I can’t remember when I last had a New Sweater Day (Ravelry says April 2011. Wow! And before that? April 2010!!). Clearly, I haven’t been finishing anything like enough sweaters for myself in recent times.
This, I hope, is the start of the end of that trend. It is also the first large project I’ve taken from fleece to FO. Two fleeces actually: the really short bits from a very soft, very dark alpaca fleece (you can see it before blending here), and the random sheep’s wool that long time readers may remember was left out over an entire winter for a ‘pre-wash soak’. By the time I rescued it, it was green in places, and smelly, and became known as ‘the pond scum wool’. A second wash sorted that easily, though it did require picking afterwards. I prepped this stuff for spinning in the Tour de Fleece 2011, and though I don’t remember how much I spun during the tour, I finished it in October that year. The yarn singles were spun supported longdraw from drumcarded batts, and plied hard-ish relative to the singles twist.
I really like the fabric I’ve made: it is light and warm and tweedy, and shows up the cables acceptably well, though obviously not as well as a completely solid coloured yarn would. With the very, very short alpaca fibres in it, it will be interesting to see how well it wears.
The pattern is Drops 114-8, the long sleeved version, though I had to rework it for the gauge I got with my handspun yarn – both stitch and row gauge were off. I also modified the neckline cable to be only the first two rows of diamonds instead of four, as I really wanted a neckline detail rather than a large chest-medallion.
I also lengthened both the body and the sleeves, as I am tall with long arms.
The sleeve caps on this pattern are wide and shallow (check out the blocking photo below to see what I mean), and I thought I’d made a mistake reworking the pattern, but it seems to be just the way they are. Anyway, they work, so fear not!
I am really very pleased with this sweater, but it’s not perfect. The neckline is a bit higher than I was intending (must have had a math-fail there when re-working the cable), though it still works well, and the sleeves are shorter (optimism and long arms). I feel like it would look better with a bit more positive ease, but then I’ve gained some weight since I cast on for this in September! We will see what I can do about that this year…