After a year of on again, off again, then totally on knitting, my Stonecutter (ravelry link) is done and photographed! I am absolutely in love with this sweater so get ready because I’m about to wax poetic all over this sucker.
Lets start with the basics…
Pattern: Stonecutter by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Snowbound
Needles: One 16” and one 24” circular needles in size US6, one 24″ circular needle in size US8
Modifications: Lengthened the sleeves by about 1/2″ and switched up the neckline (Ravelry Info)
Now lets really get in there on the pattern. Seriously this pattern was so fun to knit and really kept me interested from the beginning to end. The cable running diagonally up the hips to the side seams is pretty ingenious for shaping and I think it’s really flattering as well. The back and front follow the same chart until the neckline shaping so you could risk the problem of finishing one then not wanting to do the second, but since I really liked all the cabling I was ready to roll on the front! I wish I could have instituted working out of the house sooner, in addition to being a lot more sane, I would have finished this months ago.
I was working on the back of this sweater during the winter Olympics (yeah that long ago) and because I’m one of those people who gets overly excited while watching things like the Olympics or the Blackhawks, I got a little busy yelling for the athletes and made some pretty major mistakes cabling. Due to my perfectionist nature I wasn’t able to leave them incorrectly knitted so I learned how to rip back just one section of the cable (once about 15 rows, yikes) and fix it without ripping back the entire sweater. Annoying at the time but a super useful thing to learn!
Check out those pretty angled side cables! I didn’t make any changes to the body of the sweater, I’m pretty lucky in that I almost always get gauge with the recommended yarn and needles. I had thought about lengthening the sweater a tiny bit but I’m really glad I didn’t as I love this length. It’s perfect for a tank and jeans, and if I wear it with a button down shirt just the right amount pokes out from the hem.
After knitting all those cables on the body, the sleeves were slightly boring and I had to focus really hard to keep my count for the cabling straight. I noticed on Ravelry that a few people went down in the sleeve size, which I considered, but ultimately decided that on a looser sweater like this the sleeve size was pretty nice. There’s plenty of room if you want to layer over a long sleeved shirt, but they’re slim enough that they fit into a coat with no trouble.
I love how the cables come up from the ribbing on the sleeve, such a pretty detail!
One change I did make was to the neckline. I knit the second smallest size because it corresponded with my hip measurement, but that left me with about 6″ of ease at the top of the sweater which is fine, because you all know I love me some ease, but the only thing I wasn’t loving was the neckline. In combo with a small bust measurement I also have pretty narrow shoulders and those combined made the neckline a bit wider than I thought I could easily layer with different garments. To remedy the wide neckline I added a 2×2 rib binding that echoes the hem and cuffs while also closing the neckline a bit. I really like this and I’m definitely glad I did it!
The back, same as the front. Now lets talk about the yarn for a minute. A lot of people asked me about working with Shelter. I’m no yarn expert, but the way it was made means it doesn’t have a lot of give while you’re working with it. Occasionally this, combined with a million cables, made my hands hurt a bit and required some knitting breaks. It was also a bit drying on the hands so I kept some of my fav hand lotion near while working. Other than that I had no trouble with the yarn breaking, probably because I’m not a tight knitter. I was a little worried about the softness of the yarn and if it would be scratchy while wearing it but one or two of you told me that it softens up quite a bit upon blocking and I’m happy to report it really does! I have no trouble wearing it against my skin, and I even have weird sensitive skin. The yarn makes the sweater super warm and remarkably lightweight. I kind of think I’ll be knitting with Shelter again…
Seriously I LOVE this sweater so so much and I’m so happy with the knitting process and the result! Do you guys ever feel like a designer is designing just for you? I kind of feel that way about Michele, I love pretty much everything she puts out. I’m trying to decide between Ondawa and Exeter for my next project, though I’m sure I’ll knit them both so it’s just which one I think I need sooner rather than later!
Last but not least, my outtake of the shoot. Heather, this ubiquitous blogger with fall leaf is especially for you!