Sweater thoughts.

I have the itch to cast on a sweater for myself; a nice cardigan or something with cables or maybe something simple knit from gorgeous yarn. But I am Being A Grownup. My first priority must be to Finish All Most Of The Things OTN. If I cast on something else it will just add to the mental weight of UFOs, which is already heavy enough to drag at me.

That being said, there are many thoughts running through my head concerning yarn, sweaters and how I might pair them up. (I have five (5!) nine (9!) sweaters’ worth of yarn, soon to be six (6!) ten (10!).)

Noro Silk Garden striped sweater.

This is one of the yarns in my stash, color 289 (blues and greens) and 269 (beiges).

I plan a striped sweater from this yarn, with the stripes like this…

…or like this, using the knit-one-below stitch, as demonstrated in this scarf.inside_outside_scarf_finis_medium.jpg

The advantage of the first stripe pattern is that 1, it is simpler than knit-one-below; b, I could use any generic pullover pattern; and iii, I definitely have enough yarn for it (2,200 yards).

The advantage of the second stripe pattern is that it yields vertical stripes, which we all know are more flattering than horizontal ones. Major disadvantages are 1, it is more difficult to correct user error in the knitting, and b, it takes more yarn (I think). Since I have more-or-less exactly enough yarn, that could be problematic. (However, I had a brain storm while surfing Ravelry for photos for how I envision this sweater. I could substitute a different yarn for the beige Noro! Besides the advantage of being able to buy plenty of the sub and avoid a game of yarn chicken, the substitute yarn could be a blend with less wool and therefore not as warm as the Silk Garden: a worsted weight sweater made mainly of wool would be way too warm for me. I think I will follow the sub route. Anybody want to buy ten skeins of beige Noro SG?)


Rovings sweater.


I bought this at my first Yarnover in (gulp) 2007. 

This yarn has been in my stash for…

::checks Ravelry::

ten years!


I am pretty sure that moths got to it sometime during that period, so I took precautionary measures.

I bought the yarn during the last minutes of my first foray into the market at Yarnover. It was love at first sight — those colors! so *me*! But I knew that my knitting skills at the time were not up to a fingering weight sweater deserving of such gorgeous yarn and so this purchase was an investment, not a wild impulse. Got that? Investment for the future, not impulse purchase based on sudden desire.

I toyed with various ideas of how to make the best use of the yarn. For a long time I thought intarsia diamonds down the front would be cool. I saw that in a Kaffe Fassett vest somewhere, but I can’t find it on Ravelry. Here are a couple of other KF designs; use your imagination.

Then, in 2011 or or so, after I made Steven West’s Daybreak, I had the idea of designing a sweater using that pattern. At Yarnover I acquired a white-ish skein of the same Rovings yarn to use for the yoke.

The sweater would look vaguely like this:


I have plenty of yarn for this one. The yarn, fingering weight, came in 800-yard skeins, and I bought four. Yep, that should be enough yarn.


Cabled cardigan in Knit Picks City Tweed DK.

yarn_city_tweed_dk_medium 2.jpg

My Knit Picks City Tweed DK. Color is fairly accurate.

I spent a hour the other night when I couldn’t sleep searching Ravelry for sweaters that others had made from this yarn. The image that has been in my head ever since I bought the yarn — almost 3,200 yards (what was I thinking?) — was of a cabled V-neck cardigan.

Here are the contenders.

Clockwise from upper left: the Cable Embrace Cardigan from Knit Picks; the Grandpa Cardigan by Joji Locatelli; the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang; Sophie by Jennifer Wood; and the Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C.

If I knit the Grandpa sweater I would convert the sleeves and back to stockinette with perhaps a single column of cables in order to simplify things, e.g., shorten the time to knit. And at least one of those patterns does not offer my size; I’d have to add about four inches to the bust. (It’s the Tangled Yoke. I think putting more increases in the yoke would not be difficult.)


Rowan Calmer sweater.

Back when Rowan announced that it was discontinuing this yarn, I panicked. Because an all-wool worsted-weight sweater is too warm, and a lighter weight yarn would take me roughly forever to knit — I have never knit a sweater in under two years — Calmer seemed like a logical choice for me. Therefore, I stocked up before it was all gone.

Clockwise from left: 16 skeins (2,800 yds) in a lovely teal;  12 skeins (2,100 yds) in natural; 5 skeins (875 yds) in a lighter blue. I’m pretty sure I have one skein of olive, too, but it never made it onto my Ravelry stash page.

The natural or even the teal would go well as an Aran sweater, but frankly, I’m not sure I have enough years left on this earth to knit one, especially given the other sweaters discussed above and below. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue.

Unknown sweater.

On the way home from the Boston trip I made a slight detour to visit The Fold in Marengo IL. Since the last thing in the world I need is more yarn, this stop should have been strictly sightseeing. But it turned out otherwise.

