Pattern: I Heart Aran by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: my handspun three-ply heavy worsted weight Romney from fleece purchased at MDSW 2011
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm) Knit Picks Options
Started/Completed: February 23/April 26
Mods: bound off all stitches and seamed rather than grafting at underarms and shoulders, added an additional inch of length to body
I am thrilled with how this turned out. The start-to-finish time span is not quite representative of how long it took to knit, because I was working on other projects at the same time and thus was putting it down and picking it up during that period. The front, with all the cabled details, probably took the longest of all the parts, as you would expect, but even that didn't take more than probably a couple of weeks' worth of knitting sessions all told.
The one minor modification I made to the pattern was to bind off underarm and shoulder stitches and then seam them; the pattern called for putting these stitches on holders and then grafting them at the end. I love to graft, but I felt that because this sweater was so heavy (handspun is generally a lot denser than commercial yarn), the added stability of sewn seams, especially at the shoulders, would help this sweater to keep its shape and wear better over the long run.
|One shiny button purchased at my LYS!|
One of the things I was most worried about was having enough yarn. I selected this pattern first and foremost because I loved it but also because all the cabling was only on the front -- as you can see, the back and sleeves are in stockinette. Of course, I still worried that I wouldn't have enough, especially as I only had about 150 yards more than the yardage specified in the pattern. As it turns out, I shouldn't have worried. I have two skeins completely untouched, one of them with fairly high yardage, and according to my calculations, that means I used approximately 925 yards for my sweater, including a swatch and these leftovers (with iPod for scale):
All in all, I can say with certainty that this year's Sweater Project was a huge success! The sweater fits really well and is not nearly as scratchy as last year's sweater, meaning I will wear it often when the weather is amenable. I still have a fair amount of fiber leftover and am thinking of spinning up matching yarn to make Rainbow a coordinating sweater for next winter. Plus, even though I didn't set a specific time frame for completing the sweater, I happened to finish this a week before Maryland Sheep and Wool -- which means I feel completely okay with bringing home another fleece!