Monday, March 5, 2018

What I Wore: The HandKnit Version

 Some more views of my completed Birkin sweater (Ravelry link is here for knitters who want to know yarn, size, needles, etc. details).

 I'm immensely pleased with how this sweater turned out, especially considering I didn't knit up a gauge swatch first. For non-knitters: a swatch is a piece of knitting made up in the same yarn and recommended needles, and it's intended to test the knitter's tension or "gauge." If, instead of the recommended 26 stitches per four-inch swatch one gets 24 or 28, the overall size of the sweater can be predicted to be bigger or smaller, and changes -- to number of stitches, to needle size, to thickness of yarn, etc -- need to be made accordingly. It's considered dangerous or foolish to proceed without knitting a swatch first, but luck prevailed for me. I chose to knit the size Small, and as you can see, neither the sweater size nor the yoke placement could have been any better suited to my frame.


 I haven't yet worn the sweater with my black leather skirt, as recommended by A. in London, but I'm definitely going to try that combo soon (probably with my black Vince sneakers).
 I will probably wear it most often with jeans, both skinnies (as shown here with my Madewells) and my wider-legged, cropped, frayed-hem Vinces.

But I did wear it with a skirt the other day, a simple black knit pencil skirt, merino. I happened to have a dark brown pair of tights and slipped them on before sliding my feet into these low-heeled Think! shoes, all but the sweater being wardrobe staples From Way Back.  Scarcely wear heels at all these days, but since we were heading out to our first Ballroom Dance class, I thought they might be the ticket.
 I'll tell you more about the class as it goes along. For now, I'll just say that the first hour was challenging, our poor novice-dancer brains working constantly to figure out the sequence of rhumba steps. Besides us and the teacher, there was only one other dancer, and she obviously had much more experience than we did -- which was good, because she could partner up with Pater while the teacher led me through the routine. By the end of the hour, I could move through the sequence of figures with much room for improvement but considerable satisfaction. I suspect I'll have to relearn it all next class, but it's Process as much as Product, all over again, right?


I like this sweater so much, I've already cast on for a new one and I'm almost halfway through a yoke in a considerably different palette. You'll be able to check that out soon on Instagram, if you're curious.


 I've been sorting a few personal issues this last little while. All is manageable-to-good, but the blog may suffer a bit as other priorities assert themselves.  I suspect I'll post almost as often, but for a while there may be more photos than words, more observation than considered analysis or thinking. . . I know you'll understand. Thank you.

28 comments:

  1. A perfect fit and looks good too. Love the flowered yolk. Not surprised you have cast on another one. Hope all is ok with you. Have a good week. B x

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    1. Thanks, B. And you have a good week as well ;-)

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  2. Gosh that’s an amazing fit and you look great! I just saw your Instagram post and love the new colours...will be fabulous for Spring! You are such a fast knitter too...I am impressed!

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    1. Thanks, L. I'm fairly fast, but also with this sweater I just got addicted and put the hours in!

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  3. It's a beautiful beautiful sweater.

    Good luck with the issues. You are not alone.

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    1. Thank you! They're not terribly big issues, but they do need some attention.

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  4. What a wonderful sweater! You are Master of the Art of Knitting :-)
    And a perfect fit indeed
    The other one I've seen on Instagram is gorgeous
    I think that it's great to be (almost) only dance students,beside the teacher. We have taken dance lessons before the wedding (thirty plus years ago )and what a difference was dancing with the teacher (they were a couple and their son is now dancing champion)-one simply flies!
    There was no internet,of course,but it may help you now to catch the steps. Or,if you are primary the visual/reading/writing type,as me,it may help the scheme of the steps or figures
    All the best Frances
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks!
      Yes, it makes such a difference to dance with the teacher -- if we were stumbling along together, we'd never learn! And it really does help me to see the visual representation of the steps, like you.

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  5. I love the shape of your jumper , the fit on your shoulders & looser hem . Perfect . My mum tried to teach me to knit , it just got tighter & tighter till I couldn’t get the needles in . She gave up . Both colour schemes are great too . Do you take orders ?
    Wendy in York

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    1. I tried to teach my kids as well, with varying success. One occasionally knits, but she went to YouTube for instruction. I marvel at the patience my mom must have had to keep me at it until I was proficient enough. (either patience or strictness, I guess ;-)

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    2. I tried to teach my kid and, let's just say it was not a success. I wonder how many things she might like if I didn't do them already :-)

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  6. Lovely sweater, especially in front of the wall that picks up one of the colors! Hope your week goes smoothly!

    ceci

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  7. You make me wish I could wear wool...both colours are lovely. I like the touch of blue.

    I hope all becomes well, as well as it can possibly be...

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    1. I wasn't going to add the blue, but I really think it will make the whole combo pop. We'll see.
      Thank you, that's all one can ever hope for. . .

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  8. That's a lovely sweater, and it looks good on you. Well done on taking up ballroom dancing. I have two left feet! Hope things are OK. Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda. Things are okay enough and will be better, I hope. We have some left feet here as well, but hoping to teach them how to fake Right ;-)

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  9. Gorgeous sweater! Can't wait to see its twin.

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  10. I LOVE it!! Can't wait to see the next one. BTW, while this is just perfect - you might consider making the next one a smidge snugger at the hem (even if were just ribbing and bind off in a size smaller needle). BTW, the vertical proportions are just gorgeous. Aren't you lucky to have a spirit sweater!!

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    1. Turns out, actually, that I confused my needles by the time I got to that ribbing, and I'm pretty sure I used the 3.25s instead of the 2.75s.... But I have to say that one of the aspects I love about this sweater is that it doesn't grip at the hem. Curious to see what difference the proper needle size will do (good eye, you!)

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  11. Being left-handed, I was a complete failure at all kinds of needlework when I was a child. I taught myself to knit at the age of 18 or so. After two projects which looked as if they had been produced by Morticia Addams, I launched myself into the adventure of making an Aran sewater, and I haven't looked back. I know what you mean when you say you could not put your knitting down. At the moment I am addicted to socks. While knitting one pair, in my mind I am already designing the next.
    Good luck with your issues.

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    1. Wow! An Aran sweater is a very ambitious learning project -- reminds me a bit of how K.Line (see comment above and you could follow a link from there to her blog, if you're curious) launched herself into knitting.
      Isn't it wonderful to be able to channel some of our creative energies into such a practical outlet?!
      And thanks, good luck is always appreciated.

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  12. Lovely sweater. It does fit you perfectly! And to know that it happened without your having checked gauge--the knitting gods/goddesses were smiling on you, for sure. I am heading to Ravelry to look at the pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Roxann. And I know -- luck was very much on my side for this project. Have fun at Ravelry -- there are so many wonderful iterations of this pattern.

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  13. What a stunning sweater- and YOU made it! I especially like the little slits at the side, makes it more modern. Just so special!

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    1. Thanks! I really like that modern touch to the design myself. And the 3/4/bracelet sleeves. . .

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  14. Gorgeous sweater. It is great when knits turns out like that. It is so wearable.

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