a perfect sweatshirt and what I wear

September 22, 2015

A few years ago I took stock of my knitted sweaters and nailed down what I like to wear.  No, not really so much what I like to wear, but more, what I actually do wear.  Because I think I like to wear little lightweight cardigans with frills and lace, but my everyday life tells me something else.  Poking around my sweater closet I had to be honest with myself.  What gets the most attention?   What sweaters are worn most often?   I had to admit, simple and slouchy won, hands down.  No contest.  So while I will never ever never ever stop knitting the beautiful, delicate, fitted, negative ease, Kidsilk Haze and Mohair Haze sweaters that I love to knit and love to wear, the truth is, my everyday sweaters are something quite different--more like sweatshirts.  So knowing that, and knowing that Rowan came out with some super nice superwash yarns this year, I decided to make a few sweatshirts--sweatshirts that can take a lot of wear and can go in and out of the washer and dryer without a whimper. 

This is Clayton by Martin Storey from the Easy Aran Knits book.  I used the suggested yarn, Super Fine Merino Aran made with 100% superwash wool.  This was my first time using it and  I love it.  It was lively on the needles, and with just a little flick of needle action, the stitch snapped into place.  The yarn itself feels round in the hand, and like it was made of rubber coated with velvet.  It is so completely soft I think even those with the wool itchies will approve.  Super Fine comes in three weights, a fingering weight, a DK weight and this Aran weight.  I played with all three and really did love them all.  The yarn is multi-plied and round and was not needle fussy, but as I like to touch-knit stockinette, I found I did need to use bamboo needles to slow it down a bit.  If I lost a stitch while not looking, it was easily picked up on the next row.  This soft yarn is also machine washable.  Rowan claims this to be a great "core" yarn, and I would agree.  Super Fine is an easy to knit, elegant yarn that can take some hard wear.

While the ball band will tell you to dry flat, I will tell you what I did with great results: Step one:  turn inside-out.  Step two:  put in a sweater bag.  Three:  Wash on gentle cycle with cool water.  Four:  Still inside-out, remove from sweater bag and tumble dry on LOW until almost dry.  Five:  Turn rightside-out, lay flat and pat to shape to finish drying.  Rowan does not recommend the above, but I just wanted to share what I did with success.  So there you go.  I do want to say, that even though a sweater may be machine washable, it is still a hand-knit, and I respect that.  I make sure that I don't wash it very often.  I find I can get some distance between washes if I hand wash the cuffs only or dab out a spot.  I don't throw it into the wash basket willy-nilly.

I took the last two pictures so you could see the fabric close up. One was taken before the wash and one was taken after, but I don't know which is which.  I just did it to compare the fabric and there was no change.  It did not shrink.

See you soon with many more finished knits!


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  1. Darling! And the kangaroo pocket is great for carrying dog treats.

  2. Looks good Kristen! Hey Candice, are you going to make one? :)

  3. Believe it or not I have been on the lookout for raglan sleeve sweatshirts for a month now. Not so easy to find. Your knit one seems like realistic alternative. I will definitely keep it in mind. Especially since you demonstrated the wash and wearability. Chloe


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