If you caught my post a few weeks ago about our yarn shopping day, you noticed that we bought yarn for our Rhinebeck sweaters. Starting in 2020, my friends and I have made sweaters out of the same yarn. We really love this tradition because we all get something we are going to wear a lot that’s in a style we love and loved to knit, but we also definitely look like a matching group! Going to the festival like this really makes you feel like a celebrity, people definitely stopped and complimented us a lot.
Anyway, getting the yarn in February started as a tradition because Webs had a Super Bowl party, so my friends went up and got it in person in 2020 before COVID really hit. Even though Webs stopped having this, we found it worked well to get the yarn early. A few of my friends don’t have AC so don’t like knitting in the summer, and one has two kids, so more time is better.
Usually I’ve waited until around June or July to cast on my sweater, I don’t mind knitting in summer and haven’t had other things to work on. But this year, I definitely won’t have time, so I’m getting a head start. I realized last night that I’ll have at least 10 hours in the theater basically every week from the beginning of March through the end of September. I’m helping backstage with “Spring Awakening”, which opens March 17th, that leads right into auditions and rehearsals for “Head Over Heels”, which I’m stage managing, and then I’m stage managing “Zanna, Don’t!” right after that as well. I love getting to do all that, it will just be a lot! Especially early on in music and dance rehearsals, I do have some knitting time, but I definitely saw my ability to knit a lot, both in terms of number of stiches and complexity decrease last year when I was working on shows.
Ok, so back to the sweater! This year we decided to go with some cone yarn. Webs had Jaggerspun, which Leah had worked with before and really liked. They also have both fingering and sport weight options, so we had more to chose from. We were originally thinking red, but when we got to Webs, they didn’t have enough skeins of the color we were looking at, so we landed on this light teal. Of course y’all know I’m a teal girlie, so this was perfect in my eyes! I hadn’t fully decided what I wanted to make before getting the yarn, but had options for both sport and fingering, so when there was two sport and two fingering, I got the fingering since Leah and Kristen both had plans for sport weight. And I had bought a whole skein of tencel lace weight for contrast, but it turns out my friend had enough leftovers of the exact skein for me to use, so we ended up returning that and she gave me her leftovers.
I went back and forth and back and forth about what I wanted to make. Originally I was pretty set on Lundi (Rav), with the lace for the contrasting inner brioche. But I was swatching and just not really loving it. The lace on its own was too thin, I could have held it double but while making the swatch I just kept thinking – do I really want to make an entire long cardigan with fingering/lace weight brioche on 3.00 (US 2) needles? Even though I have so much time to do it, the answer was pretty overwhelmingly no. I was definitely drawn to just knitting in circles forever, but I was kind of still on the cardigan train, so I did some research into steeked projects but wasn’t finding anything I loved. So then I landed on Flax Light, just something clean and simple and easy. The lure of knitting in a circle forever was just too strong. I did go cardigan-pullover-caradigan for Rhinebeck, so it is pullover’s turn! But then was thinking well I do have a couple weeks before the real craziness starts, could I do something with a little complexity that is simple in the body? I finally chose hinagiku (Rav). It had been in my favorites for a while, I like the floatiness of the A-line and the texture and contrast up top. I did flirt with the idea of using the hinagiku stitch pattern with the raglan shaping of Flax, as I tend to like raglans a little better than yokes, but I didn’t feel like doing the math with different gauges so I just gave up on that idea.
So yeah, after all that thought the sweater itself is going swimmingly! I’m just about to do the fourth of 7 (maybe 8, haven’t quite decided if I’m going to go up to the 2XL size or stay at the XL, they’re the same at this point) contrast stripes. I’ll be able to get most of the yoke done before I get too terribly busy, and then it will just be plain sailing from there. This yarn is pretty wooly, so mine won’t have as much drape as the original, but I think it will still be really nice. I’m holding the variegated tencel double for the contrast, and I think it’s a cool effect. According to my stitch tracker I’m already 10% done, so I should still have plenty of time to finish, even if I’m not able to touch it at all in the summer.
I hope you enjoyed that slightly hectic insight into how I chose what I want to knit! This one was particularly difficult, as I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of sweater options and trying to determine how much effort I could put into it. How do you decide what to knit next?
Kath, I love reading your thought process about what sweater to chose. The pattern you chose is great and it’s already looking terrific!
You picked some really pretty yarn and a super-cool design! Can’t wait to see how it turns out 🙂
Oh gosh choosing patterns to fit yarn is hard. I try to do it the other way round. Also my knitting is usually for children,so I go with what I fancy knitting unless they make requests. Couple more years and I may be back to knitting for me!
Haha how often do the kids request something specific?
The yarn is pretty and I like the top of the pattern. For me I wouldn’t make the front shorter like it is in the pattern, I like a jumper to cover my belly, rather than flash it. I love that you all make the same coloured tops but can choose your own patterns, it’s a lovely tradition.
I might do the same, I certainly have plenty of yarn! I don’t mind a shorter sweater to wear over dresses but with the a-line this one is probably better over pants
I LOVE your pattern choice!!! hinagiku is definitely going into my queue. I adore your concept of knitting sweaters in the same yarn but different sweaters. Matchy but not too matchy. Lordy – I do steal a lot of ideas from you. THANKS!!
I love seeing your thought process! I usually pick the pattern first and the yarn second, but recently I had to do it the other way around. My limiting factor there, though was that I only had so much yarn, and couldn’t get more, and so I needed to pick a pattern to fit that constraint.
Flax light looks like an amazing pattern. I’m going to have to get that one—and some yarn to make a baby version for my coworker who’s expecting!
That’s going to be so pretty. And hooray for stockinette sweaters!