This was a test knit that I signed up to do some time ago. Going in, I had never done stranded colorwork. Before I started the sweater I made the Capitals Hat for my bro in law, so I took a stab at it then. After finishing that project, I had some guidelines for my next stranded colorwork attempt. Specifically, I thought it would be better to use a non-superwash wool so that the floats would stay in place a little better and I really wanted to convince my left hand to hold one of the colors. Well, success on both fronts!
Pattern: Snow What Fun Sweater (not yet published) from Riverknits. There are two design options for the yoke: kitties or dinosaurs. I chose kitties!
Yarn: Some aran weight wool I’ve had in my stash for ages. I’m pretty sure I got it at a thrift store in Delaware, and I haven’t lived there for almost ten years! I had three skeins of the blue and one skein of the pink and thought they would work well together. The yarn is Harrisville Designs Twitchell Mills Country Knitting Yarn 2 Ply Nubby Tweeds. Say that five times fast, I dare you.
Size made: 4T
Needles: US5s for the ribbing and 7s for the body
Techniques used: Russian join, two handed stranded colorwork
Modifications: I used Fisherman’s rib for the ribbing instead of the two color Shaker rib variation. They’re very similar. I just couldn’t get the Shaker rib to come out quite right.
I took approximately fifteen million pictures of my daughter wearing this sweater. Despite the fact that both my daughter and the sweater are very cute, it was nigh impossible to get a decent pic. Here’s the best of what I got:
And a close up of my awesome colorwork (pre-blocking):
I am so happy with how this turned out, for several reasons. First, I used some yarn that has been in my stash for a long time. I’ve been trying to use things up and clear out some of the older stuff so I’m glad I found a use for this. Second, I was really worried while working on this sweater that the wool was too scratchy and it wouldn’t even be wearable. Well, after washing it I soaked it for a while with some conditioner in the water. I also used a dye catcher sheet as the blue ran a bit when I washed it. After it was blocked and dried, it got much softer. It still feels a little, er, rustic, but it’s totally wearable. Third, my daughter was really excited about it, which made me feel really good. She’s so fascinated by my knitting and yarn. She talks already about wanting to learn how. Considering she only just turned three, I think it’s a little early. So I just give her circular needles and a ball of yarn and let her play around. She seems to like it! I let her help when I’m hand washing things and she gets really into that.
Another reason I’m happy with this project is that it’s the first bottom up sweater I’ve made. It wasn’t particularly hard to do, but I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to do it. I also haven’t done a traditional yoke like this before. I’ve done raglan and I’ve done set in sleeves, but not this. I love adding to my arsenal of knitting tricks and experience. I learned a lot on this project and got a great piece as a result!