater #2

I’ve found a reason to wear this sweater at least twice a week since I finished it on 6 March. I love the overall fit and how lightweight the fabric is. I deliberately made the sleeves extra wide and long, because the only thing I dislike more than sleeves that fall too short are narrow ones. So these are nice and spacious, and even though they’re almost always rolled up, the cuffs reach right down to the tips of my fingers, which is the sort of thing I find both physically and emotionally cozy and comforting. The body is wide enough to fit over all of the loose-fitting clothing I typically wear, and its cropped length seems to fit in well with my wardrobe.

I immediately wanted one in every color.

Palette Sweater #3

So I made another.

Number Two left some room for improvement, particularly at the neckline. It’s very prone to stretching out and losing shape. I had cast on with US 3 needles, knit 10 rounds of ribbing, then switched to US 4 needles, worked some short rows, and proceeded with the rest of it. The ribbing gets super stretched out though, and I find myself readjusting the collar throughout the day. It’s kind of minor, but I can do better!

I began knitting this version flat, working raglan and front increase rows in in lieu of short rows until I was ready to join in the round, and later picking the collar up with US 2s from the unfinished neckline. This version is definitely sturdier and crew-ier, but it still has a pretty relaxed fit. Number Four will probably have the same neckline.

But what I like the most about these sweaters? I’m destashing. (And no new yarn since August 2018!) I’m digging deep into my stash and finding yarn that I bought four years ago and ‘heck knows why I bought it in the first place, but I’m knitting with it now — finally!

And it’s also been a fun way to experiment with wearing colors outside of my comfort zone. For some reason I have sweater-quantities of yarns in colors I would never wear. And now I wear them.

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Palette Sweater #1 / No Frills Sweater

FO: Palette Sweater #1 / No Frills Sweater

Pattern: No Frills Sweater
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (Mineral Heather, Iris Heather, Turmeric)
View My Ravelry Project

I’ve started and finished a couple of projects since I last posted here, but I actually haven’t been too busy on the knitting front. (I also just realized that I never shared my Layla cardigan.) I usually have a small project with me at all times, and I squeeze in a row here and there — at lunch, on the subway, in a waiting room — but I haven’t been approaching projects with the same energy I had in 2017 (33 FOs) or 2016 (+60 FOs).

And that’s okay! But today, I have a finished project to share: my heavily-modified No Frills Sweater, or what I’m calling Palette Sweater #1.

Palette Sweater #1 / No Frills Sweater

I’ve been thinking a lot about sweaters. I’ve favorited and queued tons of them on Ravelry. But I haven’t cast on too many. Between actually sticking to my ban on purchasing yarn and being painfully aware that I already have tons of sweaters and simply being more aware of what I like to wear (versus what I think I like to wear), I’ve somehow become a slightly more discerning knitter, who tries to knit from her stash. But what’s in your stash? Personally, I have some weird purchases in my stash — colors and quantities that seem very uncharacteristic for me, such as the Mineral Heather and Iris Heather I used for this sweater. I have no idea what I had in mind when I purchased these yarns back in April 2015, but they’re a sweater now.

I basically only used the pattern as a casting-on point for a plain old raglan sweater. I added improvised short rows across the back and shoulders and then worked paired directional increases until I reached the proper depth. No swatching here, but I will confess that I started a No Frills Sweater (fingering plus mohair held together, as per the instructions), and I was able to make some educated guesses based on that gauge. The end result is a loose-fitting, but not unfitted sweater. I like the color-blocking (a first for me), but the colors take me outside of my usual black-blue-green-brown comfort zone. I’ve also been fascinated by the “balloon” sleeves I keep seeing in patterns, so I kept these sleeves loose and decreased 1/3 of the stitches before knitting a short ribbed cuff. I’m undecided but open-minded about this feature.

I’m a little skeptical about how Palette will wear over time, but my Freesia Shawl is my most frequently worn shawl (or hand knitted thing, period), and it’s aged pretty well the last two years. Certainly, it looks worn, but it hasn’t pilled like crazy. That said, it’s just a shawl. I’m expecting a sweater to pill. But, at this point, I’d rather put this yarn to good use, even if it ends up looking a little shabby with wear.

FO: September House

Pattern: September House
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece Bluefaced Leicester DK (Brown, Ecru, Light Brown)
View My Ravelry Project

This is what I was working on when I lost my knitting mojo earlier this year. It was a sleeve-island kind of thing. I had about an inch on one sleeve and approximately 2-3″ on the other. And I just ran out of steam. But after I finished my Turtle Dove pullover, I had a little momentum going, and I sat down with those two sleeves, and I finished them in a single day. (And then it took me another month to block.)

Because I don’t swatch and I have strong preferences about things like sleeve and body length or yoke depth, it’s important to me to be able to try my project on as I work. This led me to make one significant modification this sweater: I knit it top-down instead of bottom-up. This was my first time turning a pattern around, but I felt like I had knit enough sweaters at this point that I could proceed with confidence, and I’m pleased with the results.

