A first FO of the year: How to knit a sweater in a couple of weeks

After a sluggish start to the new year and a lot of indecision about what to knit next, I took a step back and thought about what I like to wear. What, if anything, could I complete in the next month or so that might slip right into my wardrobe? Then it occurred to me that the sweater I reach for most often, and which could perhaps do with a break, was the everyday sweater which this blog post tells me I completed pretty much exactly this time last year.

Last year it seems that having returned from Christmas in the UK I promptly caught covid and once I was over the worst wanted a quick, easy project to keep me occupied and stave off boredom without being too challenging. This year having returned simply exhausted I unknowingly reached for the same solution to my knitting quandaries.

The same sweater hit all the same plus points, stripy yoke for interest, DK yarn for speed of progress, and short sleeves for a prompt finish. In terms of continuing to work mindfully from my stash it also allowed me to choose a lovely single skein for the yoke detail and, with short sleeves, a slightly less that sweater quantity for the main yarn.

This time my main yarn was a cornflower blue Wendy DK, a very vintage yarn that I have hung onto because I had a reasonable amount and loved the colour.

However, it was still a little short so I used a navy yarn for the neckline, short rows and sleeve cuffs. This was another vintage yarn leftover from the Blanche sweater that I knit years ago. I didn’t use navy on the bottom hem. I don’t need to draw attention to my midriff and for some reason, no doubt due to something I saw on the internet, I thought that a dark hem may make me look shorter, although I’m not even sure why that flitted across my mind as a consideration.

The contrast in the yoke was worked with a single 50g skein of Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend in the ‘Bluejay’ colourway that invokes memories of a yarn swap at a now closed yarn store in Lancaster. It was here I met the ladies who introduced me to lovely the 60MT group on Facebook whose members knit and crochet for a range of causes and groups in the UK and abroad all with the aim of providing warmth to those in need. I love this Manos yarn and have used in in designs before, the colours are lovely and it has a wonderful hand and great lustre from the silk. There were 2 skeins on offering the swap and a friend had one and I had the other. So many memories tied into a single skein.

I changed up the stripe sequence from last years brown and Noro combo. In retrospect I prefer the greater irregularity of the previous stripe sequence but it’s not a deal breaker or enough to make me go back and re-knit it.

The vintage Wendy yarn had been in my stash for years. Based on the ball band it’s not much younger than I am. With the ball weight shown in both imperial and metic and the balls weighing in a 28.5g, this yarn is from the early 70s, from the period of transition from imperial to metric measurements in the UK. 2 balls were in their original ball band, the rest were in large hand wound balls. I really cannot remember if that’s how they came to me, or whether I had worked with the yarn previously and pulled it back.

However, my next comments may elicit a few gasps, but here goes. As I was knitting up the Wendy yarn there was evidence historic moth intervention. Mostly these parts were in the densely hand wound balls were the yarn would thin because one ply had been munched through. My calculation that this was historic munching from prior to the yarn being wound into the balls was based on the fact that they were so densely wound it would have taken a determined and robust moth to bury in so deep and indeed work it’s way back out, and that if one had done so there would be other evidence, of which there was none. How did I deal with these bits of single ply, I broke the yarn and continued as I would for starting a new ball. Was it worth it? I think so. It made for a lot more ends yes, but I still love that colour and love the fact that pairing it with a gorgeous single skein from my stash means I have a new sweater that will slip into spring wardrobe just perfectly.

What’s more, the simple pattern, DK yarn and lack of sleeves made it such a quick knit that I started and finished it in February with time to spare. I think that this may perhaps become a February tradition. Actually, I had to hold back on knitting another after I finished this one in order to focus on other projects…

Do you have a pattern, or a personal formula fr a project that you find yourself returning to? If so please share in the comments.

Until next time,

Take care and happy knitting,

Tess xxx

P.S. It’s take me a while since completing this project to finalise this blog post because I was travelling and backing the UK etc. The sweater came with me and I have loved wearing it!

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