Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Top down sweaters that I can try on as I make them have changed my knitting life, I can't even.

I've already admitted that I don't make sweaters because they confuse me and take too long and I forget about them and all of the other reasons that I use to rationalize my laziness. I say that while wearing my ill fitting sweater beast that was supposed to be a Mrs. Darcy Cardigan, which is about to lose it's coveted spot as the coziest damn thing I've ever made.

While packing up all my stuff for the renovations I found yarn that had been squirreled away in the monkey box that Mater bought for me the first time I went knitting nutty. Which was years ago, and it was way past time for me to do something with it.

Does not contain actual monkeys.  Does contain wonder.

First up was the now discontinued Skacel Contrasto, a silk nylon blend in a taupe color.

I figured I only had enough for a sweater vest (something that's always been on the list of things I should make but hadn't gotten around to), found the Bramblewood Vest and went to town.

Well, after making gauge swatches because I have finally learned.

I assumed this was going to fall prey to the usual downfall of all my crafty projects that I can't finish in one sitting, namely, I'd forget about and start something new and shiny. But no! I actually sat down and worked on it almost constantly, mostly because every time I could try it on I got all excited and it was awesome again - pushing me through the, 'god, will the stockinette ever end?' phase.

So, here's the obligatory super classy bathroom mirror shot:

I turned it into a v-neck, omitted the back cable and decreased for the waist rather than go down a needle size as per the pattern.

And I'm so in love with it, it's a little sad. If I could wear this every day I would, but it's April in Texas so not so much.

Since I can't wear it every day and admire my handiwork, I've dived into another sweater vest. Because clearly, one could never be enough for someone who wears as many button-down shirts as I do.

The monkey box provided some Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, the Vogue Stitchionary provided a dimpled stitch pattern and all I had to do was provide the magic sweater math. Since I've successfully knit two garments that fit as they should I'm clearly some sort of sweater master. A veritable Obi-Wan Knitobi.

If I'd stopped to think about my history with any sort of math, let alone magic math I'd have realized that perhaps the above list of assembled ingredients for the alchemy of sweater design was lacking a critical component. After some pretty pathetic attempts to extrapolate how many stitches I needed to cast on in order to cover me but not drown me in alpacasilky goodness were less than successful I went with the tried but certainly not always true method of 'eh, that looks about right.'

So far I seem to be doing all right, even if it's verging on sausage casing territory. The promising news is that it looks as though I may have enough for short sleeves, so that I don't have to wear it over a shirt. Which would be a definite plus because as close fitting as it is, layering might not work out so well for me.

And as the yarn was a gift from Mater it is an actual color.  An egg-planty purple which is refusing to be captured by the iPhone camera and The Boyfriend has absconded with the real one.  But if it fits (which, my god it had better, because really) I will wear it to pieces*.  Once December rolls around, naturally.

*I may mean pieces literally, unfortunately.  While the yarn is ridiculously lovely right now, all soft and shiny, I'm afraid that said softness may lead to a sweater that's covered in fuzz and pills after a wearing..  We will see.  I may go ahead and invest in a heavy duty sweater shaver right now because oooh, it's so soft..  It's gonna be mad cozy.

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