I’ve been wanting to knit myself an Owls sweater ever since I first saw it, and over the past few months I’ve done it! My friend Gina was also keen to knit one of these, so we decided to do our own little knitalong. She finished hers in about a week, but mine took a bit longer.
I actually knit this sweater twice. (Fortunately, bulky-weight yarn knits up fast! First, I knit both arms using the size 10.5 needles the pattern specified. When they were done, I decided I didn’t like how snug they were and reknit them on 11 needles.
Then I knit the body, moving the shaping from the back to the sides. (This was Gina’s great idea. We agreed that the shaping lines in the middle of the back just looked weird.) I was about five rows away from binding off when I ran out of yarn. ARGH! This turned out to be a good thing, though, because it gave me an opportunity to reknit the body. It turned out that I wasn’t such a fan of the shaping. A yarn this substantial works best (for me, at least) in a looser garment.
Taking another cue from Gina, who had found the as-called-for-in-the-pattern neckline too wide, I added a few rows of stockinette (with decreases) between the owls and the ribbing. The result is wide enough not to feel constricting but not so wide that it’s calling off my shoulders.
The knitting on this sweater was complete about two weeks before the “official” finish date. I bound off the last stitches the day before cool autumn weather arrived and just had to start wearing the sweater immediately. I thought about omitting the button eyes entirely, but after two weeks of living with sightless owls I decided to go ahead and add the buttons. I did one set of eyes in tawny yellow (to make it stand out from the crowd) and the rest in an amber color. The contrast isn’t huge, but it’s enough–and well worth the couple of hours it took me to sew on thirty-six buttons.
This was a fun knit, and I’d make it again. Maybe next time I’ll turn it into a cardigan!
(Additional project details are available here.)
So here’s the story.
At a knitting-group get-together last summer, my friend Gina shows up with two bags of yarn and asks, “Does anyone want these?” Some time earlier, she had bought two six-skein sets (one in green tones, one in pink/mauve tones) of a Cherry Tree Hill handpainted yarn called Wool in the Woods, thinking she’d make sweaters with it. It’s a beautiful yarn–the colors are amazing, and there are tiny gold threads running through it that offer some subtle sparkle. But when she got it, she wasn’t sure that she loved it, and after a while decided to clear it from her stash even though she still kind of liked it.
At this moment, I came up with a Brilliant Idea: “Hey, Gina! How about I buy the green yarn from you, you keep the pink yarn, and we have our own little knitalong and knit the same sweaters?” She loved this plan, and we spent the next couple of days e-mailing back and forth about possible patterns.
She found the winner: a bottom-up raglan that was in the Knitting-Pattern-a-Day calendar two or three years ago.
The pattern calls for fairly deep ribbing on all cuffs, and the waist is designed to be high (because, really, you don’t want a lot of snug ribbing around your waist…). The front-left raglan seam is actually a functional button band, but because of the wide neckline I don’t actually need to unbutton the sweater to put it on or take it off–which is good, because the buttons I used aren’t perfectly round and might snag on the yarn
I love this sweater. It was a fairly fast knit, and Gina and I both had ours done before cold weather arrived last fall. I think I’ve worn mine at least twice a week since then.
(Project 365 | 2010: 1 March)
Ever since SP9 ended, my spoiler, Lynnette, and I have kept in touch. One thing we discovered is that we’re both new to lace knitting–“new” as in “haven’t done it before but would really like to.” We also discovered that we both have a fondness for dragons.
“Hey,” we thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to do a lace project together?”
After a few e-mails back and forth to discuss several possible patterns (the “Heere Be Dragone” shawl was mentioned but quickly determined to be not-a-good-idea-for-a-first-lace-project), we finally settled on the Dragon-Scale Scarf from Heritage Yarns.
By coincidence, we both started our scarves at the same time (around Easter weekend), but house-related concerns (and not having the scarf and my camera anywhere near each other whenever I thought to take a picture of the thing) have kept me from posting about it until now. As you can see, I’m nearly two feet into it (I started a new skein at about eighteen inches).
I’ve opted for a heavier yarn than the pattern calls for: I’m using the fabulous Patons SWS that Lynnette gave me, and I love how the scarf is turning out. The pattern’s twelve-row repeat isn’t difficult but is interesting enough to keep me from getting bored! I doubt that I’ll be ready for Heere Be Dragone after this, but maybe one day, after I get a lot more lace knitting under my belt!
Interweave Knits is hosting two events to celebrate their publication of Amy Singer’s No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo, and Other Delights this month. The first is a No Sheep for You knitalong. The second event is the “No Sheep Secret Pal Skein Swap“: each participant sends two skeins of nonwool yarn (one in June and one in July) to his or her pal. I happen to be a huge fan of wool, but for those of you who aren’t keen on wool or are allergic to it (or are knitting for non-wool-lovers), this book and these two events might be worth checking out!