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Weekender Sweater Pattern Review and FO

February 16, 2018
Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Hello Everyone! I hinted earlier this year that I was making scary progress on my New Years Resolutions. It’s been almost a week now so I can safely say: I got a new job!  I’ve been looking for a change for over a year now so I’m super excited about this. The best part? My commute is down to 5 minutes! Such freedom!

Has anyone else made progress on their new year’s resolutions? I know at McKinney Knittery I’ve been hearing a lot of “year of the sweater” talk. Some knitters are tackling their first ever sweaters this year! If you’re looking for an easy first sweater, allow me to recommend the Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry. I just finished mine in a few short weeks and it was a joy to make.

The Pattern

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Weekender by Andrea Mowry is a casual pullover with a few special features. Weekender is worked in stockinette, worn purl side out, with a slip stitched detail down the center front and center back. To add an extra layer of quality, Weekender features tubular cast ons (and cast offs) throughout the project. I was hesitant about the tubular cast on and off, since it seemed like an awful lot of fuss, but now that I see the finished project, I find that it adds a lot to the sweater.

In terms of difficulty, I found Weekender to be incredibly easy. Even though it’s worn purl side out, you don’t have to purl a whole sweater (thank GOODNESS!). Instead, you work the majority of the sweater inside out. Save for the little slipped stitch every other row, it’s just pure knitting in the round. Plus, the minimal shaping means that you’re less likely to suffer if you don’t get your gauge quite right. I am not exaggerating when I say that out of all my handknit sweaters, my Weekender fits me the best.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

The pattern is amazing without modifications, but I did make a few modifications to the pattern. I changed the sleeves to make them tighter and shorter. When picking up the sleeves, I picked up 54 stitched, and decreased at the beginning and end of each round every 6th round until I had 42 stitches. I then worked the sleeves straight until they were 10 inches long. I switched to K1 P1 rib for 3.5 inches and finished the sleeves with a tubular bind off. 

I’m very happy with how my Weekender sweater turned out. The fit is amazing and it’s really easy and comfortable to wear. Sometimes I find that the neck rides up a little high for my taste, and I wonder if changing the short row shoulder shaping would make a difference in that. Despite that, I’ve still been dreaming of making another Weekender in another color and yarn. Maybe a nice millennial pink? I’ll keep you posted.

The Yarn

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Okay. You are going to laugh. I used Paton’s Classic Wool for this sweater. They have a few marled colors and it was buy 2 get 1 free and I just couldn’t wait. I did it and I don’t regret it. I only used 4 skeins of the light gray marl so this was a really cheap sweater. Sure it’s a little more itchy than I would normally like, but I wear a tank top under mine.

The Paton’s actually performed really well in this project. I had no issues with consistency and the finished project doesn’t look cheap at all. It does shed a little bit. That may improve over time. Because I knew I was dealing with a cheaper yarn, I used this project as an opportunity to try Eucalan for the first time! I figured that I nice soak, something I can neglect in my FOs, might add some softness to the rougher yarn. So I filled the sink with water and a few teaspoons of Eucalan and let it soak for an hour or so. After blocking, my Weekender is nice and smooth and comfortable to wear against the skin (though still very wooly). I will definitely use this product again to wash this sweater and others.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

So there’s my first sweater of 2018. Do you have a sweater on the needles this year? Is one planned for later. I’ve got my eye on a few patterns. I’d love to see what you’re looking at as well. 

Finished Object Knitting

Rafa’s Hat Pattern Review and FO

January 18, 2018
Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Hello again. We’re halfway through the month of January. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? I’m making scary progress on some of mine, but it’s still too soon to talk about. Even though it’s the new year, I’m still working on showing you some of last year’s last minute FOs. Even though I thought that I had escaped the pressures of holiday knitting, I still squeeze in a few knitted gifts. Luckily, I had the good sense to limit myself to hats. Rafa’s Hat was one of these gifts. 

The Pattern

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Rafa’s Hat is a unisex ribbed beanie by Joji Locatelli. It’s meant to be a generic male hat pattern, for guys with “very little requirements”. This makes it a great gift hat. Rather than being a simple watchman’s cap (like the morning walk hat I did for The Hubs last year), Rafa’s Hat breaks up the ribbing with a purl ridge. It can be worn slouchy or folded, making it a fairly versatile pattern.

