Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Heartless Hearthstone sweater

To be fair, I do not blame the amazing Ysolda Teague for my problems. I don't blame the fantastic Sun Valley Fibers, either.

You know who I blame?

Math. (Or maths, for you British-type folks).




Okay, maybe I also blame myself a bit, too.

Alright, so I have been madly in love with the Hearthstone Sweater since Teague published it. And I waited for just the right yarn to come into my life to make it. While I was at the Stockinette Zombies retreat in 2018, I found that yarn. It was a worsted weight yarn by Sun Valley Fibers-- in the "Bashful" colorway. A pretty antique rose with pops of goldish-copper. I bought a sweater's quantity.

The sweater is designed for DK, and I didn't get gauge with the worsted weight, so I did make some calculations to adjust for the difference. And I washed the swatch. So I was good.

Finally, I cast on, and I made some progress on the sweater. I loved it. The colors are beautiful. And I knit the sleeves, then I started knitting the torso (bottom up, thank you) and eventually I started alternating skeins to phase in a new skein gradually. But hand-dyed yarn is hand-dyed yarn, and if you're not alternating as much as you should do (which was precisely what I was doing), then you end up with more dramatic color changes than you intend. (Don't take short cuts! Why risk it?).

I thought the difference wasn't SO visible that I was going to rip back half of my sweater. But when I decided that the waist shaping I had calculated was too dramatic, I finally decided to rip back, and started alternating earlier to make the change less dramatic.

Then I worked my way through short rows at the bust (always a must-do for me). And at last I made it to my favorite part of the sweater: the yoke. Those beautiful cables along the raglan shoulder lines... wow. And I love cables.

But I did have to set things aside for a while to re-calculate the yoke decreases and pick the right size adjustment because of my gauge, so the sweater sat for a while. When I finally picked things up, I started working away at it and got so close to the end, when ... I realized I was going to run out of yarn before I could get to the collar. So I had to rip back a couple of inches, send a sample off to SVF so she could dye a new skein to match... and wait for it to come back to me. So the sweater sat for a while again.

In short order, the yarn arrived and matched beautifully. But I couldn't start on things right away. So it sat a bit longer. And when I finally went to try again to finish the sweater... well, I couldn't figure out where I'd left off! And of course I didn't have any notes, or couldn't find my notes... so I finally ripped back to the sleeves and started the yoke all over again. From there, the sweater worked up beautifully and quickly. The yarn blended perfectly, and the sweater was complete. I even got to wear it once before the weather heated up.

The sweater fits perfectly, and the fabric is rich, soft, and squishy. There's just a bit of ease through most of the sweater to make it casual without being sloppy. Per usual, Jeanette of Sun Valley Fibers provided the perfect yarn. The pattern in the format I used (as part of a collection, not as an individual pattern) was a but frustrating, but I'm sure that's not an issue when you buy it as a single pattern now.

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