Saturday, October 22, 2011

Entwined with the Twinings

In November, Tom and I head west to Indiana for a family wedding outside of Fort Wayne. My Aunt Dixie's son's son ties the knot that day - and I'm doing my own knot tying. As in knitting! (No, we're not getting married - not yet - one of these days - you'll be the first to know!)

I've started and stopped six garments in my quest for perfect wedding wear. I've finally decided on Amy Herzog's Twinings, a Twist Collective sweater I've wanted to make since I first set eyes on it. But I worry about getting the just-right fit; if this pullover doesn't hit below the bustline, it just doesn't fit. When you're a skinny chick like the model below, it doesn't matter so much. But with my ample bustline, neckline placement is critical.

The sample sweater sports a gorgeous raisin-colored yarn, but the dark color makes it's difficult to see the beautiful  cabling in the photographs.

I'm making mine in ivory Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I already had eight skeins in my stash and ordered sufficient yardage to finish the sweater. I adore Cashmerino Aran, a soft blend of 55% merino, 33% microfiber, and 12% cashmere. The smooth, pearly yarn will look lovely with my pearls and really shows off the cables, too.

I made the cuffs on these sleeves three times. First, I made them as specified with seed stitch on the edges that grows wider as the cuff gets wider. I didn't like the look. So I frogged and made them again, this time with stockinette edges instead of the seed stitch. I didn't like this either. So I gutted it all again and made the cuff start and stop with a cable. Towards the top of the cuff, I added in a few increases to give the piece a little more room. Then, after the last cable row in the cuff, I made several increases across the cuff to expand the sleeve. I tried the cuff on as I went and it fits perfectly. I also shortened the cuff about an inch to 5.5 inches.

Because I fiddled around so much with the cuffs, I decided to knit them at the same time on a circular needle. This helped me duplicate the cuff exactly. If I'd knitted them one at a time, I know from experience that I would have struggled to replicate the second cuff. Now I'm working on the sleeves and have zoomed ahead on one of them. But I'll catch up, no worry.

I love the zigzag cuff. It's so easy! It's just a four-stitch cable with two side stitches butted up against a six-stitch cable. Truly simple and beautiful, too.

Next up on my worry list: waist shaping. Amy designed the pattern to put the waist shaping on the sides, but she included some thoughts about moving the shaping to the princess seams on the Twinings KAL page. I'm also engaged in my eternal internal debate about sweater length. I'm very short waisted with a low bustline, so I'm afraid to make this sweater short; if I did, the hem would only be a few inches from where the V would start. So I'm cogitating.

Should I list the pile of unfinished sweaters in my knitting basket? My Deb's Cardigan? The Early Bird? My own secret sweater design? Among others? There. I just did. I feel guilty about all of them, but there's not one among them I could wear to this wedding. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Isn't having that many unfinished sweaters normal? Don't tell me it isn't because then I'm in BIG trouble.
    Right now I have 3, no make that 4, sweaters that need buttons. Two sweaters that are partly done. I just started a brand new sweater today because I like the wool. I have 4 pairs of unfinished socks that I don't even want to think about but curling season started last week and I need more socks. I'm going to go and knit my new sweater now.

  2. Rather than "unfinished", I like "work in progress". So much less judgmental, somehow.

    It seems almost necessary for me to have several things going at once because I knit so many different places. I need simple knitting if I know I'll be around other people and will be talking or won't have room to prop a chart/instructions. More complicated stuff for when I'm home alone. And different projects for different moods. I usually have 4-6 things going at once, but they all eventually get finished (except some destined to be one sock orphans that have lost my interest, but I won't mention those...)

    Abandon the guilt!