Is there anything that really compares to the comfort a wooly, oversized sweater? Right now, I don’t think so. I started this one back in November and then promptly set it aside for holiday knitting. It’s Tinder from Brooklyn Tweed’s Fall ’11 collection (Raveled here) The yarn is Cascade 220 that I had lying around. It had once been destined to become a crocheted jacket, but then I realized I’m just not a fan of crocheted garments.
I’m really pleased with the way this turned out. In some ways, it was a nail biter. My initial gauge swatch yielded correct stitch gauge but was way off on row gauge. The second swatch was spot on for row and about 2 off on stitch gauge. After a lot of frantic researching and some brain bending math, I decided to best course of action would be to go off the second swatch, cast on for the size 39″ and with any luck it would even out to a size 36″. Guess what? It worked. It doesn’t always happen that way. Gauge swatching is so important. Even when they don’t come out right, you can work off of them and adjust accordingly. I didn’t spend several weeks knitting this bad boy up only to have it end up unwearable. Wool is expensive, so is my (and your) time. In hindsight, I should have done a separate swatch for the sleeves, they came a bit bigger and needed a bit of fudging during the blocking process.
Overall, the knitting part of this was quick. The pattern is easy enough that you can do it while watching TV or looking after a rambunctious Bear. I’m sure there are plenty of gals out there who adapted this to be knit in the round, but I like when one craft informs another. In other words, seaming gives me more hand sewing experience and is there for valuable and worthwhile. I steam blocked the pieces individually and then seamed and then wet blocked. I’ve become a firm believer in doing your finishing work as soon as you cast off the last piece. This way I have far fewer UFOs and a nice new sweater to snuggle into during our endless days of rain and mid-40s weather. Oh, Pacific Northwest, don’y you change one bit!
The length turned out a bit longer than I might have liked, though no longer than is indicated on the model in the pattern. If you make this, you may want to measure from your shoulder and determine which length would best suit you. I did a color-blocked color and hem because I was afraid I didn’t have quite enough of the brown, and also because I liked the idea of breaking it up. After checking out the other finished Tinders on Ravelry, I liked the look of classic leather knot buttons and went with those.
Oh and PS. I got a little love on Shutterbean today. Isn’t the Internet great sometimes? I like that we can share and exchange and create new things from a community that is supportive and encouraging.