Besides one skein of cotton/wool blend sock yarn — I need more warm weather socks! — I ordered enough of a cotton yarn in a tweedy olive for another V-neck cardigan. This one I envision being plain, no cables, no pattern stitches, just stockinette.

Tragically, I do not absolutely remember what brand of yarn it was. I think it was Kraemer, and Google led me to the Kraemer page. I think this was the yarn, Tatamy Tweed, but I don’t remember if we ordered worsted or DK.

I had to order the yarn because they did not have enough of one dye lot for me. Every day I check the mail in anticipation of a package.

But Kat™, you say, remember? You are Being An Adult? You were going to finish some things first?

Pshaw, I say. A knitter can dream.


Clockwise from upper left: 7 skeins of Louet KidLin laceweight (1,750 yds); 17 skeins of Gedifra Cotton Merino (1,850 yds); 15 skeins of Madil Edem (1,640 yds); and 2 cones of Colourmart cashmere laceweight (6,000 yds).

Good grief, just typing all that makes me cringe. I acquired the first two from others’ destash, so I don’t have a ton of money invested in them; the red Gedifra was intended for Fairfield sweater, but it languished for so long in a tote bag and I feared that I didn’t have enough of it for that pattern — but mostly because I screwed up the sleeve decreases — that I frogged it. The brown Eden was part of a Summer Chevron sweater that didn’t work out. The Colourmart yarn was an experiment to see what laceweight cashmere was like; don’t ask me why that required 6,000 yards of it. (If you are wondering, this particular laceweight cashmere feels rather like string. I should probably wash the swatch I made and see if it softens up.)


There you have it: my ambitions and my shame. And now, back to Being An Adult and Finishing [Some of] The Things OTN…and maybe a destash.

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6 Responses to Sweater thoughts.

  1. ninlouise says:

    I have had that Joji ‘grandpa cardigan’ burning holes in my thoughts, lately. Finding the right, almost affordable yarn in the perfect, not boring, color has been a trouble and like you, I have too many unfinished symphonies. Good luck to us, both! :)) Anyway, your hoard is WONDERFUL. The cashmere ‘string’ could be doubled and I am supposing that was your thought when you bought two cones. I love that color. There are new Marie Wallis patterns that use a dk weight and I think you might want to consider one of them for that or some other lightweight {your thumbs!} yarn. ‘Petal’ and ‘Bute’ are the ones I like. They are sold in collections, though, and I am really frustrated by that. I hoard patterns as well as wool.

  2. Nicole says:

    I’m right there with you. I have 3 pairs of mitts and 1 pair of socks I should finish before I start the sweater I want to knit for myself. However, I have decided that I can start my sweater once I’m done with 2 of the pairs of mitts. I can knit simultaneously for the other two gift items (hah!).

    But yes… lots of sweaters queued. I have always wanted to knit a featherweight cardigan, and have the yarn for it (from a destash). I also have 2 other sweaters-worth quantities of yarn which I acquired from destashes for little or no money, so I don’t feel bad about them being in the stash. AND I have some roving I’m about 2/3 of the way through spinning so that I can make my own handspun, handknit sweater (that one will be the Boyfriend Sweater). This one is probably the first one I will knit, since I have the most invested in it.

  3. Helen says:

    Perhaps this is why my stash is all fingering weight and single skeins/balls. I do have maybe 3 ‘clumps’ of more than ‘one’ that I planned for some sweater, but only one serious black sweater to finish knitting for my husband….only 1/2 of the sleeves left…get with it girl!
    Oh but socks are more fun and minimal seams (toes). Thanks for being brave enough to share your stash and I have visited The Fold in Marengo more times than I should admit. I even used to have Toni mail me things when I lived overseas. Sigh.

  4. kay says:

    You have made me feel better about my endless sweater planning. I can’t even count how many patterns I have bought on Ravelry to use for the three (3) sweaters-worth stashes. Maybe this week if I finish these socks…

  5. gayle says:

    Oh,dear, my dear… At least you’re using your thumb healing time wisely, doing all this planning.
    But now I want to make every one of those cardigans. And I won’t even mention how many sweater patterns I’ve printed off the Drops site, with the firmest intentions of knitting them. ( Well, maybe I’ll mention the gloriously cabled cardigan that I have the perfect red yarn for that I’m going to start any day now, really truly I am…)
    Though I only have five sweaters-worth of yarn in my stash, but that could change precipitously if I spin up the fleeces I have on hand. I wonder if I could spin while browsing patterns on Rav? I could work the mouse with my toes…

  6. Deb Winslow says:

    You’ll like the Tatamy Tweed. It’s a very nice yarn and named after a town in PA. I got to visit the factory and see them make some yarn. Pretty cool!

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