Can I tell you guys how much I LOVE this sweater! The yarn, the fit, the fact that it got done in 2 weeks. Two Weeks!
Pattern Somewhat Cowl by Wendy Bernard
Yarn Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed in a fabulous sage with bits of kelly green and roasted pumpkin
- Silky Tweed’s gauge is 5.5 spi, and the pattern was written for 6 spi. This was an easy mod, I just used cast on numbers for a smaller size. I think the yarn would have knit up at 6 spi as well but with the wool and silk content I didn’t want to knit it tighter for fear I’d roast in the thing. With short sleeves I wanted it to breathe.
- I did a much shorter raglan depth (I think it was 9.5 inches measured along the diagonal increase line). If I did it again I’d go even a half inch less. I’m short and I like fitted armholes.
- I started the cowl much earlier because I’m busty and I didn’t want to need to wear a tank underneath it.
- I added short rows at the bust. I started them 1/4 of the way in on each side, spaced them an inch apart, and did 6 short rows on each side. This added about an inch of length and made the sweater fall evenly across my bust.
- I added waist shaping. Just an inch in on all sides.
- I lengthened the body ribbing to 4 inches so the body would end exactly where I wanted it to end. Gotta love top-down for that.
- I short rowed the sleeves a bit. A classic problem with raglans is that the sleeves come out from the body at a sharp angle, while your shoulders actually curve in a much more graceful way. So, I added a few short rows at the tops of each sleeve. I think it did the trick because there isn’t any bunching along the shoulders.
- For the cowl, I reduced all purl 2’s to purl 1’s at the bottom of the cowl and at each point where the cowl meets the sleeves. I did this by following the directions as written for 1.5 inches, then decreasing in the places I mentioned, and knitting for another 1.5 inches. Then I increased all the purl 1’s back up to purl 2’s. This encourages the cowl to fold.
- I decided I liked the cowl better folded out. No change to the pattern, it’s just more comfortable to me. After wearing it for a day I’ve decided to sew the cowl down at the bottom of the U. My seatbelt kept catching it and it started to pucker up (you can see it in the pic above).
Thoughts on the Yarn
I love this yarn. After having worn it for a whole day I can tell you that while it does have wool and silk in it that it really lets you breathe too. Two non-knitters complimented me on the sweater (without knowing it was handknit) and they both commented on how cool the coloring was. The yarn has a lot of depth.
The one “feature” this yarn has is that the ribs flatten out. It’s probably to low amount of wool in proportion to the cotton and silk. It works well for this design, but I wouldn’t use it for something that requires cinched ribbing. I suspect a heavily cabled design would also be wider in this yarn than in a 100% wool. I don’t think it would poof up like a wool.
Still, I love this yarn and I will definitely be making more things out of it. The color selection is great and the gauge is versatile.