Sweaters in 2023

Sweaters in 2023 (Part I) | Looking through my closet to see what I’ve made this year thus far, reflecting on my #pressedflowers and #newspaperpullover to date. #sweaterknitting #useyourhandspun

There is a sad lack of blog posts that people are writing these days and I am as guilty as the next person – we use Instagram and other social media sites to post our projects, spins and makes. It’s nice to get back to basics, though, and post on a site that is mine. That I have control over!

This year has not been a particularly prolific year of making thus far – I have not spent a ton of time making. I have been reading books, spinning yarn and weaving a few projects. Overall, I have felt really satisfied with this level of output.

Steadily, though, there have been a few finished sweaters over the past couple of months. I thought I would share them with you here, as I am really pleased with them all.

Pressed Flowers by Amy Christoffers

First, Pressed Flowers {Ravelry Link to project page} was actually started in early November 2022. It was my primary knit throughout the winter and plagued me enough to go on a couple of time outs, rest moments and more. The pattern, by Amy Christoffers, is wonderful — there was no reason from a pattern perspective that it needed a timeout. It was the maker, for sure.

WestCoast Colour Karma 50/50 Merino-Yak on my Lendrum Saxony

After a few false starts with yarn that I knew I would be playing Yarn Chicken with throughout the entire project, I got started with Disdero Ranch’s Copaca Fingering in a natural taupe-brown paired with my handspun, WestCoast Colour Karma. This is a 50/50 Merino-Yak that I spun for almost a year from September 2020 – August 2021. It was a labour of love, let me tell you. The difference in staple length is significant and I waxed poetic about this in various Patreon vlogs and videos:

  • How I Spin: Yakity-Yak Vlog here
  • How I Spin: Yakity-Yak PDF here

I don’t have a great photo of the yarn unfortunately but it is incredibly soft, both the fibres and the spinning. It would have been a lovely 3-ply becuase the roundness of the 3-ply structure would have added some strength to the relatively flat, slightly oval shape of the 2-ply. I had to hold and draft incredibly lightly to ensure I didn’t separate the Yak fibres from the Merino as I was spinning.

Snapshot of a photo from the above Vlog of my spinning off the distaff due to the light hold I had to use to spin this fibre.

A couple of modifications to the sweater included lengthening the body a couple of inches – I actually wish I had added about 2″ more to the sweater. It would have fit my longer torso just a bit better. Regardless, it’s lovely to wear and moves well around my hips.

The overall colourwork of the back is just lovely!

I have not put buttons on this yet – ask me the 1000 reasons why! I have them. They are in my stash. I just need to sew them on!

Knit using the Mosaic Knitting method, there are other Pressed Flowers patterns that Amy has in her Ravelry shop here.

Overall, Pressed Flowers was a huge win and I’m glad I stuck with it to finish it. In hindsight, leaving it to languish until I was ready to finish it was the right thing to do!

Next, I found yarn at Fibres West in March 2023 while my dear friend Rebecca was here that I just couldn’t pass up. It kept calling to me and after discussing colours (Gathering Yarn Brook Farm Fingering in Dark Brown and Coral), I purchased a couple of skeins of each.

Newspaper (Pullover) by Joji Locatelli

I have had this sweater in my Queue on Ravelry since it was published. Joji knit hers in different greys – one dark and one light. Truly a study in the Contrast of Value, which we studied as a community in April 2023. I chose colour for mine but ensured there was still that contrast between light and dark. The coral was perfect, giving me just that hint of colour that I wanted. Next to the Dark Brown, the overall sweater is warm and inviting.

Brioche in a sweater is not for the faint of heart! This was time-consuming but knits quickly.

I’ve done brioche over the years but in a sweater, I had to keep track of my rows. I definitely felt like I was really knitting every stitch, as I did with Pressed Flowers above, because in-the-round, you need two times round to complete one row of brioche. I learned how to ‘read’ my knitting in brioche stitch though! Making mistakes meant I had to actually figure out where the strands of yarn needed to go and how. This was great learning and it became easier as I worked away at the sweater.

Newspaper Pullover by Joji Locatelli

Overall, I’m extremely happy with this sweater and excited to wear it when the weather starts to turn in the Fall. I’ve finished up two more sweaters this year and I’m excited to share them with you next week in a follow-up post. In the meantime, what have you completed this year?

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