Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 sweaters

I love making hats and mittens, but I will always be a sweater knitter at heart. I started knitting because I dreamed about making my own sweaters, and over the years since then, I've always measured my ability as a knitter by what sort of sweaters I was able to knit. Sweaters, for me, are the perfect knitting project - they take long enough that there's a sense of accomplishment afterwards, but there's enough variation in the construction to keep from getting bored. There's just something immensely satisfying, also, about making an actual garment - especially since I'm generally too scattered to remember to wear mittens every day, but I can (at least) be counted on to wear clothes.

In any case, here are the sweaters of 2010: above was the first I managed to finish, a Vine Yoke cardigan in Dream in Color Classy (Deep Sea Flower.) This is such a gorgeous pattern. I was so happy with the resulting fit, and the color of the yarn is amazingly beautiful.

This Wispy cardi was a bit of a beast to knit: tiny yarn + slippery needles = one seriously unhappy Mikka. It was nicely portable, though - I did it a lot of this one on trains in Central Honshu during our cheap ticket local trains only extravaganza - and once it was finished, I wore it all through the summer. Though it may be awhile before I attempt a laceweight sweater again, I do absolutely love the delicacy and the drapiness of the resultant fabric. This was my first project with Madelinetosh yarn, and the luminous Gilded colorway was enough to make me an instant convert.

Francis Revisited - also in Madelinetosh, this time in tosk dk in Duchess - knitted up really, really fast: hooray for size 9 needles! 

I'd been wanting to knit Wendy Bernard's Favorite Cardigan for at least a year; this was tosh dk in Tart and it's probably my favorite of all the sweaters from the last year. The neck is quite wide, because I left off one raglan, increase and cast on more stitches, which I might not do again if I knit this again, but I was still super happy with the results. This is the first pattern I've ever knit by Wendy Bernard, and I am constantly impressed by how gorgeous it is - fortunately, now I have a whole book of sweaters of hers for possible 2011 sweaters...

And then there was a second Vine Yoke cardigan, this time in Lorna's Laces Ysolda Red (I know, groupie-est sweater EVER, right?) I wear this one way more than it's blue predecessor, as it goes better with jeans :-) I am especially pleased by the fact that I was able to squeeze a sweater out of just three balls, as Lorna's Laces is not cheap.

This Owls sweater was another re-knit: the first met its untimely end in the dryer at the beginning of 2010. My stepdad felt really bad, though; he even paid for the replacement yarn (Cascade Eco-Wool, same as the first one). The last Owls sweater was knit in hotel rooms in Hai Ning and Beijing while we taught at an insane summer camp in 2009, and then finished during my first visit to Iain's family's house in Scotland, so knitting this again ended up bringing back a lot of happy memories. 

So those were the sweaters of 2010! Considering the massive undertaking that sweaters once represented for me, I was a bit surprised to realize that on average, each of these only took me about two to three weeks, not counting for distraction. Also, yay for audiobooks: most of these were knit to the sound of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, World War Z, the Little Stranger and We Need to Talk about Kevin, amongst other things). Weirdly, all of these were knit during the hottest months of the year, which made trying them on a bit difficult at the time, but which was much appreciated by the time the cold weather finally rolled around...


  1. Wow, you had amazingly beautiful FOs!! here's to another year full of great knits.

  2. Very inspiring! I want to knit sweaters sooo bad, unfortunately I can never buy more than one ball of yarn at one time. This is why I make hats. haha. But this year one of my goals is to knit at least one gorgeous sweater in fancy yarn, and if I have to buy one ball at a time in order to have enough yarn I will. :)

  3. Gorgeous knits! Happy new year and happy 2011 knitting.

  4. WOW your sweaters are soo beautiful. I particularly like the deep red one, very nice.