Here's my Friday Anew. There are two reasons why I absolutely love love love this sweater. First is the yarn. Blend No. 1 (batch 1) is Ysolda Teague's first venture into yarn manufacturing. I hopped on it right away because I know that special edition yarns like this sell out quickly, often in the first hour. This did sell out quickly, but she has made subsequent batches of the same blend, and of this posting, it's available.
I've met Ysolda a few times at knit conventions and she is an absolutely adorable little sprite with a contagious enthusiasm and love for knitting and all things fiber. When I read that she had collaborated with John Arbor to come up with a yarn, I imagined it would be nothing short of fantastic. It is. It's an undyed blend of Merino (50%), Polwarth (40%), Zwartbles (10%). This yarn is so soft, who needs cashmere. The wool is grown in the UK and milled by John Arbor Textiles in Exmoor. In the hand it feels full and round and behaves like a champ with each stitch cozying up to the next with a little hint of bloom to fill in any holes or spaces. The fabric is dense and feels quite warm. I already said it's soft, but I'm not particularly sensitive to wool, thank heavens, and only the most unlucky would find Ysolda's yarn uncomfortable. I used a size 5 needle and got 22 sts. to the inch. It's a good value too, with 344 yards in a 100 gr. skein.
The pattern is perfection. I love knitting contiguous sleeves, and although this is only my second time doing that, I'm a total convert. Ankestrick's patterns are often, like this one, pretty simple, relying on fit and small details that let your very gorgeous yarn take center stage. Besides the contiguous sleeve technique (and so of course being knit top-down and in-the-round) it has a faux slip-stitch seam that runs down the front, sides and arms; just a teensy bit of detail that I love. Her patterns are all well written and easy to follow. The sweater is meant to be worn oversized with several inches of positive ease, and even though I knit the smallest size and made back darts and waist shaping, I feel that I could have adjusted the pattern to make smaller, but then again, I do like the look and feel of positive ease, so I'm quite happy.
I'm my husband's nightmare when I ask him to photograph me in my sweaters. I insist on dozens of photographs and I'm unhappy with every one. He really dreads those photo sessions, and so do I. He went off to play golf today so I thought on this very sunny but chilly day I would let my computer be my photographer. The pictures never come out all that well, and I still do complain plenty, but at least the computer doesn't threaten to quit!
My Ravelry project page
Friday Anew by Ankestrick