Betagen

November 13, 2021


I cannot believe this sweater is finally done as it was a year in the making. First, I have to tell you that the yarn is divine, an organic blend of Manx Loaghtan, a rare breed close to extinction that is native to the Isle of Man, and Merino, a not rare breed at all. I was attracted to the idea of supporting a rare breed, and with the make up being 75% Merino, I knew it would be soft. It is soft with a lovely stitch definition and I have a hunch it will resist pilling. I wet blocked it and it behaved perfectly. The pattern, I loved it too, but wondered the entire time if it would fit. It's knit bottom up, so body and both sleeves are knit in the round up to the yoke, then all are gathered together on one long needle with decreases to shape the shoulder slope up to the neck, also making short rows to raise the back neck, all the while working on the chevron pattern. None of that is really extraordinary except for the fact you can't try it on as you go so I had no idea if this was going to fit. The decreases seemed to be going way too slowly and the short rows seemed to be not enough, so rather than deal with it at the time, I gave up and stuffed it in a basket out of sight and mind. That was last year. A week ago I picked it up and resolved to get it done. I wanted to wear it! I read all my notes that I had scribbled on the pattern from last year, but nothing made sense. My note taking skills are terrible. I then reacquainted myself with the chevron stitch repeat (which I love the look of and is fun to do) and jumped in. My modifications: I sped up the decreases, also adding about 20% more of them, plus added more short rows--making a silent prayer that it would work out. I finally got to a point where I could try it on and that's when I realized that with a good block, it might just fit! Phew! I was so excited I spent the next few hours finishing it up. So all's well that ends well, but I will remind myself that bottom up circular yoke patterns are not a favorite of mine, and if I hadn't made the modifications, this would have been very large. I wore this last night with a pencil skirt and boots and got a lot of compliments, mostly from my husband, he loves it and I'm very happy with it too. If this pattern intrigues you, I purchased the kit from Rosy Green Wool in Germany and felt they were a very nice company to work with. Shipping to the US is reasonable and they have a beautiful yarn selection and gorgeous colors. Perhaps their most popular yarn is Cheeky Merino Joy. I made a child's sweater with it and it's heaven. They have a passion for animal welfare and all their yarn is GOTS certified so I was happy to support them. 


There are more knitting posts to come. I've finished two test knits, one for me by Isabel Kraemer and one for Carter from Yankee Knitter. As soon as they are published I'll make a post. Have a good weekend!





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12 comments

  1. It fits you very well, Kristin, and is a beautiful design. Based on your comments, I think you probably don't like seamed garments much. I love them for the structure. I would say that you don't find out how it will fit 'till it's done, but you do get an idea, and a feeling, while each piece is on the needles.

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    1. Thank you Jan. I don't mind seamed sweaters but most of my sweaters seem to be top down in one piece. My one peeve is knitting a separate bell shaped sleeve and fitting into an arm scythe--so instead I pick up stitches and knit short rows. Makes knitting a seamed sweater so much nicer.

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  2. Since I've finally figured out how to successfully comment; I want to let you know how much I've enjoyed your entries over the years - so many wonderful sweaters, good decorating ideas, and your garden is fabulous! Thanks for all the beautiful photos, and good ideas.

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    1. I'm so glad you can comment now and thank you so much for your very nice comment.

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  3. Absolutely beautiful. I made a sweater recently that was a bottom up sweater and it drove me crazy, probably won't make it again.
    Love all of your work, whether it be knitting, gardening, decorating, cooking and playing with your grand son. You inspire me.

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    1. Thank you Debbie. I really appreciate your very kind comment.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful!!!!! I don't think I will attempt this one. I am, however knitting a bottom up sweater now. Will let you know how it goes.

    Carole

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    1. Thank you. You'll be fine with your sweater. It's coming along very nicely and sooner than you know it, you'll be done!

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  5. Gorgeous! Fabulous fit, so the delay to finish and make your modifications were worth the ‘time out’! The colours really complement each other and this sweater looks lovely on you!

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    1. Thank you, and that's a great and positive way to look at it!

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  6. It looks perfect. Very flattering and unique. The fit, the design itself and I love that your husband likes it so much. A Young designer online recently referred to knitting in pieces as "old school" which kind of shocked me. Isn't almost everything in knitting Current? As long as it works for you? Also loved your description of that intriguing Manx yarn. Glad it all worked, Kristen! Chloe

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    1. Hello friend! Thank you. I have heard younger knitters look at a pattern knit in pieces and cannot even get their heads around it. My daughter in law said that her school offered no sewing classes so she has zero idea of how a garment is constructed. I think that might be true for most young people nowadays as the schools don't seem to offer practical classes like "shop" or "sewing". Too bad. I could imagine you would look at all the pieces and wonder how on earth it would make a sweater!

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