Sibella Sweater

Nothing says July like a hand knit sweater! Right? Right?

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Well to be fair I finished this sucker back in April when our morning temperatures were still slightly cool.

This is my new Sibella Sweater, a pattern I’d had in my knitting queue for 6 years! Of course for 4 of those years I was pregnant and/or nursing so pullover styles didn’t have a good place in my life. As a dress wearer, I’ve always struggled to incorporate this style. However in the last year I’ve made a few skirts and a pullover sweater works with skirts really really well.

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I started knitting this, but as often happens when I’m knitting in the round my gauge went wonky. Riiiiipppppp, start again.

Ultimately I used a size 38″ as my starting point and added extra stitches for the hips. Considering my bust is 42″ I expected the sweater to be kind of close fitting, but is ended up skimming more than form fitting in the front. The negative is the back bags out badly.

How to fix this? Well, I think in the future when I split for the sleeves I’ll put more stitches in the front and fewer in the back. This had been my plan, but for some reason I chickened out when the moment came. I’ll claim exhaustion from knitting late in the evening.

Probably partly because of the fit issues this sweater slides back on my shoulders over the day until it is choking me ūüė¶ So much work put into it and it’s uncomfortable to wear.

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I’m sure I’ll wear it anyways because this sweater is just so pretty. And it is light enough to wear around the office without over heating. Plus I used some long stash lingering yarn and it would be a shame to see it unloved. I used Hermosa Fiber Company’s Hermosa Sport in the color Always A Bridesmaid. Hermosa has since stopped dying yarn which also makes this sweater a symbol of the changes in the yarn industry.

Several years ago there were lots of local yarn stores, but over the years they have closed down due to rising rents, competition from online retailers, and the yarn craze starting to wane. New yarn dyers come along all the time and it is hard to stay current in the world of fangirls and fanaticism. For some businesses the work just isn’t worth it. I can’t blame them. However I do love pulling those much loved skeins from my stash and knitting them into beautiful garments. Hopefully my current project will have a better fit.

Anyone know how the Canadian v. USA tariff situation will affect the yarn industry?

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This Isn’t the Whole Rainbow?

Woot! Woot! I finished knitting a sweater. The best sweater ever because it has 6 shades of purple. It’s like a whole rainbow with only my¬†most favorite color!

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Yay purple!

I’ve been knitting this sucker for 2 whole months straight and I could have it done in nearly half the time except I had to rip the whole thing apart when I discovered it was too large. Way way way too large.

I won’t lie. It was painful to pull apart all the little lengths of yarn from each stripe. But in the end I am so glad I persevered to finish. Worth it.

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The pattern is Jagged Little Stripe from Mary Annarella. Mary is a fantastic knit wear designer. Everything she creates is classic with a fun twist and her patterns are wonderfully clear. Its a treat to knit them.

I did need to alter the pattern for a couple reasons. 1) I was using a gradient set as the main color and 2) I needed to add more stitches to the front to accommodate my bust and tummy.

Working with a gradient set came with some challenges. I needed to figure out how to work with the stripes to make sure the colors transitions naturally. What I found through trial and error was that it didn’t matter where in the color sequence I ended for the short rows. In order to achieve my vision I only needed to¬†start with the lightest color at the shoulder and the first row of the waist slash. Then finish the hem, sleeves, and waist slash with the darkest color. I also made sure to end the first row section with cream and end the waist slash with the cream color.

Now Mary is a different build from me, so I had to knit things a little different shaping wise. First I added extra stitches to the sleeves as I was already doing the increases. Then to accommodate my bust and tummy I added 10 stitched when casting on the neckline to join in the round. My waist is also higher and bust lower. So I knit more rows before starting the short rows and worked the waist decreases earlier. All of this worked great. It is not super fitted through the waist, but I like the ease as it is.

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My daughter Lu took these pictures. She’s very funny and demanded she take a photo of my skirt and shoes as well as the sweater. The skirt is Gabriola which I talked about in my previous post. So you can see a bit of the funny stitching around the zipper.

In all honesty I made that denim skirt specifically to go with my purple gradient sweater. This sweater is a big reason I switched to a skirt with a closer fit through the hips and is much better suited to wearing a top untucked.

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The yarn is from Astral Bath Yarns. Its the Spectra base and I love working with it. I bought the gradient set off my friend. Well I bought half the set as neither of us needed the full 3,000 yard of yarn it contained. Then I bought two skeins of naked yarn to pair with it. I still have a ton of both left so now I need to decide if I keep the left overs or try to destash them.

Anyways, now I’m off for the glorious first holiday weekend I’ve had in many months. We’ll be busy busy busy, but I’m hoping I can sew together the new summer dress I cut out this evening. I think I can. I think I can!

Man Sweater!

Last week Amy Herzog released new capabilities for her Custom Fit knitting pattern software and I was lucky enough to beta test this fall!

The new features allow you to make patterns for men and children in addition to the women’s features already used heavily in my own knitting. I am thrilled with the sweater I knit for my husband. I’ve been promising him a boring grey sweater for four years. But part of what held me back from knitting it was the lack of pattern for the yarn he had selected.

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Now that is no longer an issue!

It turned out so well. The ease they figure into the garment is very different than the ease for my own clothes. This is a straight silhouette sweater which means it has no shaping in the body. Perfect for my husband whose chest and hip measurement are the same. With an average fit it has about 4 inches of positive ease at both places.

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My only negative is that I think the sleeves have too much ease, but I will say my husband thinks it is fine. So maybe just a preference. It is the kind of measurement easy to tweak in the software if desired.

The other bummer is my row gauge was different between my swatch and the sweater so the length of the finished object is too long. Wholly my fault.

Most importantly my husband really likes his new sweater and has been wearing it all the time as our weather has turned cool. See the wrinkles from keeping it in his car so he can access its warmth whenever he needs it! He even wore it to work so he sent me this action shot! Makes me happy to see the hours of work I put into knitting for him are so appreciated.

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And yes it is a warm sweater. I originally planned to use Harrisville Shetland in the color Sea Mist. I purchased the yarn back when I was pregnant with Lu. But since I had to knit this sweater in less than a month there was no way I could bust out a fingering weight man sweater in that short a time. Instead we looked at yarns together and settled on Quince & Co. Chickadee in Kumlien’s Gull. Which I’m now thinking I hope I told him the sweater isn’t machine washable…

In other news, I have more to share! So I hope to post up a couple times before the end of the year. In the mean time I’ll get back to binging on the soundtrack to Hamilton. Thank you Emily for tuning me in! Now I’ll have to watch for the tour to hit LA!