Charcoal Tweed Sweater

Charcoal ShouldersIn 2012 I attended Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago and purchased some tweed yarn from Studio Donegal. I really liked how soft and beautiful it was, and I bought several skeins hoping to knit myself a sweater. I didn’t have a sweater pattern in mind, and it took me a while to find one that I really wanted to wear and enjoy. Eventually I stumbled into a knit along thread featuring Ease by Alicia Plummer, and I knew that was the sweater pattern.

I didn’t start it until this December, however. By early December I had knit my way through most of the yarn that I had purchased or inherited. Additionally, things at work had been very stressful–and I wanted to knit something that would be fun and satisfying. (Most of my knitting prior to November had felt more like obligation than fun…)

Rather than worrying about Christmas knitting, I worked on a sweater for myself. It came with me to my mother’s house for the holiday festivities and occupied me on evenings or days off at home. The body of the sweater was simple and clear. I had some trouble with the sleeves–following the pattern as directed left me with sleeves that were about 3″ too long. I had to rip both of them back to the armpit and start again, putting some of the decreases much closer to each other (in terms of rounds) than the pattern directed to end up with sleeves of the necessary length. I knit the drawstring collar without the drawstring, so I omitted the holes to pull the drawstring through. I wasn’t able to finish it over the Christmas holiday, but it kept me occupied at home during several early-January days off of work.

It was finally done…and I realized I couldn’t wash and block it suitably at home. I typically wash my knits in my largest mixing bowl, which the sweater did not fit in. I live in an apartment with a separate laundry room with coin-operated machines. The washing machines and dryers are very limited when it comes to their settings; I was not going to risk my brand new sweater in the peril of such a monster. Instead, I waited until I was visiting my mother’s house again, and used her washing machine’s rich variety of settings to soak and spin it.

Cozy Charcoal SweaterI wore it to work immediately that following Monday, and I loooooooooooooooooooove it. Everything about this sweater is perfect. I want to live in it. I want to knit three more, and those will be my sweaters for the chilly months. It’s cuddly-cushy-sleepy-comfy-cozy. I love the flecks in the tweed. I love the collar and how floppy and cozy it is around my neck. The yarn is so soft; not scratchy at all.

I couldn’t be happier with this sweater. It was worth the wait, and the planning, and buying more yarn.

Amazingly, the “newer” skeins matched the “older” skeins perfectly; I didn’t notice any striping or blocks of colour when I used the newer ones, and I did not alternate every row the way you ought to if you are concerned about dye not matching. I tried to use the skeins in a way that would make it less-distracting if there were noticeable colour differences, but in the end it turned out just fine.

I even used the leftovers to make a cowl for my husband. He expressed some fondness for the yarn as I continued knitting the sweater, and I suspect that I may need to get more of this yarn for a future sweater for him… Maybe later this year. ★

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