Rafa’s Hat is an easy pattern to follow. It’s only 2 pages long, and that’s being generous with the spacing. There’s not a lot of fancy technique, but it still results is an attractive hat. Rafa’s Hat is 1×1 ribbing throughout, but breaks the ribbing into several sections. This kept the project from feeling too tedious.

Those of you who know me will know that I hate 1×1 ribbing. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm. Plus it makes my hands sore about ten times faster than stockinette. Still, I endured for Rafa’s Hat because it is a really accessible pattern. The finished product is polished and reads well to the non-knitter (muggles). 

The Yarn

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

The pattern calls for 1 skein of Lush Worsted by The Uncommon Thread. I used one skein of Malabrigo Rios. I love Malabrigo in all of it’s forms and Rios was great for this project. It has great stitch definition to make all that ribbing pop. True to Malabrigo form, it’s extremely soft too! When I gifted the hat to it’s recipient, he could not believe how soft and warm it was. It was one of the coldest days of the season and he said his head was still toasty warm!

The tonal color of the Malabrigo Rios was great for this pattern too. The color wasn’t varied enough to be distracting, just enough to add some suble depth. Oddly enough, it’s very similar to the color of my morning walk hat, which was 2 different yarns held together! Malabrigo Rios was great to work with and looked beautiful. I would use it again in a heartbeat.

What have you finished recently? I’ve got some exciting new knits on the needles, including a Weekender Sweater! I’ve also been dipping my toes into some sewing projects. I’ll be sure to let you know about those if they go well!

 

Finished Object Knitting

Veronika Pattern Review and FO

January 4, 2018
Veronika

Happy New Year! We survived the holidays (mostly). Both The Hubs and I came down with the winter crud that’s been going around over Christmas, but we’re hoping to be back on our feet soon. The good news is that I was able to finish my Veronika cardigan just in time for Christmas! I can’t wait to show it to you.

The Pattern

Veronika Cardi

I found out about Veronika by Shannon Cook through a knitalong at the Mckinney Knittery. Veronika is designed to use YOTH yarn’s daughter weight. It’s a cocoon style cardigan that features a big cozy ribbed collar. 

The construction of Veronika is like a fun little puzzle. You basically knit the whole sweater sideways. After adding some bottom ribbing and blocking, you fold the thing up like origami and sew two little bitty seams. There’s maybe 6 inches of seaming on the whole garment, which I great, because I hate finishing.

Veronika Cardi

The difficulty level on this pattern is incredibly easy. It’s a very accessible pattern for all skill levels, which is why it worked well for a shop knitalong. It’s also pretty adaptable to individual styles. A quick scroll through Ravelry shows that Veronika can go come cozy and homey to stylish and chic with a quick accessory change. I’m very happy with how mine turned out, and can see it being a great transitional item (though I will admit that it does not fit well inside coat sleeves). 

The Yarn

Veronika Cardi

I used Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in Avocado (number 11) for this project, about five balls in total. Previously, I had used this yarn for my baby yoda hat. I found this to be a great affordable option for Veronika, since I didn’t have room in the budget for YOTH Daughter (even though it’s gorgeous!). Plus, I enjoyed the smoother look of the ribbing done in Cascade 220. It’s very squishy and drapey, which is nice.

Some other knitters were concerned that I wouldn’t get gauge with Cascade. While my row gauge was a little short, it haven’t had any issues with the fit because this yarn grew like crazy when I soaked it. Like, it was a little out of control. I had to do a lot of finagling to coax it into the blocking dimensions on the pattern. Also, I need blocking wires. This is definitely a blocking wire project. 

Veronika Cardi

I will be interested to see how Cascade 220 Superwash Merino wears. Just based on how the yarn behaved while I was knitting, I think it might have a tendency to pill a little. I haven’t seen any serious pilling yet. However, it did shed little bits of fluff every once in a while while knitting. Even it it pills a little bit, Cascade 220 Superwash Merino seems to be an affordable, accessible yarn, and I’m sure I’ll use it again.