Monday, January 02, 2006

Sherbert Swirls

My first post of the new year is also my first self-designed complete sweater!

sherbert swirls sherbert swirls

The specs:
pattern: my own
yarn: 3 half-pound balls of worsted-weight wool from Mystical Creation Yarns in a custom colorway (note: this is their "old" yarn in the pictures here)
needles: Susan Bates 32" circular, size 9
gauge: 16 sts x 23 rows / 4"
date finished: December 29, 2005

I bought this yarn on sale a while back, and through a series of setbacks (the yarn going to California when I was in New York, my sister accidentally taking my needle to school with her) a lot of time passed before I was able to start working on it. I didn't have a pattern in mind when I bought it, and I soon found that there aren't many patterns out there for variegated yarn... so I made my own. And it fits!

sherbert swirls - mirror shot sherbert swirls - view from the back

I knew that I wanted a cardigan, but I didn't want to bother with buttons or a zipper, so I settled on a hip-length open cardigan with a belt. I had a lot of time to plan this out - originally I was thinking about doing it all in separate pieces, using standard waist shaping, and giving it a shawl collar. The shawl collar idea went out the window when I realized that I'd have plenty of yarn leftover, so I opted for a hood instead. I winged it and it came out a little too small to actually wear, but it did turn out very hood-shaped.

sherbert swirls

I changed the waist shaping after seeing someone walking around with a sweater almost exactly like the picture I had in my head. Hers had a few inches of ribbing at the waist and I decided to see if I could replicate the effect. The nice thing about doing the shaping this way is that there are no increases and decreases in the body until the armholes. As for knitting it in pieces, well, I'm not that masochistic. I still did the arms separate from the body, but I knit the back and both fronts in one piece. To create a fake seam, I slipped the side stitch every other row, which really pops in the variegated yarn.

sherbert swirls

The belt loops are I-cord, and the belt is double-knit, with a row of 1x1 ribbing thrown in every few inches to keep it lying flat. I don't know if that's a standard technique or not - I sort of discovered it by accident - but it seemed to work.

One more closeup:

sherbert swirls

Would I make this again? I'm not sure. As much as I like the finished garment, knitting a whole sweater with variegated yarn is a PITA - my 3 balls were slightly different colors from each other, so I had to carry them all and alternate every 2 rows throughout. The ribbing going all the way around the front took forever and bored me to tears, as did the belt. But with that said, I think it was a perfect use of the yarn I had and it does show the colors off very well. I could see a Malabrigo version of this sweater being heavenly.


  • congratulations. that sweater looks fabulous on you!

    By Blogger bradyphrenia, at 4:12 PM  

  • oOOOOOOOoooooo, the sweater is stunning on you. I adore varigated yarns and cardigans - your work is very impressive. Hurray! What a new year's goody!

    By Blogger Jerry & Maxy, at 8:47 PM  

  • Congrats on your first design. It looks wonderful.


    By Blogger amylovie, at 10:10 PM  

  • Your sweater is gorgeous and it fits so nicely! Bravo!

    By Blogger Kaitie Tee, at 7:29 PM  

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