Monthly Archives: August 2015

Sweater Project – Choosing the Pattern and Yarn

I haven’t gotten much response about the sweater pattern, but I had pretty much already narrowed it down to two.


and Merle

And while I love Yakushima, Merle is just too perfect for what I want right now.

Jennifer responded and said she also loved Merle. She asked if buttons could be added to keep it closed. Yes, they can! If I were going to add buttons, I would probably go for a loop style buttonhole along the edge in order to keep the cable pattern intact. Other closure options would be a belt or a shawl pin.

I will probably not add any closures. I am wanting an every day cardigan, and I almost never button outerwear sweaters, so this pattern will work just fine for me as-is.

The next step is choosing yarn. I mentioned last week that I had some yarn, but I knew I didn’t have enough and I wasn’t sure about the color. With the Merle pattern, I would be able to do the cable in a coordinating or contrasting color and do the body in the yarn I have. I got the yarn out and looked at it again.

Lambs Pride Superwash Worsted Maroon

I don’t think that’s my color, really. It’s 1100 yards, so it’s lots of yarn, but I will need to find something to do with it other than a sweater for me.

(There’s also this, that coordinates and was sold with the above as a package deal. It’s *REALLY* not me, so if you would like it, make me an offer.)

Lanartus Moonshine Sparkly Maroon

I was digging around in my stash when I found this:

Bramblewood Vest

I made it back in 2010 and I have NEVER WORN IT. It’s such a shame, too, because it’s a beautiful vest. I’m just not a vest person. The yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. It was intended for another project (a long sleeved sweater!) that I didn’t have the skills or patience to make when I bought the yarn, so there’s more of this yarn in my stash. All told, I have 12 3/4 balls, about 1326 yards. That *might* be enough, but remember I have long arms, broad shoulders, and I want the sweater to come down to my hips, so I’ll need extra.

The pattern says I need 1836 yards of the suggested yarn at a gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. Gauge is very important for a fitted item, so I spent some time swatching. I started with the suggested needles – US 9. My gauge was about 3 stitches per inch… that’s not going to work. I ripped that out and started again with a US 8 needle. It still wasn’t the right gauge. I had to go down to a US 6 to get the right gauge.

Now, the difference between a size 6 needle and a size 9 needle is 1.5 mm in diameter. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you hold the needles, the difference is noticeable. It makes a real difference in the knitted fabric, too. The Silkroad yarn is the same weight as the suggested Berroco Elements yarn, so I was a little concerned that I had to go down so far, but I still liked the way the yarn knitted up on a size 6 and when I looked at other people’s Merle projects on Ravelry, I wasn’t the only one who had gauge issues by using a different yarn.

So, back to the amount of yarn I need to make myself a Merle. I definitely don’t think I have enough of the Silkroad. This is where Ravelry saves the day, again. Not only can you catalog your projects, you can also enter your yarn stash. There’s even an option to say you’re willing to sell or trade some of your yarns. I originally bought the yarn in 2007. It’s color 126 and dyelot 99. I looked around online to try to find the yarn, but the dyelot is up to 280-something. The yarn has also more than doubled in price per ball. Oof. So, I decided to see if anyone on Ravelry had the same color available. I was very excited to find someone who had 9 balls of the exact color and dyelot I was looking for!!! It didn’t look like she had been active recently, but I sent a message anyway and made an offer for the yarn. In short, I have 9 more balls, which will give me a total of 2262 yards. I feel confident that I can make a cardigan out of that.

I know what needles to use, and I have all the yarn I need. It’s time to get started on a sweater!




Filed under Knitting