Wednesday, March 25, 2015

There Ain't No Cure for the Wintertime Blues...

...except to knit! Knit all the things! 

Friends, I've been knitting like a fiend the last few months, making pretties for all the people that I owed Christmas presents to. In between those gifts, I managed to eek out a sweater. 

Behold the Beekman Tavern Sweater, from the Rhinebeck Sweater book. This is my version, in the lovely Cascade 220 shade of Aporto (closest to actual color above). This yarn has the most divine bits of green thrown in here and there, so knitting it up was a dream. 

The best part of knitting this sweater, though, was definitely the company I knit it with:


While we all started out with the Beekman Tavern as our base pattern, all of our versions are wildly different. That is one of my favorite thing about knitting with Michelle and Liz - the variations at the end are always a wonderful discovery!

Liz's version is such a fabulous blue, and her modifications allowed her to have a sweater that fits her perfectly. She has mastered raglan arms, and the evidence of her hard work can easily be seen here. Also, that color totally flatters her rocking pink hair. She's like a gorgeous sea sprite in these photos.

Michelle's version is the perfect fisherman style sweater. Also, it's uber comfortable in the yarn she used. Her version is the truest to the original design, even with some modifications to the center panels. She rocks it with some fabulous shoes (that both Liz and I lusted over).

While these pictures were a ton of fun to take, this was the fastest photo shoot we have ever done. We were worried that the weather wouldn't be cold enough to take photos in wool sweaters, but we shouldn't have worried. 

This is Chicago (or actually Evanston in these photos), and it was cold and windy as we played around on the rocks. Our hands were FREEZING, but our torsos were quite snuggly.

(Many thanks to our photographers Mike and Felix, who were not so snuggly, but were real troopers!!)

I was especially glad that I threw thick leggings under my Beekman mini dress. Originally, I was just targeting tunic length, but Cascade 220 tends to grow a little bit for me, so this ended up more dress like after blocking. Do I mind? Not a bit. I only worry about it growing outwards, which may end up happening the more I wear it.

The decision to make a longer version of the sweater was made when I tried on the size 36 after knitting for five inches, only to find that the ribbing was so stretchy that the sweater went over my bottom without any issues at all. Rather than re-cast on for a smaller size, I threw caution to the wind and decided to make it long enough to cover my bootylicious bottom. 

I threw in some waist shaping, but I could have easily done more, as it's still pretty roomy in the waist. It gently skims my figure, which I like, and I wore it out belted last night, just to further emphasize the shape.

One of my favorite things about knitting is challenging myself with new techniques. This is my first cabled sweater, and only my second project with cables ever. I feel rather accomplished, considering the length and the amount of time I spent on it. I also love that I took a pattern and adapted it to suit me (with waist shaping and adding a few extra rows for the collar). My confidence in my knitting is increasing, and I love that.

While it feels like winter will never end, I think my time of making only blue items is coming to a close. After working on a Granville muslin for myself, two Negronis for the boyfriend, as well as this fabulous sweater, I'm ready for a new color. Pink, anyone? :)

One sweater down, only six more to go before I reach my goal of seven in 2015. Fingers (and knitting needles) crossed!