I was starting to doubt it would happen, but this year’s Rhinebeck sweater is off the needles in time for the festival!
Pattern: October Frost from A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd (errata here)
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, approximately 7 skeins
Needles: size 6 & 8 Harmony circs
Mods: None although I probably should have made a couple
Wow! This one took a long time to knit. No wonder I’ve been on an instant gratification kick lately. Granted I mostly knit this while on my daily commute and very little at home due to all the other things I’ve needed to accomplish in the last few weeks, but I was pretty solidly dedicated to this sweater alone and it took well over a month to finish. Can you imagine if I’d actually spun the yarn too?
This yarn had been in the stash for a while and just didn’t seem to want to become a sweater. All the patterns I had previously tried either ended up being more complicated then my poor brain could handle or less than captivating. This one gave me a good balance. Starting on the back gave me a good dose of cable-y goodness up front and when my attention started to wander and I was growing weary, the other pieces had just enough cabling to keep my interest without making me nuts. That’s a short trip anyway.
I really do love the yarn though. This sweater is going to be super warm and I have a feeling I’ll be leaving it open more often than not. There’s a crispness to the alpaca content that gives it an interesting feel while still being soft enough to wear next to the skin. That alpaca content also made this block out to just right proportions, especially in the sleeves where they were a little short off the needles but fit perfectly now. I have a few lingering doubts as to whether or not that will spell future stretching beyond recognition, but I’m hopeful it won’t!
The pattern was well written and easy to follow despite a small error in one chart key. The talk on Ravelry about there being a bit too much fabric under the arms turned out to be right after all. I thought that my not quite right row gauge might fix that issue, and quite honestly I forgot about it, but unfortunately it didn’t. There’s a bit more fabric then necessary in the sleeves and I had to do a bit of fudging to make them fit the armholes, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable after a good blocking (Incidentally, I didn’t block until after it was all sewn up and the button bands and collar were finished but before I put the buttons on. Does that make me weird?! I guess it doesn’t matter too much since it worked out ok). If I was going to knit it again, I might make some adjustments there and also might consider doing something to make the button bands lay a little flatter. They tend to want to turn up.
If you ever knit this sweater, save some patients for the final collar knitting. I felt like I knit and knit and knit and knit some more and when I finally had enough length and bound off I found that it just barely folded over to a depth I liked. I thought it was going to be too long! Ha! Not so much. I also thought it was a bit unusual that the collar wasn’t knit to meet the button bands at first, but I do like the result. If you’re someone that doesn’t like necklines to be too close to your neck, this would probably be a good choice for you.
As I told you in the last post, the buttons came from Tender Buttons in NYC. They’re supposedly pewter from Norway. I had originally thought I’d like to have wooden or horn buttons to go with this but nothing seemed to work with the deep color of the sweater. When the switch to metal got mentally made I wanted to be sure to have some sort of design that would reflect or echo the cables in the sweater. The filigree on these, while not cables per se, did the trick for me.
By the time you read this, my sweater will be packed in the car patiently waiting for me, HWJF and Kristy to head off to my parent’s house and begin this year’s Rhinebeck adventure. If you’re going to the festival, please do say hello if you see me! I’m always happy to meet blog readers in person! I expect to be there bright and early on Saturday and will be returning on Sunday a bit later in the morning. We’ll be going to the Ravelry party as well. My shopping list this year is rather limited and specific. I plan to get the “must have” purchases done right away so we can spend the rest of the time enjoying the sights, sounds and people we’ll meet at the festival. The camaraderie that goes along with these events is my favorite thing.
I can’t wait to see what HWJF thinks of all this when it’s all said and done! Wish
the sherpa the saint him luck! And if you can’t make the festival, don’t worry, we’ll breathe some wool fumes and get a funnel cake or two for ya!!