Second sweater done

I finally finished my second Elizabeth Zimmerman yoke sweater. This one is a fair bit different from the first one — I reused DK weight half wool, half alpaca yarn from a sweater I found unwearable, and I reduced the number of stitches from what my measurements indicated (from 188 to 180) for a tighter sweater. I’m glad I did. I bought some coordinating red and blue yarn (half wool, half acrylic with a touch of nylon) to make stripes after the really nice woman at the yarn store showed me a picture of a Kate Davies Keith Moon design.

sweater

I like it! I especially love the broad red stripe around my shoulders. I think this is as far as I’ll go for designs in a yoke sweater. I’m pretty sure I’m too lazy to try the standard kind of Scando-designs and I tend to prefer simplicity. This doesn’t mean I haven’t loved some of the designs my fellow bloggers have produced with this patternless design.

I find there’s a bit of wave in the fabric caused by the “brutal” first row of decreases. It would be nice if that waviness was gone. Does anybody know anything about that? Have people who made stranded designs had the same thing?

When I tried this sweater on after it was done, I considered removing the top couple of inches to eliminate the final row of decreases (in this case I knit two together at every 4th and 5th stitch). That would give me more of a boat neck look. I don’t think I will because I’m fine with it the way it is, but I think if and when I make another of these, I will consider that alteration in advance.

I wore this sweater out and about after taking this picture late this afternoon, and it was warm as toast. I think that’s a thing with alpaca. Another thing with alpaca is that it’s heavy. The wonderful woman at the yarn store, Sarah, told me it can’t hold its weight so it tends to stretch longer and longer. It was something I had noticed and hated about the previous sweater I had knit with this yarn. Wool from sheep looks springy, but hair from alpacas hangs heavy, like, well, hair. I don’t think I will knit with it again, but I do think it was a good idea to make a close-fitting sweater with this yarn.

If you look closely you can maybe just see why I originally chose this colour. It’s exactly the colour of my eyes. Bat, bat.

So now …. what to do about this?

I have an unfinished V-neck, raglan sleeved sweater knitted with this yarn that my mother sent me after she was given it by a neighbour in her retirement residence who could no longer knit. My mother can’t knit anymore either due to shoulder issues so she sent it along to me. It came on a cone. I don’t know what it is, or what its preferred gauge is. I knit the sweater on large needles for a loose look, but when I could finally try it on, I got lost in it (it turns out the number of rows per inch is as important as the number of stitches per inch — who knew?) I suspect the correct gauge is the second from the top, which is knit with 4 mm needles. The picture on the left shows that the yarn is braided rather than twisted. If anybody knows anything about that, please share!

I love the colour and would like to knit a v-neck raglan tunic length sweater, possibly with a bit of flare. There’s enough yarn I’m sure.

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11 thoughts on “Second sweater done”

  1. Nice sweater! I’m very impressed with anyoe who can hand knit a sweater in less than a year, and not have an obvious mistake anywhere in it, which speaks volumes about my own abilities. I like your colour combination, subtle but dinstinctive. I’ve never seen braided yarn. The nearest I get to it is a cardi my mum made having first crocheted random pieces of yarn into thicker thread, balling it up and knitting with it. It made a heavier, stiffer fabric than ordinary knitting, more like something you’d wear outside on a chilly but dry day.

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    1. Wow, that (what your mother did) sounds like an incredible amount of work. I’ve been to the yarn store with my gauge sample and was told this braided yarn is called “chain” yarn. It’s not uncommon. So now I just need to find a pattern for a seamless sweater because I’m pretty hooked on that. I’m now an “experienced” knitter (or not), with 4 socks, 2 hats and 2 sweaters under my belt. 🙂 I like my knitting to be as mindless as possible so I don’t think I’m ever going to graduate to “advanced”. I’m glad you like the colours of this sweater. It’s pretty subdued, I think, which may make it nice and appropriate for cold and rainy winter.

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  2. I tend to select a slightly looser than normal gauge for coned yarn, as most of mine seems to have gotten compressed by being wound on a cone for some longish time — I got most of mine from mill outlet stores, so I figure it’s a least a couple of years more than however long I’ve owned it. After wet-blocking, it seems to bloom a bit more than skeined or balled yarns. I don’t have experience with the braided-looking yarn you have though — but I suspect it might be what is called “chainette” yarn — which is maid by a process that’s more similar to i-cord than plaiting.

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    1. Thanks Emmy. I think this came from a mill outlet too originally. I went to a yarn store today with my gauge sample, and the woman told me it’s “chain” stitch yarn, and it’s relatively common. I saw two kinds of yarn in the store made of chain stitch. One was a lovely superfine cashmere.

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