Monday, January 16, 2017

Bretonish

Anything striped. Yes, please.  After I saw Karen working on one of these, I resisted as long as I could (so many other things on the project table) and then I cast on.  There is almost nothing better in my life than long stretches of stockinette stitch, with a color change every twenty rows to keep it interesting.  You guys, this is what to do when you're stuck in line, a waiting room, a long road trip.  I don't know how people who don't knit can stand a long road trip!  Before knitting happened to me, all I did in a car was sleep, and then arrive at the distant destination with nap breath and bed hair, but so well rested, just as everyone else was collapsing into bed.  I still fall asleep a little bit, but mostly there is knitting, and then I feel like I have something to show for all that sitting in one place all day long.  
I worked this top-down, making it up as I went, which is my very favorite trick.  I've said this before, but seriously, all I do is this:  start with a vague idea of what I want.  (I mean it.  Vague. You can figure out sleeve and body length and shaping on the fly.)  Use a measuring tape and maybe a mirror to figure out how big I want the neck opening to be, and how long the raglan seam needs to be.  Make a gauge swatch.  Do a little math--stitches per inch x distance around parts of me, etc. to figure out how many stitches to cast on at the neck.  Knit the sweater.  Friends, it is that simple.  
A word about the yarn:  I used Holstgarn Supersoft, in Vintage Heather, which is a heathery navy--three 50g balls, and Oatmeal--2 50g balls.  It seems like a fingering weight yarn, but it's used at a much larger gauge--I worked this Bretonish pullover on a US 4.  It also feels and looks very rough as it comes off the cake, and I can tell you that if Isabell Kraemer didn't use it so often in her lovely designs, I doubt I would ever have given this yarn a second look.  It looks and feels like twine, and the knitted fabric initially looks pretty awful, and you can't help thinking the Holst people must not know what the word "soft" means, but hoo!  All votes of confidence are right on, because after a bath and a block--dry in four hours!--it is utterly transformed.  It blooms and relaxes and fluffs up into a beautifully wooly and light and (mostly) soft fabric, and I wore it all day yesterday, next to my skin, and it was nice.  It isn't Woolfolk (sob, is anything?) but it was perfectly lovely.  Also, in that photo up there, see that loop?  That is a stitch I dropped on the FIRST ROW, and which I did not notice until I was picking up to knit the neckband, the very last thing I do before blocking.  It did not drop down even one row, not in the whole time I was flinging this in and out of a bag, dragging it around the house, hauling it across the country and back, pulling it out from underneath the sleeping Catdog, picking up and knitting one sleeve and then the other, trying it on the dummy to check for fit, and sewing up the sleeve seams.  It just sat there, patiently waiting for me to find it.  

16 comments:

  1. I too, drooled over Karen's pullover, and now doing the same with yours. This would be a go to,everyday, favorite in my closet. Nicely done.

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  2. Kristen, the pullover is a great success...looks grand on you! xo

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  3. So beautiful! I'm amazed that you can do that without a pattern. You have my undying respect. :-)
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  4. wow, all from your head! that's amazing & it looks gorgeous on you too!
    i have to have a pattern, whatever it was you said in calculations went straight over my head!
    thanx for sharing

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  5. Easy for you to do. I can't even read a knitting pattern. I can knit socks, but I want to knit a sweater. Love your new striped one.

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  6. Wow, you make it sound so easy; you may have me casting on for a pullover of my own yet. I'm a fairly new knitter and I have knit scarves and dishcloths but no really wearable articles as of yet. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  7. Once again I am total awe of your skill, the fit is amazing. I have been considering buying Amy Herzog books, as being very short in back to waist and sleeve measurements I do struggle with standard patterns. Maybe I should just dive in and have a go!

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  8. I really like this, looks super on you! I have never done a "make up as you go", I can follow a pattern but just too much of an advanced beginner to try that, maybe one day. It truly is a perfect fit!

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  9. Perfect fit - lovely! What enviable skill! You knit so many sweaters. Do you run out of room or days to wear them?

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  10. Such a fantastic sweater, it looks so great on you! I am so happy that little stitch behaved.

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  11. I have not ventured into made to measure knitwear but I would like to - calculator at the ready...Your sweater is gorgeous.Jo x

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  12. I usually knit socks during long train trips. My husband hates these trips, while I adore them! 😊

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