FO Log: Gingerbread Sweater (2018 FO-01)
Welcome to a new series on this budding blog! When I made the switch to the HLH Designs website, I knew I also wanted a place to share my knitting projects and design WIPs - loosely inspired by the mix of content Karen provides over at Fringe Association which I've loved for years and years (and I know I'm far from alone in that.)
So today, we're talking about my first proper finished object of 2018 (I think? I lose track...): My Gingerbread Sweater.
I've been gushing about it in at least three of my past Knitter's Newsletters, so forgive me if you're tired of hearing about it, but really, the sweater is just. so. good.
The design is by Libby Jonson who you might know as Truly Myrtle from Instagram and her fantastic podcast (that is now back on video!) and was originally designed for Blacker's Tamar DK. Back at EYF 2017, I picked up a sweater's quantity of Stolen Stitches' Nua with this exact pattern in mind and then decided that it was ridiculous that I hadn't even cast it on before EYF 2018 so it jumped to the front of my queue.
When I swatched, I realized that I would have to do a bit of thinking on which size I wanted to knit and possibly modify the pattern a little bit as Nua is more of a sportweight yarn and I couldn't get neither stitch nor row gauge. I wanted the sweater to fit like it does on Libby in her pattern photos: Slightly oversized in the body, but fitted in the arms - a comfy pullover that you can both dress up and down.
Luckily, with my body measurements and swatch measurements, I figured out I could just knit a Size 5 instead of Size 2 and I would have the exact finished object measurements I wanted. That's, by the way, one of my favorite things to do when you have a swatch with a fabric you really like, but which doesn't match the pattern gauge: Look at the other sizes and measurements and figure out if you could just knit one of them!
Knitting the Gingerbread was a dream: The Nua (60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% Linen) is brilliant to knit with, has great stitch definition and is incredibly even even before blocking. The pattern is extremely well written and the icing on the cake are Libby's instructions on how to do a tubular bind-off on one needle - something I've never understood, and she makes it so easy!
There were two things that made the sweater even more fun to make for me: A new construction method and the special ribbing.
Gingerbread is knit top-down with set-in sleeves that are done in short rows. I actually thought until I started knitting it that it was a raglan (ehm...no, I don't know why...) and then was super happy to finally get to try this method! It's amazing and fits so well for my body that this for sure won't have been the last pattern with this type of sleeve construction for me.
The majority of the sweater is plain stockinette, but you have a really beautiful ribbing that tops everything off and takes this from a vanilla sweater to something a bit more special in my opinion. The ribbing itself is very potato chip-y, i.e. you just don't want to stop!
I'm so, so happy with the finished object: It's exactly the sweater I wanted! It fits like a dream, and the colorway (which is August Storms, by the way!) is the perfect addition to my wardrobe. I can see this working super well in at least three seasons and both with blue and black jeans which are staples for me, and am just hoping for a bit of cooler weather so that I can still get a little bit of wear out of it before it gets really hot.