For my birthday this year, Mom and Dad gave me yarn. They are awesome. And know me!
I chose Berroco Blackstone Tweed in 2601 (cream/natural). I have lots to say about the yarn but I am too excited to tell you about Old Penny [Forestry #11] – so, I will do that first. Veronik Avery’s patterns have always caught my attention – I love her attention to detail and fibre choices for her garments. Her St Denis collections are beautiful. I am so looking forward to knitting some of those patterns soon.
Back to Old Penny (or Forestry #11 from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008). I made some major modifications to the construction of the sweater. To get gauge, I used 4.00mm needles.
First, I knit the sweater seamless from the bottom so I cast on the stated number of stitches for the back, right and left fronts. I liked some of the modifications people had made to the back of the sweater, so I added 5 penny cables to the center back. The twist that some people added to the middle of the center back to create 2 pennies on either side looked really good but I liked the sweaters best that had only pennies across the back. I like the effect and the added ribbing effect that the cables give creates great shaping.
I knit the sleeves in the round to the armholes and then worked the yoke in the round. I decreased every RS row 21 times. The yoke measures 7.5” in length along the raglan seam.
I ripped back to the beginning of the yoke to add another 2 inches to the body as I didn’t like the length and knew I wouldn’t wear it if it wasn’t longer. I am so so so glad I did this – although I was annoyed at the time and put it down for a couple of weeks for a break from it, the satisfaction of knowing that it is exactly what I want for length.
I encountered a hic-up when I reached the collar, which proved to be quite annoying. I didn’t like the look of the increases at the “corner” of the R & L fronts before the shaping at the neck (see the photo below, where the twist along the button band ends). After working and re-working the collar, I decided to go back to what I know and love: Short Rows. Japanese short rows to be exact.
Leaving the markers as specified by the pattern on either side, I worked to 12 stitches past the second marker, turned, worked back to the first marker and 12 stitches past, turned. I continued this to create 3 short rows on either side of the markers on each side – 4 stitches apart. I then just followed the pattern for Veronik’s spacing of short rows. I ended up with a total of 11 row markers on each side before working each short row across. I then knit another 6 rows back and forth before casting off loosely. Confused? Yup, me too. I just wrote down what I was doing as I was doing it but I am not sure I would be able to do it again.
Now, the yarn before this post gets too much longer! I thought the price point on this tweed was a bit high, however the yarn was beautiful to work with – absolutely beautiful. The mohair and angora in the yarn creates a beautiful halo that I don’t usually like but in this yarn, it works. It’s quite even which is sometimes not common in tweeds. I washed the swatch in eucalan and the finished sweater, I washed also in eucalan then spun it in the washer to get all the extra water out. The sweater looks as if I never did anything – the yarn’s sheen is gorgeous. I have to say, as well, the yardage isn’t bad either for a 50g ball.
This is hands down my favourite handknit. Oh, other than my Selbu Modern.
Before I sign off, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday. See you in the New Year!
p.s. Christmas came early this year for me since the dressmaking models came on sale at my local sewing shop, so yes, she is new & I love her! It’s great that even though it’s raining like crazy outside, I could still take photos and share with you. Any ideas for names for her?