Hey pals! While I'm on a knitting streak here I thought I'd finally do a proper post for this sweater so I can stop referring to it as "the first sweater I ever knit but never blogged about" because that is a long title for such a humble sweater! So since I wore this outfit to work today, and felt pretty good about it, and there was still a considerable amount of daylight left when I got home, I decided to go for a walk and take some outfit shots along the way.
Behold! The First Sweater I Ever Knit but Heretofore Never Blogged About! This was actually the third knitted item I ever made, and therefore, despite it's myriad of quirks, I'm intensely proud of it. I started it early February 2014 (I think...?) after learning how to knit over my Christmas break. It reached completion, I believe, around May - sped along by a rather tenacious upper respiratory infection that had me couch ridden for much of March and some of April. Which is why it never got photographed or properly blogged about. By May it is already much to warm to even pretend to wear wool for the sake of the camera here in Texas! Just the thought of donning this sweater made me break out in a heat rash! So it got carefully folded and stowed away until the cooler temperatures decided to make an appearance again. And let me tell you, what a lifesaver it has been this winter! Anytime our fickle winter temperatures thought about nearing freezing (or really anything below 50F because I'm a thin-blooded southerner)(yes, I know, cue the tiny violins from all you northerners dealing with real winter!) I pulled on this jumper and immediately felt swaddled in warm, loving, hand-made, coziness.
So the deets. This is the Bedford Pullover by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2011. I knit it up in BT Shelter, a worsted weight yarn, in the color 'Cast Iron'. This sweater was knit from the bottom up, completely in the round. It doesn't have any shaping, so the finished look is quite boxy. I think I knit the second to smallest size, although it's been such a long time I don't totally remember. I do remember that I learned a lot. There was a lot of YouTube-ing various stitches and techniques and knitting jargon! And a lot of visible improvement was made on the sweater as I went.
One of the biggest things I think I finally got the hang of was finding a uniform way to tension my yarn as I knit (of course this is also something that I want to experiment with a bit on my next make to see if it makes a difference in efficiency - constantly learning...). Sadly this means that the 1x1 ribbing at the bottom of the sweater isn't the prettiest, but you can kinda see in this picture that I sort of got the hang of it by the time I was doing the arm cuffs. In the end, the fact that this sweater isn't the most uniform really doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I think it's a lovely memento of my growing proficiency with this new skill, and a humbling reminder that I'm never too old to learn a new craft.
The sweater used a twisted stitch to create this lovely textured pattern, that almost looks like a small scale cable. There is about a 1 inch 'racing stripe' of purl stitch that runs up the side, a bit hard to see in these photos, but a nice little detail all the same. And the sleeves are all reverse stockinette - or purl stitch. I got very good at purling...
One issue I've had with both of the sweaters I've knitted is that the neck opening always seems much higher and tighter on me than it ever seems to be on the models. I think this must have something to do with my wider shoulders, but I'm not sure. It might just be an adjustment that I have to make with all knits, like adding length.
And speaking of length! That was one thing I was pretty disappointed about with this sweater. It ended up much shorter than I would have liked. Of course it's still 100% wearable, it's more of a wearing preference than anything else. At least in the body. The sleeves really are too short, there's just no denying it! It was for this reason that I was very conscious to add length to my Carpino sweater, despite the fact that I was itching to speed up the knitting process. I knew I would regret not having that additional length in the long run.
While I'm blogging about old(er) knitting makes I thought I would give y'all a two-for-one here and throw in this little hat! I knitted this up in January of this year when I was starting to feel some serious Carpino burnout! I thought maybe taking a bit of a break and focusing on something else, but still knitting, might help me push through the last couple of steps. And I guess that technique worked...? I mean, I did end up finishing my Carpino, but I think this hat was less the result of some fancy scheme to increase my productivity and more the result of me being unable to resist the siren song of a shiny new ball of yarn!
This is the Purl Bee's Traveling Cable Hat (a FREE pattern!) knit up using one skein of Manos del Uruguay's Maxima in the color 'Oxygen' (which I'm not seeing on Purl Soho's site anymore, but trust me, it existed). I wanted to knit this hat to brush up on my cabeling. Last year I made Purl Bee's Chunky Cable hat, which was a great introduction to cables, but this year I wanted to try a more complicated design, and this seemed like the perfect next step. Plus, I love wearing knit hats in the winter. They are an essential during my chilly bike rides to work, and it's nice to have options.
Nick found me this lovely pink barnacle (note: that is not it's scientific name!) while I was shooting photos, so I had to show it off!
My one pet peeve about this hat is that it's a little snug - and I have a small head! According to Revelry, this is a pretty common complaint about this pattern. I could have added another pattern repeat, but I think then it would have been too big. If I make it again I might experiment with sizing up my needles and seeing if that makes a difference. Other than that, I think it's a really pretty hat! I love the way the Manos hand-dyed yarn creates this very subtle shift in blues throughout the hat.
And here I am with the ultimate accessory, lovely Lucille. She's not great at posing for the camera, so this photo was the best of the bunch. It looks like I'm giving her the Blessing...
Well, I think that about brings me up to date with my knitting, save for a hat I made for Nick as a Christmas present, but I think it just might be asking for a miracle to get that photographed! Just imagine it - it's a very straightforward men's sailor cap in a tweedy navy blue. Exciting, no? So there we go! All up to date! Whew that feels good!
Alright guys, that's all from me! I hope you all are having a great March! Stay warm! Spring will come!