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A sweater-hug

Talk about COZY and warm! I fell in love with the relaxed and comfy look of the Sunday Cardigan (on Ravelry) mohair edition and regular edition immediately and knew I wanted a slouchy, oversized hug-of-a-sweater. So I made one! And then I made another. Here’s the second one, which is what I was craving:

Yes, it feels like a hug!

Now I KNOW many of you are thinking “mohair…ITCHY!” I agree. But this one is made with Rowan’s Kidsilk Mohair, a blend of mohair and silk and it is heavenly soft and doesn’t itch me!

BUT, before I got to this one, I used up some stash. Yes, I used yarn stash! I had this alpaca boucle (according to the receipt in the bag) about a decade. Ahem. I wasn’t sure if I would have enough, so I made a size medium just to be sure. I couldn’t believe how quickly it knit up. My previous sweater was 24+ stitches to 4 inches. This was 12 (!!!!) stitches to four inches. And it knit up in a matter of a few weeks! It is quite fitted, and I’m fine with that. I like the sweater, it is comfortable, and looks good. But I wanted that huggy-oversized look.

As you can see, the blue sweater fits and looks good, but is not that oversized hug. I can tell already, though, that it will get a lot of use. And did I mention, I used up yarn stash?!!!!

So I bought new yarn at Heavenly Yarns in Belfast, Maine. Thankfully, they got in a new order of the Kidsilk before the current shelter-in-place-followed-by-quarantine-then-extended thing. I wanted mine quite long, so I used just over 4 skeins of Cascade 220 in an oatmeal color (reasonably priced) and four skeins (down to the last 30 inches) of Kidsilk (honestly, a bit expensive) in a soft white. If you want to geek out and are a Ravelry member (free to join), you can see project notes here. The blue version is here. I could have done the math and made a different size of the regular version, but I sprang for the whopping $6 for the mohair edition pattern which did the math for me. My version is a bit of a hybrid: I made the mohair version using one strand of Cascade 220 held together with just one (not two as recommended) strand of Kidsilk and got the gauge of 14 stitches to the inch. Given how warm it is, I’m glad I don’t have another strand of mohair in there!

Even after blocking, it didn’t grow longer…hooray! just what I had hoped it would be.

I opted to make the fold-over collar from the standard version and sew it down as in that pattern (even though I didn’t sew down the collar in the blue one!) and add buttons. I followed the directions in the standard pattern for opening up the stitch rather than making a proper buttonhole. Since I had no idea how long I was going to make mine, that was easier. However I think next time I will do a proper buttonhole that looks better. I also made my sweater longer, with sleeves that are neither snug nor full.

Side view: if I am not tugging on the front of the sweater, it is actually FLAT and even at the hem!
Most garment patterns are made for full busted women. I am not among that group. So I always need to make modifications. changing a front and neckline is tricky. It is far easier to do short rows on the back to even out the tilty hem. Above, the bottom of the ruler is on a single row of knitting. The pins mark where I did short rows, turning the work to add almost 2 1/2″ of length in the center back. I went beyond the side seams about 1-2 inches onto the front area. Next time, I would extend the short rows to within 3 inches of the center front. I would also do the short rows just above the hem, but I thought I was gong to make this as long as the four skeins of Cascade lasted, but after doing the short rows decided I really wanted it longer. But the short rows mean that the sweater doesn’t hang down and sag and point to the ground in the front! Problem solved!
On the blue sweater, the medium version really wasn’t large enough for my broad shoulders, so the collar–which was designed to be doubled over–got pulled outwards. So I decided not to fold the collar to the inside and stitch and just left it as is because my neck gets cold in winter. For my oatmeal version, I made a size L and made sure that I had enough rows in the yoke that I didn’t have that problem in my Hug Sweater!

So that’s what I’ve been doing in the evenings while watching Midsomer Murders on Amazon Prime on my iPad. Next up: a pattern hack of Jeri Riggs’s stunning Lily of the Valley vest. I’m attempting to do my own thing and make a linen t-shirt with two columns of the Lily of the Valley motif up the center front, mimicking one of my favorite cloth shirt patterns that has a square neck and short sleeves. The Quince and Co. linen yarn isn’t fun to work with my arthritis, but everyone tells me I will LOVE the yarn once it is all done and washed. About 24 stitches to the inch, so it is slow going, but I’m about 6 inches up from the bottom. Hopefully it will be done by the time it is warm enough to WEAR it! And hopefully we’ll be able to go out!

6 Responses to “A sweater-hug”

  1. Katherine Says:

    beautiful — and that smile on your face says it’s just Perfect!

  2. Whiskers Says:

    So, winter is hanging on in Maine too. Still cold here in this part of WA state, which means we are staying in and sewing, knitting, and eating. I like both of your sweaters and they look very cozy.

    Stashes are always full of surprises, whether yarn or fabric, or cats. I have been purging my fabric stash for mask making supplies. Somebody is going to wonder what this woman was up to, but if it keeps us all healthy, who cares if we have a fish on our nose?

    Mask count: about 40

  3. Jenny K. Lyon Says:

    absolutely gorgeous sweater and a perfect fit!

  4. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Thanks Jenny! I think it would actually be too warm for Sacramento …at least for indoors. It’d be great for autumn walks! Thanks for the info on the Dream Orient…that’s what I’ll use on the Behemoth. Stay tuned for pics!

  5. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Good for you…. I haven’t made any masks (yet) as I’m really trying to get about a half dozen projects done, one at a time. Many are for the Michael Miller Brand Ambassador thing…I am hoping autumn will still be busy, so I’m trying to make a few things in advance so I won’t stress about not having a project ready come the last half of the year! Stay well. Have some soup!

  6. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Thanks Katherine…I’m getting less self-conscious with using the time and smiling into an empty studio at the camera LOL!

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