I was born in Northern British Columbia, where my parents had been transferred around for years due to their jobs at the time. Growing up, I remember their Cowichan sweaters, which were so warm that you really couldn’t wear them down in the Southern part of British Columbia at any time during the year. If it was warm enough to wear them, then it was Spring or Fall and of course, raining. You needed a rain jacket more than a sweater (although they do repel the water really well because of course they are 100% wool).
I have had a wool-acrylic chunky blend in my stash for what seems like forever. For many reasons, namely the thickness of the yarn, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Do I make a Cowichan-like sweater and risk not wearing it? Do I make a jacket-like cardigan and again, risk not wearing it? Or do I knit it into something to give away? Do I take a deep breath and give the yarn itself away (maybe someone else will use it?) and move on? Do I continue to stare at it on the top shelf of my bookshelf indefinitely? What to do? What to do?
Jane Richmond released Twiggy, which is a super neat sweater. But I wasn’t totally sold that that was what I wanted to do with this yarn. I have mentioned before about my wrists – the chunky weight wool-acrylic would wreak havoc on my poor joints.
A blog that I thoroughly enjoy reading, MOONSTITCHES, has been away from her PC for the past year, coping with the devastating effects of the tsunami in Japan. With her return to the blogosphere, I had a look at her projects over the past while and stumbled by chance on this little gem.
Can you believe I have not actually knit a DROPS pattern to completion before? I have a few printed and in my pattern binder … but I haven’t actually committed and knit to completion.
Thank you to Alex for her inspiration both on her blog and pattern page because otherwise … this yarn would still be on the bookshelf staring down at me, longing to be something!
It was difficult to find buttons I liked but I stumbled on these at Fabricana. They are plastic but they washed nicely and they suit the yarn so score! And I quite heart them.
So … you can see that I modified the pattern to a top-down raglan. I did this for two reasons:
The bulky weight yarn in a bulky seam around my shoulders would not be flattering on me (plus the thought of sewing through all that kinda put me off), and
I wanted something I could try on as I knit since I wanted this to be relatively close-fitting due to the weight of the yarn … the look of an extra 15lbs was not enduring me to this knit!
On 9mm needles, my gauge was 2.5stitches x 3 rows per inch, washed and spun in the washer, then laid out to dry. I calculated for a 38” bust jacket (3” of positive ease for long-sleeved shirts and a scarf beneath).
I cast on 50 stitches (11 front, 6 sleeve, 16 back, 6 sleeve and 11 front). The first and last 10 stitches were garter. I placed the buttonholes as the pattern had called for. I worked the yoke until I had 21 (front), 28 (sleeve), 38 (back), 28 (sleeve), 21 (front) stitches and an 8” yoke depth. I cast on 4 stitches under each arm and knit another 18 rows of double moss stitch, 5 rows of garter and switched to 32 rows of ST st prior to my 8 hem rows.
The sleeves are 13-14” long – slightly longer than 3/4 length. I cast on 4 stitches under each underarm again, knit 34 rows, then 8 hem rows.
Lastly, the hood. What a brilliant way to knit a hood – so simple! I knit it in one evening of watching Castle (love that show!). I knit 3 rows of garter, then 37 rows of double moss and cast off. The sewing up took about 10 minutes.
M says this looks like an elf hood :) I love this knit though – I’m looking forward to wearing this as we wait for the Spring to warm up … I just can’t button it up now since I am a little too pregnant!