Monday, January 24, 2011

Something Old, Something New

Now don't go getting any ideas. The post title refers to sweaters, nothing else, even if one of them is blue.

Last January, a year ago already, I set out to make my first top down sweater. In fact, it was only my third adult sweater. Number one had been Arietta, whose color scheme I adore even today, but whose boxy fit was never going to work even if she and I were the same size. Next came Twist & Shout who taught me that single ply, not tightly knit, becomes one big pill before you even get to wear it. Also, unlike commercial clothing, you pay for your size and I wasn't about to spend the money or time to make another sweater is a plus size. And so I let go of being a sweater knitter and focused on accessories. You know all about them, because I cataloged them here.

And then a funny thing happened. I started moving towards not being a plus size and I decided the time had come to try my hand at sweaters again. (To be fair, there was a vest in there too!)

The Old:
And so one year ago, I cast on for Sahara from Wendy Bernard. Wendy is known for customized fits and I customized the heck out of this. Because no matter how many sizes I've gone through, one thing remains constant. I am two-three sizes bigger on top than on the bottom. And so I cast on, making a sweater a bit on the tight size (in hindsight it was more than a bit tight) so that it would continue to fit as I got smaller.

And yesterday I finally got a modeled shot!

Even in my beginning sweaters I was making mods. But that was one reason I chose this designer. She makes it easy.

My main modifications was casting on for Large and worked the waist decreases, which are done in the front not the sides, and work like darts, down to a Medium. I subbed the lighter yarn called for the trim with a thicker Eyre in the same colorway and didn't go down a needle size. I still had a lot to learn, (like alternating hanks!), but I think it came out pretty well.

And since I can seam up the center lace panel as much as I want, I'm hoping that as I get smaller (still a bit to go) I will just sew up the center a bit more and still have a good fit.

Sahara by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK and Madelinetosh Eyre
Colorway: Fjord
Needles: 4.0 mm (US 6)

As to the New:
I hinted about this pattern about a month ago. This was a test knit I did for Thea Coleman / Baby Cocktails. Mulled Cider is a cozy, tweedy jacket that reminds me of curling up by a fireplace on a cold winter's day. You know, a bit like today. It's 9° out right now!

I love the details.

The leafy print down the back:

And the front:
But only on one side...

The way the stalks join at the shoulder and the outside shoulder seaming to continue the look.

The high collar and the notched opening:

And the toggles! And the buttons!

In fact I love everything about it. So if you are looking for that perfect "keep me warm and cozy" cover up I highly recommend this pattern!

Mulled Cider by Thea Coleman
Yarn: Plymouth Tweed
Colorway: 5459 (blue)
Needles: 4.5 & 5.0 mm (US 7 & 8)
Buttons from M&J Trim

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