Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gray day sweater

After a mild, snow-free winter, Mother Nature delivered a bit of everything this morning: snow, sleet, and freezing rain. My apartment complex counter attacked with an army of snow shovelers who are delighted to finally be making some extra dough. The streets and sidewalks are cleared and salted, ready for anyone who wants to venture out. But I'm not going anywhere. It's a gray day worthy of some serious knitting.

I'm actually working on a gray day sweater, Linden Down's Sophisticate, a classic top-down, shawl-collared cardi. Linden designed this pattern years ago for the little ones among us. She upsized her original Baby Sophisticate to adult sizes - and plus-size ones, too.

The enlarged Sophisticate comes in up to 62-inch finished bust sizes and sports Aran weight yarn. Linden knitted her model garment in Knit Picks City Tweed in Brocade, a lovely plum color that looks terrific with her complexion.

I'm making mine with yarn I bought from an Etsy vendor, Yarns of Italy. "I'm an Italian (a REAL one from Turin, Italy) importer whose passion is bringing the best "undiscovered" products of Italy to US customers, and my partner is a woman whose greatest passion in life is YARN," she explains. Works for me. I love undiscovered yarn!

So I bought a bevy of Mafil Corteccia, a truly splendid organic merino/alpaca blend. I wasn't sure how I'd like the yarn when it got here - you never know buying something sight unseen. But this glorious string is worth a wholehearted OMG. It is absolutely beautiful and knits up like butter. Right out of the skein, it looks like it's been blocked! I love it.

Sophisticate uses a top-down, seamless construction with lots of stockinette stitch. In other words, it's easy-peasy. I'm flying through it, mindlessly knitting stitch after stitch, feeling grateful that the larger yarn makes for such a quick knit.

Best of all, it fits perfectly. I added a little shaping past the bust to eliminate some of the extraneous waist (waste?) fabric and will add lots of increases for the mighty derriere. My other planned mod is to make a deeper, more luxurious collar like the one I made for the Waltham. That's one kick-ass collar; it will be perfect for this garment. I'll blog more about its complicated construction that results in the perfect face-framing collar.

Of course I spent many hours of my precious life picking out the just-right buttons for this project. I stumbled onto these handmade pewter ones on the button-box-of-all-button-boxes, Etsy. They are gorgeous, exactly the same color as the yarn, and just perfect.

Now I'm off to spend this gray day making the optimal gray day sweater. The weather outside is frightful, but the gas fireplace is so delightful. And since I've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


  1. Love the Sophisticate in the gray.
    It is a lovely sweater.
    I just thought I would knit a few rows and then check into the blog before I go out to...SHOVEL!!! Aaarrrg! I wish I lived in an apartment complex with no repairs and no shoveling! I bet Moose loves walking in the snow!

  2. It just looks gorgeous! I love those buttons!

  3. You are an evil temptress! Fie!
    Every time I think I have my cast-on urges beaten down, you manage to stir them up. Oy!
    Great yarn, by the way. Thanks for enabling! Love their yarns on that site. I think my New Year's resolution to not buy more stash yarn is SHOT TO HELL.