The Beatles sweater

This is the first non-scarf non-hat grown-up item I’ve knit: a sweater for Jan. I call it “the Beatles sweater” because it’s made out of Norwegian wool. (If blogs could have sound effects, I’d insert a rim shot here.) I used Gjestal Naturgarn No. 1 in a dark olive green color that I ordered from Elann last winter. Elann is a Canadian distributor that carries a wide variety of yarns in different sizes, colors, and fibers. A lot of the stuff is discontinued, which may explain why some of the prices are so low. One nice thing about Elann is they ship their U.S.-bound packages from the U.S., which saves a bundle on shipping charges (and times!) and avoids the whole customs hassle.

I used the pattern called “He’ll Wear It Every Day” from The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits by Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. The pattern calls for Rowan Chunky Tweed yarn, which is frightfully expensive. This 100% wool Gjestal yarn has the same recommended gauge as the Rowan, so I figured it would work. In spite of the sweater’s name, though, Jan has not worn it every day in the two or three months since I finished it. I think that has something to do with the fact that it’s an extremely warm garment, and wearing it inside feels sort of like sitting around in a coat.

And here I have a confession to make: even though all the knitting books say that one must must must knit a gauge swatch for any project where size is important, I have never done so. I am just too darn impatient to get started. Mostly this hasn’t been a problem yet (except for Sylvia’s too-long sleeves, but with this sweater I ended up having to redo one whole side of it–partly because the gauge was off, and partly because I misread the pattern and ended up shaping the neck so bizarrely that only an alien would have been able to look good in this sweater.

Right now, I am working on a sweater for me in the same yarn. I’m using a different pattern from the same book. I’ve finished the front, the back, and one sleeve, so I’m in the home stretch. Problem is, I have misplaced the front and back somewhere in the house. Hmmmm. When I’ve finished this sweater, I will knit one for Sylvia using the yarn that’s left, probably in a size that will fit her next winter. Then we can be an ultra-geeky family and wear matching sweaters! (Hey, that’s an idea for next year’s holiday card…)

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