Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Sweater



The phrase summer knitwear seems like an oxymoron, at least when one lives in North Carolina. Here this season's heat is sweltering and brutal, the air thick and moist, so linen cardigans and cotton sweaters, staples of summer attire in other locales, are more commonly worn in March or April.  

I wanted to knit a sweater, though, one made with summer yarn, since I will be traveling to Scotland, and I'm anticipating much cooler days and nights.  Last year I'd purchased ten skeins of Soft Linen by Classic Elite Yarns in a blue-green color, and, after much searching, I found a pattern on Ravelry entitled, Summer Leaves Cardigan that I thought would work well with this yarn.  I love the yoke details, and I am always a big fan of easy-on, easy-off cardigans because another feature of North Carolina weather is that it can vary wildly from day-to-day, or hour-to-hour for that matter.  In the wintertime, school will be cancelled due to icy conditions and snow, but, by the afternoon of the same day, the temperature creeps near seventy and only a few sad patches of white are left slowly melting in shady corners.




Odd to think about snow as I sit here on a hot, albeit overcast, day.  I'm at home, a rare occurrence for an afternoon, as lately my life involves driving to my mother's assisted living, driving to numerous stores--especially the drugstore--to pick up items for my mother, driving to the office, and, thankfully, driving clients to real estate showings. So this post isn't going to be a long one, as I have packing to do for my trip and a letter to write to a pen pal who is going to disown me if she doesn't hear from me soon.  








Since I had a few moments, I was inspired to steal of few of them to share my sweater and a word of caution. When I brought my work-in-progress to the knitting store, a woman working there shuddered when she heard that I was knitting a Drops pattern.  This company's patterns are known for being a bit challenging or, more appropriately, somewhat confusing.  (Drops is a Norwegian company so some lost-in-translation glitches may explain these issues.)  I have knitted a Drops baby sweater and had no difficulty, but Summer Leaves required a bit of improvisation on my part.  However, since the design is knitted from the top down (a method of knitting that enables me to calculate stitches needed to match my measurements without too much difficulty), and the leaf chart is quite easy to read, I was able to work up this project without any tears or frustration.   I'm not sure why I didn't need to knit at least two (maybe three) of the charts, though!  


After much deliberation, I chose heart-shaped buttons.

few weeks ago, after I'd blocked this garment and spent some time deliberating over buttons in the fabric store, I finished this project and was quite satisfied.  But I didn't have too long to dwell on my sense of accomplishment, as I had an entire bag of gorgeous yarn, Luma from the Fiber Company, waiting for me in a shopping bag.  I'd splurged on this to make a hoodie  to wear to the Shetland Isles this summer, but my trip plans changed, and I will now be visiting mainland Scotland and England, but have postponed visiting Shetland until 2019.   I decided that a hoodie was, perhaps, suited more for the coast of Shetland than the various cities I'll be visiting, so I changed gears and found a design that appealed to me--a long cardigan, but one with a hood that buttons off and on, so now I'm knitting frantically, hoping to finish this Salt (ahoi) cardigan in time for my departure.



I just started the first sleeve.  


This sweater has some clever details that add interest to the design.  





I will probably be knitting the hood in the airport or on a plane or two. And I just might wait to buy buttons until I am in Scotland, although there are over twenty of them, so that's lots of stitching time on my vacation. Of course, if I don't finish my long, warm cardigan, I can pack it away and pull it out for the week or two of winter weather here in the sunny South.  














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