cardigan · carding wool · handspun · knitting · knitting with handspun

Mammoth of a project. For real.

There is something very satisfying about clearing off the needles and finishing up projects that have languished a long time. One of those projects is this one but not because it was on the needles for eons, mostly it is because it took a long time to spin, ply and finish. This project lasted almost a year. I started spinning it last Fall (October 2015) and finished the spinning in April 2016. You may remember that it was a challenging spin to continue pushing through for many reasons that I have shared so to finish the sweater and be able to actually wear this mammoth of a project? It feels so good. So, so good.

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A close-up of the collar and stitch patterning that takes up the whole back of the cardigan:

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As I cast off the last stitch of one of the sleeves, I literally breathed out a sigh of relief. Knitting with this yarn was a lovely experience. I must be totally honest and admit that I did constantly pull out some of the neps that were hanging on for dear life. After washing, the fabric has a lovely drape, feels soft next to my skin (which one would expect from Falkland) and fits beautifully. While I have many feelings towards this sweater, I don’t have much to say. Obtaining gauge was difficult so rather than make myself crazy, I utilized a top-down recipe as I did recently with another cardigan. I plugged in the stitch pattern for Vermont by Hannah Maciejewska that I had originally planned to knit – purchasing that pattern was worthwhile in the end since I got the stitch pattern! I used the stitch pattern to create an A-line shape that moves outwards towards the front of the cardigan, making room for my hips and creating an oversized shape.

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Last week I mentioned about showing the yarn prior to knitting beside the knitted object to help begin visualizing this transformation. This is the yarn I spun, which was a woollen spun, traditional 3-ply yarn:

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It knit up to be incredibly tweedy:

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I’m actually not completely sure how many yards of yarn I ended up with in the end since my yarn counter broke and I didn’t have a skein winder prior to knitting with this yarn. It was too much to wind off on my niddy-noddy and obtain an accurate measurement. Regardless, I knew I had enough for this sweater and in the end, I have two skeins left (much to my displeasure – I was hoping to use it all but I couldn’t make it any longer!).

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Pattern :: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, incorporating Vermont by Hannah Maciejewska

Handspun :: Westcoast Colour in handcarded Falkland, bought in bulk and spun long-draw, 3-ply, Ravelry page here

Needles :: 4.5mm body & sleeves, 4.00mm all ribbing edges

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Because I knit this sweater with a significant amount of ease, I’m envisioning wearing it with a scarf and skinny jeans. I can’t wait to see how this yarn wears! I’ll keep you posted.

Have you finished a mammoth project recently? Please share your results with us!

Until next time,

-r.

11 thoughts on “Mammoth of a project. For real.

  1. Rachel, this looks absolutely fantastic and because it took you a year to finish, you are making me feel better about my mamooth project.
    About a year ago, I bought a raw fleece from a local to me wool fair. It is a white Ryeland fleece. It did not cost very much, but needed a lot of work. I sorted it, washed it, carded it, and then decided that because it was cheap and not that exciting, I would use it to teach myself to spin English Longdraw (woolen). So I made rolags with my handcarders. My first efforts at spinning were lumpy and bumpy, but I eventually got the hang of it. I made a sample skein (as per your video) and am now in the process of finishing the spinning. As I have only got four bobbins with my ladybug, I am plying as I go, which is not ideal. I am ending up with a very lofty two ply yarn, DK’ish weight, which I will probably use to knit a hap out of. After a break in the summer, I am back making rolags in one last effort to get this finished. Thank you for making me feel better about the time it is taking.

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    1. I think these larger projects are hard to stay focused on and sometimes we need to take breaks from them! Keep at it – you’ll be relishing in your efforts when you are knitting your hap, which sounds amazing! Good luck!

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  2. Beautiful! I appreciate the comments about how long it has taken. I’m learning to be more patient about the process of spinning to knit.

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  3. That is such a serious work of art – both in the spinning and execution of the way you have designed the cardigan incorporating different patterns. Definitely a piece that anyone would be proud of owning, let alone wearing. So impressive!

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  4. It is perfect ! I love both the yarn you’ve done and the finished item ! I’m spinning for a sweater too, but of an easier kind …

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  5. Such a gorgeous sweater! You done good – it was worth the time and effort you put into it. Now wear it proudly! I too just finished a sweater that took 6 months from wool prep to final block, Intersect pattern by Norah Gaughan. Slow Clothes, right?

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