Monday, July 30, 2012

Sleepover Sweater



I don’t usually like pullovers, but this one grabbed me and I made the whole thing in about a week.  Something about working stripes is just so fascinating.  Getting to the next color change, just six rows away, seems like such an accomplishment.  Even though I think it actually takes a little longer, having to keep cutting the yarn and joining a new color, it feels like progress.  I don’t know, it’s just entertaining.  I’m pretty simple that way.  (Oooh, blue!  Oooh, brown!  Ooooh, blue again!) 


All the yarns I used (there are actually four different colors here) came from recycled yarn—stuff I’ve made and didn’t love.  The blue is from this, and the browns are from this and this.  I’m known to do this from time to time, unravel something when I’m tired of it and make something else.  Do you all do this, too?  I’ll do that until the yarn is so worn out and felted and pilly that it won’t come apart anymore. 


This is Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer (free pattern!  Isabell, you’re awesome!) and it is exactly the kind of sweater I love to have.  Big and comfy and soft, something to pull on over what I’m already wearing, something for when it’s a little chilly.  I have a lot of shaped and fitted cardigans for when I need to look like a grown up, but this sweater is for when I’m at home in my socks and maybe there’s a little rain, and maybe my BFF is here and we’re making avocado face masks and staying up late to watch SNL.   If the sleeves look extra-long, it’s because A) they are—I like extra-long sleeves—B) the shoulders on the dress form are a bit narrow, so they hang down a lot, and C) the gauge on this project is intentionally loose, so it got a little (okay, a lot) stretched out after blocking.  Well, happily, I do like long sleeves, but next time I think I’d use a smaller needle.  


This design has a really interesting construction element, too—it’s worked from the top down, all in one piece, as usual, but the sleeve increases are done so that the result appears to be a set-in sleeve cap, which is just extremely clever.  This method is the brainchild of Susie Myers, and I love that people are still, still inventing new ways to make knitting work better. 


There’s the perfect use for some vintage buttons.  Everything about this sweater just worked—oh, I love it when that happens.  I felt like starting a project on a Thursday night while the kids were at a midnight movie and I couldn’t go to bed anyway, and the yarn was right there in the cupboard and the pattern was easy and also interesting, and by the time they got home I was most of the way down the yoke and awful sleepy but that sense of getting something underway is just so great, and I tell you, I was in the grip of this, and I just worked on this constantly until it was done. 


It’s a knitting success story.