FO: November Sweater: Cobblestone

I can’t call it officially officially finished, because I think I’m going to need to unravel the sleeves from the cast-on edge an reknit the border (unless Ron decides today he loves overlong sleeves), but it’s done pending unravel & reknit. I don’t use a lot of patterns, so it was fun having the work done for me. This is a very solid pattern, definitely a keeper. There’s one change I’d recommend if you’re an odd size. I’ll try it on the next one I make & report back.

Pattern: Cobblestone
Size: 47 1/2″
Yarn: Webs Donegal Tweed cone closeout, I don’t know how much exactly because I forgot to weigh it before I washed out the spinning oil (maybe that’s insignificant? probably; I’ll weigh it later), but well under a cone. I think I’ll have enough on the cone to make myself a whole sweater.

Pattern Notes: I love this sweater, but I’m not a big fan of bottom-up sweaters because you can’t try them on as you go, which is critical if you don’t have a standard shape. (Ron’s very broad-chested & broad-shouldered for his height; I am shaped like a Tyrannosaurus, little chest and arms, monstrous bottom half).

The pattern’s sleeve measurement matched Ron’s sleeve measurement for his size, but the relaxed fit of the yoke means the sleeves actually hang an inch or so lower. Ron’s going to wear it today and see how he feels about the longish sleeves. If they suck, I’ll unravel them (which is going to be a drag, since it’s the cast-on edge, and the Donegal tweed’s a not-overly sturdy single).

This sweater is gorgeous, but this is why I prefer top-down. I don’t like not knowing if the sweater’s going to fit until it’s done. I knew that going in, and I suspected the sleeve thing might be true before I started. However, I think the yoke would be bunchy if you simply reversed the whole thing, because densely packed decreases are tidier than densely packed increases. So I didn’t want to go that route.

I suspect the perfect compromise would be to knit the yoke only bottom-up, then then knit the sleeves and body down from there. I’m making myself one (matching, ha ha–I still have a cone and a half of the stuff), and I’ll be doing just that. I found that the sleeve increases were very well spaced along the arm and I only had another inch or so to go, so I’ll just do them as decreases at the same spacing. I might gently flare the hemline, but with the soft fit, I’ll probably be fine knitting the torso straight down, as is.

Overall, I’d highly recommend this pattern. It’s well-written, easy to follow, and fast. It’s easy TV knitting, and the gauge is speedy. It knitted so fast, I didn’t have time to get bored. But, truth be told, big swaths of stockinette never bore me because I’m always doing something else when I knit them. I prefer knitting that allows multitasking.

The two sections of short-row shaping are perfect. I’ve only shaped at the neckline before, and I think the added short rows at the armpit are a wonderful addition for a man’s sweater.

If you’ve got standard proportions, bottom-up should do you just fine. Otherwise, I’d knit it as I described above for a more adjustable fit.

I’d advise you to leave nice long tails on the body and first sleeve so you can use them to kitchener the armpits closed without giving yourself anything extra to weave in.

Size notes: I picked the 3rd size based on what appeared a relaxed fit and Ron’s chest measurment (45.5″). But it came out a little big overall, not just long in the sleeves. I gave it a hot soak and spin, then tumble dried it & the yarn plumped up nicely & made the overall fit (aside from the sleeves) just right.

Yarn notes: I have 2 different Webs closeout donegal tweed yarns. One is a light 2-ply, one is a heavier single that seems to be an unwashed version of the Tahki Donegal Tweed. Neither cone is labeled, my order info gives no clue (there’s a “Donegal Tobacco,” a “2/6 Donegal Dark Brown”, and a “2/8 Donegal Gold”–the gold is definitely the lighter 2-ply, but the dk brown 2-ply looks exactly like it), both yarns are long-gone from the Webs site, and the only ravelry listing (2/6 Donegal) seems to show pictures of both types. The one used here is the Tahki-like single.

As you can see in the pre-washing version, the yarn biased strongly in knitting stockinette (but garter was fine), but that relaxed a good deal with the wash. If I were to block it properly instead of tumble-drying, I think I could block all of the bias out. As it is, it’s not very noticeable. This is a very tweedy single, so the stitches are relatively indistinct. As a result, the light slant that the stockinette forces into the garter side panels doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, like it might with a crisper yarn. Which is good, because I don’t see Ron blocking his sweaters. Washing them in cold/gentle is as much as I can hope for. And I’ve got my hands full with my own laundry.

It was great knitting off the cone. The only joins I had were a 2 knots in the cone & they spit-spliced nicely.

The color changed after washing. The wash water was very dark, and the end color was a much greener brown, which is just fine with me.

This is a rather weak single, but it gets very bondy when it’s washed, which I think will give an overall sturdy fabric. But these two factors will also make it sucky to unravel the sleeves from the cast-on edge. I’ll probably just snip off the cast-on and unravel up after that. The yarn was almost too weak to make it through the whole kitchener armpit, so I don’t think it will tolerate a whole row of tight unraveling. But I’ve got plenty of yarn, so if worse comes to worse, I’ll just chuck the frogged bit and knit with new.

Bottom line, great sweater, and I will definitely knit it again (starting tonight!), but I’ll be knitting the yoke bottom up & the rest down from there.

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