The other major change I made was needle size. The pattern calls for US 8 and US 9 needles and DK yarn. I don’t think that I’m a particularly loose knitter — in fact, I’d say I have a tendency to knit a little tightly — but I knew before I even cast on a single stitch that those needles were too big for me. Based on instinct, I went with US 6 and US 7 needles, and — of course — I can’t for the life of me remember which size I ended up knitting, but my blocked gauge is 16 stitches and 28 rows (4″).

Turtle Dove

FO: Turtle Dove

Pattern: Turtle Dove
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Willa (Marine)
View My Ravelry Project

I basically stopped knitting over the spring and summer, but I kept up with the new patterns being published on Ravelry almost daily. And when Turtle Dove was published in August, I queued it. And then, much to my surprise, I dug out some discontinued Juniper Moon Willa bulky yarn that I bought way back in August 2013. (That’s when I ended my last knitting dry spell.)

And then, I actually knitted it! Well first, I frogged a shawl and soaked the yarn — then I knitted a Turtle Dove. In five days. Three cheers for stash-busting quick knits.

The pattern itself is fine. It’s also free. If you like an incredibly roomy raglan pullover and dolman sleeves, this might be what you’re looking for. If I sound underwhelmed, it’s not because of the pattern — it’s the yarn. It was pretty sheddy to knit with, and it was pretty sheddy while I was wet blocking it, and my fear is that it’ll be pretty sheddy when I wear it, which means it’ll be covered in pills.

But I’m still looking forward to snuggling up in my Turtle Dove this winter.

Carbeth

FO: Carbeth²

This year I also made two modified Carbeth sweaters. Both use approximately 900 yards of Green Mountain Spinnery’s DK-weight Mewesic held single instead of double, as called for in the pattern. Initially, I did this out of necessity, as I didn’t have an appropriate yarn in my stash and I couldn’t buy anything new at the time that the pattern was published. But I liked the finished DK-weight sweater so much that I decided to further modify it a second time.


Pattern: Carbeth
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Mean Mr. Mustard)
View My Ravelry Project

Using my Radiate pullover as my swatch, I did a little math and figured out that if I knit the largest pattern size, I would, at my new gauge, make approximately the smallest size sweater. And I had a little more than 900 yards of the mustard yarn, but I didn’t know how much sweater I would get with that yardage. So I asked myself which parts of the sweater were most important to me — a completed yoke and a comfortable sleeve length — and approached casting on from there. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, joined in the round, to knit the yoke first followed by the sleeves. I could then dedicate the remaining yarn to finishing the body. I ran out of yarn a little prematurely, and I was worried that it might be too short, but I blocked aggressively and the length actually feels quite appropriate.

I made on-the-fly changes to the collar, using short rows to shape the collar so that it would sort of frame the chin. I was kind of hoping for a stand-up collar effect, but it kind of flops awkwardly in the back, so I usually wear it folded down. I’ve considered picking out the bind off and redoing the collar, but i’m going to see if the collar will grow on me as-is.


Pattern: Carbeth
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Blue Bayou)
View My Ravelry Project

I matched the gauge of the mustard version with my second Carbeth, for which I had exactly five skeins of yarn set aside. Again, I knit the largest pattern size, but this time I knit it from the top down, beginning with a stretchy ribbed cast on and a short crewneck-type collar. I added some short rows to the back of the neck, just to raise it slightly and make it easier to differentiate between the front and back of the sweater.

In order to use up all of my yarn, I switched to the sleeves after finishing the yoke. Once both sleeves were complete, I switched to knitting the body bottom-up, again using a stretchy ribbed cast on. I added short rows to the hem to lengthen the back slightly, then I worked the body until I basically ran out of yarn. I left a yarn tail four times the circumference of the body and used kitchener stitch to invisibly sew the top and bottom pieces together.

I really like both sweaters. The fabric is lovely — a good balance of soft but slightly scratchy. I might like the blue Carbeth slightly more, if only because I was able to approach it with greater intention having already knit the first.

Radiate

FO: Radiate

Pattern: Radiate
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Evergreen, Mean Mr. Mustard)
View My Ravelry Project

And here are the images to go along with another post from this past winter, FO: Radiate.

Radiate

At the time, this was the first sweater I had knit with Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mewesic yarn, which I had purchased at 40% off when Heritage Woolery closed their doors. I’ve since knit two more sweaters in it — a pair of modified Carbeths — and I’ve got to say: I really like the finished fabric. Soft while keeping some of its rustic qualities. Responds well to aggressive blocking. Nice colors.

Hopefully I’ll have those Carbeth images ready to post later this week.

Arboreal

FO: Arboreal

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
View My Ravelry Project

As of today, it’s been ten months since my tibial plateau fracture, and I recently realized that my knee has recovered enough that I can now crouch awkwardly on the floor for long enough to block a knitted thing! Let the blocking begin!

These are the images that go with my last blog post, FO: Arboreal.

Arboreal