FO Log: Stonethwaite Sweater (2018 FO-04)
Whoa. When I looked at the date of my last blog post, I realized I haven’t written anything here for over two months - that did most definitely not go as planned!
Very eloquent beginning of the post. But, look! A new sweater! (I actually made two, but the second one will have to wait for another post.)
A very long time ago - some time at the beginning of the year - I was approached by the lovely Clare Mountain, Brand Manager at The Fibre Co., who asked if I’d be interested in participating in their first beta knitting program for a new yarn and a new collection. The deal behind the beta knitting program was that I’d get first dibs on and a project quantity of their new yarn base Lore in exchange for beta / test knitting a pattern from their release collection and a bit of a shoutout on the Social Medias about it.
As I love the work The Fibre Co. does - their yarns are gorgeous and their business ethos is just in line with my own values - I was very glad to say yes. I got to send in a few preferences both in terms of yarn color and pattern, and got assigned the beautiful Stonethwaite Sweater by Linda Marveng in the colorway “Calm”. Off we went, the yarn and I, to knit the sweater to end all cable sweaters!
Now, before we talk about the sweater, I want to spend a bit of time gushing, drooling with you over the yarn. Lore, the new yarn base we were testing, is a DK-weight yarn that’s made out of 100% lambswool of the English Romney sheep. It’s woollen spun, and I’m assuming that most of the colors have been dyed on a slightly grey base as they have the wonderful depth to them that you only get when you’re not dyeing over white.
I know I say this every time I discover a new yarn, but oh man, was this GOOD. I loved every single stitch, and I loved how it bloomed after blocking, and I loved the little flecks of deeper blue in the lighter blue that calm had, and whoa, that yarn is just glorious.
Let me try and phrase it a bit more eloquently: The yarn itself is bouncy and sheepy, in just the right way, i.e. it’s not too rustic when knitting with it (think softer than Lopi), but definitely feels like a natural product. (As opposed to superwash, which just feels like plastic. Which happens because it is plastic.)
My stitches came out slightly uneven, but blocking a woollen-spun yarn is a magical thing, so the finished fabric is smooooooth. The fibers tangle in the best way possible, making the sweater warm yet light, and, well, it’s just a really, really good yarn. I very, very highly recommend getting your hands on some for a sweater.
Stonethwaite is a very classic, super-cabled sweater. It’s knit in pieces, seamed and then you finish up the neckline. I actually really liked this way of construction - it’s been a minute since I knit a sweater in pieces - because it allowed me to carry it with me everywhere and despite the cable panel looking like something you’d break your neck over, it’s actually really easy to memorize!
I loved knitting this, I seriously did. It was potato-chip-y, meaning I just wanted to get to the next cable, and the next, and the next and all of a sudden it was 10 cm later and I didn’t know where the time went. I loved seaming it and seeing how I could make it come together, and the minimal amount of finishing is something I really like in a pattern. Nothing worse than thinking you’re done and then you have 10 cm of neckline ribbing and three different bind offs left, right?
The thing is: I don’t love the finished object. I had the slight suspicion when I selected it for my preference list that it might look a bit frumpy on me, but I loved the cable panels and also thought that this might be a sweater other beta knitters might shy away from because of the cables, and so I took the plunge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happy I made it, I’m just not sure how much wear I’ll get out of it.
Here’s why: I just don’t feel great in it. It makes me look broad in the shoulders and in the waist and somehow takes away all the natural shaping of my body (and I do have boobs and a waist and a hip, so that says a lot). I am working very actively on my body positivity, so technically, that doesn’t bother me that much - but I want to wear clothes that I feel amazing in, and I just don’t in this.
I’ll still wear it over the winter and see how I feel in it, and if I haven’t come to love it by spring, I’ll probably unravel it and cast on a plain jumper in the yarn because it is too good to be sitting on the shelf.
I would still recommend the pattern, just make sure that you think you’re going to love the finished object. It is really fun to knit, and I imagine a beautiful addition to a wardrobe where it fits in perfectly!