Coral Sweater Complete!

Of course I didn’t finish the sweater in time for the Algonquin canoe trips it was intended for – but it’s done now!

DESIGN INTENT

The intent of the thick wool/cotton superwash yarn was to provide a breathable but warm, washable sweater, that could be worn for days and days of sweating and abuse in backcountry camping and still be restored in the wash. The henley I have always considered a flattering shape, but I kept the neckline high to keep warm at night and to keep the bugs off 😉

WHAT WORKED… AND WHAT DIDN’T

I had a simple sweater in mind so I could offer it up as my first free pattern for a larger audience, but it turned out slightly trickier than intended. Most of the complication was in the finishing touches. As usual, I was disappointed in the sleeve cap fit, and so had to modify it a few times after finishing. I also re-did the mitred-rib corners on the ribbing about 3 times. Finally I tried 2 different yarns for the cream contrast slip-stitch neck-edging and finally settled on one very in-elastic cotton yarn. It didn’t turn out quite as fitted as I planned, but I’ve decided I like this version better given that the loose fit allows for layering – always necessary when camping. Besides, the suggestion of shaping is as flattering as explicit shaping sometimes. The three most important things I learned from this sweater:

1) I will ALWAYS use mattress stitch for attaching sleeve caps to armholes from now on. The clean seam at the armhole is ALMOST as perfect as picking up the armhole edge and knitting in short-rows+rounds. It still irks me that I can’t fully derive the geometry for this kind of shaping… as long as I follow Wendy Barnard’s instructions in “Custom Knits” it works out perfect. It always bothers me when I can’t understand why something works well:)

2)I will never join in a new ball of cotton ANYwhere but a side seam. I don’t care how precious the wool is.

3)I will always crochet slipstitch neck edges from now on, when using k1p1 rib in inelastic wool. Even if it doesn’t end up being in a contrasting colour. That slipstitch (while intentional from the start of the design) saved that neck edge. It was a curly shapeless mess before that stiff cream cotton slip stitch edge pulled it all together.

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