Two gray sweaters, two years apart

Since returning to school, I have (probably unsurprisingly) found that I have a lot less time for knitting. Fortunately, though my output has been low in quantity, I’ve been very happy with (most of, but more on that later) the knitting projects I have found time for these past two years. I realized recently that this blog has gone untouched even longer than my yarn stash has, and so I thought now was as good a time as any to share two finished sweaters. The first I knit my first semester in Pittsburgh, and the second, this past spring. In addition to my awkward sweater modeling, these photos also show signs of rapidly passing time, in the form of hair growth and changes in my living room 😉

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First up: Bellows, designed by Michele Wang. Knit with two strands of Briggs & Little Heritage held together, this jacket-like cardigan has held up remarkably well, and looks the same today as it did the week I finished it. I made the size 43 for lots of positive ease, and this has become a cold weather staple, perfect for layering and burrowing into.

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A few people have mentioned that this cardigan could benefit from some nice hidden side seam pockets, and I agree. But pockets aside, I think this is a really perfect pattern. It’s well-designed, and intuitive to work. The Heritage was a bit rough to work with, but it blocked out into a fabric that’s surprisingly soft given its durability.

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My more recent FO, Jared Flood’s Bray pullover, also came from the Brooklyn Tweed backlog and became a wardrobe staple in the last cold weeks of early spring this year. I knit this in some heathered charcoal gray Cascade 220 that had been languishing in my stash for some time, in a size 41 to leave plenty of positive ease (a theme in most of my knitting now – a kind of funny contrast to the fitted sweaters I was so committed to knitting in the early 00s).

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This design addresses the main issues that I tend to have with pullovers – the wide neck sits comfortably, and the lace panels between the cables keep the worsted weight material from feeling too warm.

Between these two sweaters, I’ve had a lot of false starts and frogged projects. This happens a lot when I’m tired or frazzled – I have a hard time matching yarn to pattern, or picking a project that will hold my interest. When I feel that way but still want to knit, I wish I would remember in the moment to just make a pair of plain socks, but that’s a lesson that I can’t quite get to stick. For instance, at the moment, I’m knitting Pam Allen’s Nori pattern, which I love, with a stash of Classic Elite Portland Tweed (sadly discontinued) with which I have knit and frogged TWO complete sweaters. I think I’ve finally landed on the right match with Nori, and thank goodness, because I’m starting to worry that I can’t move on to a new project until I’ve successfully used up this yarn.

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