Swatched: 22nd July 2008
Started: 24th July 2008
Finished: 05th November 2008
Yarn: "Carpe Diem" from Lang Yarns; 70% merino, 30% alpaca
Needles: 5.5 cm / 80 cm Addi Turbos
Pattern: "Putting Down Roots" from "Inspired Cabled Knits" by Fiona Ellis
Modification: Using bigger needles and yarn, so less pattern repeats. Will be eliminating the turned cuffs and the turtle-neck for ribbed cuffs and v-neck. I also added the ribbing at the bottom of the body, too.
This is a new record for me: Two hand-knit jerseys in a year! And now I've been catapulted into sweater knitting mode....because the third one has already been cast-on. ;-)
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this sweater. It was a bit of a work converting the pattern from a women's pattern with finer yarn, rolled cuffs and turtle neck into a men's V-neck, ribbed cuffs and thicker yarn. Thank goodness my boss at the Lanaiolo helped me with it. (yes, otherwise you would have heard of the armhole catastrophe).
I had a bit of a problem with the centre stitches on the V-neck. You can see in the photos that they're a bit wonky. Granted though, I've never knitted a V-neck before....and I knitted this V-neck onto the jersey while watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 (borrowed the DVDs from Dr. D) at 1.30 a.m. in the middle of the night.
I was really afraid of the cables giving the sweater too much of negative ease and that I would end up looking like a "Presswurst"...or look stuffed into it....but it seems to have turned out very well and the stretch even gives a better definition to the cables.
The yarn is scrumptiously soft....and super warm, due to the mix of 70% merino and 30% alpaca. The only downside to this yarn is that it's not superwash and so I have to watch out with the wearing that it doesn't felt too soon. I'm guessing that the first place to felt would be at the cuffs of the sleeves because the sleeves turned out a bit longer than I expected (it could cover half of my hand if I were to pull it down).
Alpaca keeps in more warmth than merino. However I'm glad that this is a mix, because alpaca supposedly doesn't have "memories" that sheep wool would have when knitted up, which would mean that 100% alpaca sweater would be more prone to wearing out and stretching without springing back to its original shape. But I guess that the negative ease from the overall cables would have helped with that problem, too.
The cable design looks complicate at first glance, but it was really easy to remember. A bit fiddly to knit though, because you can't do the cables without the help of cable needles.
As the name of the sweater suggests, "Putting Down Roots" is inspired by nature, by the vision of intertwining roots of huge old trees. Here is what Fiona Ellis, the designer of the original pattern, wrote as an introduction to the pattern:
"There is a sense of both expectation and anticipation when we plant a seed. This is followed by a period where little appears to be happening, where we have to simply trust in the process. I think you will agree that this is akin to casting on that initial row at the beginning of a knitting project.
We know that the first few rows will go slowly while we learn the pattern and get into a rhythm, like a seed germinating. Just as an ugly bulb or dry, uninspiring seed eventually delights us when it blooms, these rows will come to fruition as the pattern reveals itself. Often the cast-on edge can hardly be detected, but the roots of the pattern are certainly there."
I think that it is a beautiful comparison with knitting this pattern. It started out small with just a ball of yarn and knitting needles...just like a seed in the earth and some water. Then it just grew into something beautiful.
All in all, I'm really happy with this jersey and I will sure wear it a lot to keep me warm this winter! ;-)
Current Mood: Got a bit of a cold, but otherwise can't complain (actually gave the cold to Dr. D, but it mutated into laryngitis for him...the poor guy).
Food for the Ears: Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major