It’s Definitely Knitting Season

As you know, I’ve been talking a lot about Kate Davies recently. I own several of her books and have knitted a couple of her hat patterns.

For Christmas, Mum signed me up for Kate’s new club, Knitting Season. Meaning every week, for the past four and the next eight, I’ve been looking forward to a new pattern every Friday, and a new essay every Sunday.

The essays include creative assignments to encourage us to explore new ideas for themselves. My explorations have included transforming the Knitting Season snowflake motif (from the week 1 pullover pattern) into an Anglican cross:

Transferring that cross into the week 2 hat pattern (though I think I’ll change it more if I knit it)

And turning a very small cross into a small allover pattern, following the assignment to experiment with different color combinations.

It’s been an amazing journey so dae

But the biggest surprise was to find myself casting on to knit the first sweater.

The Knitting Season pullover is pretty unique in many respects. The wide-body design is very hip right now, but the motif (and the stranded intarsia it requires) are unusual. Perhaps the most unique part of the design is the steeply sloping shoulders worked into the body with short rows.

I had a sweater quantity of Quince & co. Owl, a destash from a friend, in a similarly neutral shade, and I thought it might be comparable to the yarn called for. It turned out it was a bit different, but I loved the fabric it made, and I liked the idea of the motif being more oversized.

So I went for it, resizing to fit the new gauge, adjusting when my row gauge was off. I learned something important about weighting swatches, which I’ll write about another time when I have more experience.

I posted a full description of modifications on my ravelry project page, but here’s the basic list:

  • Larger gauge (obvi)
  • Sleeves: 3/4 length, fitted, all in CC (bc I didn’t have enough Owl)
  • Collar: left off collar for plain rolled neck; added short rows to front bring the neck down a little bit
  • Sides: added large buttoned side vents for easier, ahem, nursing access
  • Tunic length, because my row gauge was wrong, but I kept it because it lets my tummy stay covered when I raise my arms over my head

Some of these changes were because of the limits of my yarn; the rest were an effort to make the sweater more wearable since I’m always overheating in pullovers. Week 3’s theme has been “within limits”, and I’m pretty thrilled that working within those limits of my stash and my life has produced a sweater that I love so much.

It finished blocking three days ago, at which point I added the buttons. They are characterful clay handmade things that I picked up on a western Maryland pottery crawl with my mom ages ago; they’ve waited most of a decade to meet their sweater. Once the buttons were on, I put it on… and haven’t taken it off much for three days.

You’d think that the sloping shoulders would make it hard to move around, but it just means that the whole top fits like a hug. There’s no problem with movement at all. This is basically an excuse to wear a blanket all the time with no one noticing.

Yeah, I think I love it. And I love that I was able to knit a sweater in January, though it was not a sweater I planned, so Providence gets the credit for working it out. Thanks Kate for the pattern, thanks Gayle for the yarn, and thanks Jesus for working the details together (and for a crazy warm day in January for picture taking). Happy knitting season everyone.

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