a look into my development as a knitter
Hello, all! Today I wanted to share with you one of my main goals as a knitter and crocheter. I have crocheted a sweater/top for myself (and my friend) before, however I have not yet knit a sweater. I have had this goal of knitting a sweater on my list for quite some time now. As a lover of knitting shawls and wraps, I know that I am comfortable working with so many stitches. I consistently use applicable shaping techniques in hats and socks. It’s just a matter of actually creating the space in my work-in-progress basket for my first sweater!
There are two iterations (so far) of my first sweater that exist in my head. One is a recreation of a sweater I found on Instagram, and one is the result of my inability to read the caption and choose the correct yarn for said Instagram sweater! (Really, though, the second iteration is a simpler, more straightforward version of this inspiration photo that will be made with what I have knit so far.)
Iteration No. 1 – Recreate Inspiration Sweater
My initial inspiration came from this photo. I love the flowy bell sleeves, the slightly cropped sweater length, and the overall color story within the sweater. The mohair makes for a dreamy glow around the sleeves, and the more sturdy yarn in the yoke makes so much sense to me. This exact sweater (henceforth known as my “inspiration sweater”) is definitely on my “Must Knit List.”
Knitted by Lil at Qing Fibre, Photo from qingfibre Instagram, February 2019
For the yoke and sweater structure, I followed Stephen West’s Marled Mania Sweater. It begins with a basic ribbing pattern that slowly increases in stitches, creating a vertical striped design. The caption of my inspiration photo states that this yoke design was used for the sweater, so I used this a solid starting place.
The yarn I initially planned to use for my sweater
I decided to use Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrot for this sweater because I thought it would imitate the yoke of my inspiration. I love the autumnal, rich orange of this colorway! I realize now that I should have chosen a more multi-colored, marled yarn, like this one, for the yoke to more correctly recreate the inspiration sweater and tie in the other colors.
Here are three alternative yarns I will choose from when I attempt my inspiration sweater again:
One of the suggested yarns to use for the yoke, yarn and suggestion from Qing Fibre. Click on photo for link
Qing Fibre Classic DK in Crackle
Qing Fibre Classic DK in Honeycomb
The yarn I initially planned to use for the mohair section of this sweater was Rowan’s Alpaca Classic yarn. This is a dreamy yarn that I optimistically carry with me in my knitting bag because I’m dying to use it for something, I just don’t know what yet. When I recreate my inspiration sweater, I will use the yarn mentioned in the caption, Qingfibre Kid Mohair Silk in Dark forest and Dust. (Lesson learned!)
I still love my inspiration sweater, and I definitely plan on making that one day, however, I am not totally in love with the yarn combinations I chose. So, now I am going to make do with what I have, which is a lot of Malabrigo Rios, determination to finish this, and a refreshed sense of excitement for knitting my first sweater!
Iteration No. 2 – Working With What I Have
Right now, my sweater has a few inches of Rowan Alpaca Classic worked, and the sleeve stitches are sectioned off, too. Going forward, I plan to use only Malabrigo Rios yarn and knit my new version of this sweater in only Glazed Carrot (the orange yarn in the yoke). Therefore, I plan to frog (rip out) the green and pink stripes back to the end of the yoke. I will have to adjust the sleeve stitches so that the first row of the sleeves are knitted in Malabrigo Rios and not the green Rowan Alpaca Classic.
Current status of my sweater
My plan is to use the rest of the Marled Mania Sweater pattern for structural and shaping elements, but not for color, texture, and style elements. When I picture my finished sweater, it has a nice ribbed yoke that fades into a solid stockinette stitch body, with solid stockinette stitch sleeves and ribbed cuffs. The hem of the sweater will have a clean bind off edge, but nothing fancy. (I’ll save the bell sleeves and flowy crop top style for my inspiration sweater.)
The wrong side of my sweater, with sleeve stitches held on stich holders.
This is where I will “restart” this sweater with my new intentions.
As for a timeline for completing this sweater, this project is first on my to-do list after I finish my holiday gift knitting. If I suddenly become an all-star, that means I can start this in December, but most likely, I will be able to pick this sweater back up with a fresh set on intentions come January. New year, new sweater, right?
I am excited to keep you all updated with the progress of my sweater. I am so inspired by sweaters from fellow knitters and crocheters. My grandma makes some awe-inspiring sweaters that motivate me so much! Knitting a sweater for me is the first step before fully falling into the fair isle game and committing to stranded knitting craziness! I have a big goal in mind of making a full length fair isle duster cardigan, such as an lengthened Marie Wallin’s Orkney, Yoko Hatta’s Fair Isle Coat / Fair Isle Cardigan, or Kaffe Fassett’s Kilim Jacket. For now, though, my eyes are bigger than my plate, as they say. I need to finish one sweater before I start stirring the pot of colorwork cardigans…
Anyway, until we talk next, happy knit and crochet goal setting! May your eyes be bigger than your plate and your stash be beyond life expectancy!