Also known as the sweater that was a little tighter than I planned.
This sweater is an hommage to my Minnesotan childhood winters. The natural white mimics a blanket of snow and the tonal blue reminds me of a the blue skies that can only happen on the coldest days. Would this sweater keep me warm when windchill hits -40 degrees? Probably not by itself. But I would be super stylish while waiting for the endless winter to end. (Also, -40 is the point where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet… v. cold)
This sweater is tighter than I planned. I don’t mean uncomfortable or ill fitting, it just doesn’t have as much positive ease as I imagined. I’ve decided that one of the reasons for this closer fit is due to the 100% merino of the body – it’s probably more like a sport weight than a fingering. Second, I made the crucial mistake of swatching flat rather than in the round. While my flat swatch matched gauge – once I started to knit in the round, I no longer had purl rows to bulk up my stitches. The fabric I produced in the round was much tighter than if I were knitting flat. So lesson learned… always swatch in the style in which you will knit. I’ve already fixed my bad habit in my next sweater project.
I experimented with bind offs on this sweater. For the sleeves I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off and for the hem I used a stretchy bind off (k2tog, tbl). At this point, I prefer the stretchy bind off for ease and overall finished look.
I have a few more sweaters planned this winter – but I’m happy with the first finished sweater of 2018. Here’s to many more!
Yay Christmas Break! This break is all about making: knitting and sewing the days away – endless hours of craft time. We’re spending Christmas, and three weeks of the break, with my in-laws, who have an entire empty basement space waiting to be transformed into my personal crafting dungeon.
This break, my knitting plans centered on one project: Zweig – my dream sweater.
After a lot of waffling about yarn choices, I cast on my version of Zweig on December 15th – right after I finished my Christmas sweater. I’m enjoying the knitting process so far. I especially love my simple color choices of indigo blue and natural white. This is the kind of basic color combination that makes my heart swell.
I intended to have my Zweig finished by the start of the spring semester on January 15. I was on a knitting roll and ready to meet my arbitrary deadline until I realized I forgot my other two skeins of natural white yarn at home. What a dummy! So Zweig is on hold and I feel a bit foolish.
Rather than wallow in my planning error, I moved on to the next project in my queue: the Flora Mittens by Skeindeer Knits. This pattern was perfect for the Christmas recovery days. I’m actually almost done with both mittens – just one thumb left! Look forward to a finished object blog post in the coming days.
I’m so grateful for this luxurious time to think only about making. Working on a Ph.D doesn’t leave much time for luxury. Most students I know, myself included, carry heavy loads of guilt when we don’t spend our waking hours on schoolwork. During the semester, I do my best to balance studying with my self-care and making. Typically I have to set a tight schedule for the day – something like “no knitting until 5 pm” – otherwise I tend to get lost in the craft process and procrastinate on my research. School breaks are such a delight because I no longer have to fight with that desire to spend endless hours on making. I can give those desires breathing room. These times of intense making have been essential for my scholarly career. By taking time and space away from intense academic work, I find I can start the new semester with energy and a clear mind. I know I won’t always have these times to craft for three weeks straight, but hopefully when that time comes, the intensity of Ph.D. work with also have passed. Cheers to taking breaks.