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Sweaters in Review

January 9, 2020

This year I wrote a bit about starting a sweater wardrobe for myself (all the details are here). I know some of you are following my journey, so here is a review of my sweaters completed in 2019!

Spoilers: Apparently I only know how to model for photos with my hands in my pockets!

Love Note Sweater
I finished not one but TWO Love Note sweaters this year!

Full disclosure, I started some of these sweaters before 2019… but they all were finished in 2019!

In a fit of finishing I managed to bang out that last sleeve, block and weave in ends, and I even started AND finished a couple, all in the same year. Since my personal knitting is often pushed aside in favour of design work, knits for my kids, and the occasional gift knit, that is a real feat!

Cartography

Cartography sweater pattern

So, I have a feeling I’m going to write this a lot, but I think my favourite sweater I knit this year is my Cartography sweater. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but I REALLY wanted to use Spincycle Dream State and Stone Wool Cormo, so I knit a size L, but at a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch. At the new gauge it ended up around a 51″ finished chest, which is 3-4″ of positive ease for me. Check out our tutorial on knitting a pattern at a different gauge!

Cartography sweater pattern

I really loved working with the Spincycle yarn, I always do! There is something so fun about the subtle slow changes from dark brown to lighter brown and back again. I’m not a terribly fussy knitter (as you may know by now!), so my sleeves are not a perfect match and no, it doesn’t bother me at all. If you ARE a fussy knitter, it is possible to make your sleeves match (approximately) by starting the ball at a specific point.

This sweater is oh so cozy too! The soft Cormo feels great against the skin, and the colourwork makes this sweater doubly thick. I wore it in the evenings on a chilly spring camping trip and it was delightful to be so warm and toasty. I was mocked for wearing a mostly white sweater on a camping trip, but I managed to keep it ketchup, syrup, and marshmallow free!

Two women standing together in matching sweaters.

At Knit City this year my friend Daphne showed up in EXACTLY THE SAME SWEATER! It is the greatest of compliments when a knitter wants to use the same pattern AND yarn, plus when I wasn’t around she told everyone I was the one who copied her…

Love Note (1 and 2)

Love Note sweater pattern

Without a doubt the most popular TCK pattern of 2019 was Love Note. When Emily first explained this design concept I wasn’t really convinced. I was skeptical I would like the mohair or the crop, it seemed like maybe it just wasn’t the sweater for me. But then I knit one. It knit up in a flash (big needles and a crop make for some FAST knitting) and soon I slipped on my soft, fuzzy, floaty sweater. It was a dream! I paired with a casual dress and wore it all over Paris. It is light but warm, the lace is so beautiful, I was hooked.

Love Note sweater pattern

While we were in Paris we visited Aimee of La Bien Aimee, whose yarn I used for my Love Note and who modelled the Love Note sweater for us. While we were at the shop I picked up yarn to make myself a Love Note Christmas sweater. With Emily’s help I chose ‘The Shire’ in both a single ply and a mohair – LBA merino singles and mohair silk. The mohair was a fair bit darker, which makes for a lovely dark halo and the single underneath shines through. I finished this one in December and was so pleased to wear it to holiday parties! If you’re curious about how to choose colours for your Love Note, check out our tutorial on blending mohair with other yarns.

Love Note sweater pattern

As if 2 Love Note sweaters wasn’t enough, I impulsively cast on my third in December. I wanted to try out a slightly wilder mohair with a neutral underneath. This ULTRA fun mohair (the colourway is ‘vintage ornaments’, a perfect name) is from House of a la Mode, as is the very subtly speckled yarn underneath (colourway is ‘into the woods’). I can’t wait to wear this one too!

A hand holding up some knitting in progress in front of a Christmas tree.

Penny

Penny sweater pattern

Penny is the sweater I designed for our mini spring collection. It has ALL the lace, and a v-neck which I’m really enjoying right now. I loved knitting with this La Bien Aimee Merino DK in ‘blush’. While the overall effect is a subtle warm neutral colour, a closer look reveals a rainbow of speckles! This makes not one, but TWO cropped sweaters this year.

Penny sweater pattern
Almanac sweater pattern

Almanac

When we wrapped on Strange Brew I had an undying urge to cast on ALL of the sweaters. I stole Gary’s Marshland (okay, I suppose we really share it) and I finished a Mountain Mist sweater last year, but that still left a lot of sweaters to be knit!

I worked up a whole family of Northward hats this year and really enjoyed working with Brooklyn Tweed Quarry. I didn’t want those leftovers to go to waste so I whipped up this Almanac yoke with the leftovers and a couple of skeins I had in my stash. Then I chose the lovely deep and dark Lazulite for the body, from far away it looks almost black, it’s such a dark blue, but up close it has lighter flecks of teal that steal my heart.

Almanac sweater pattern

This yarn is solidly a chunky weight yarn, so I worked this one up on 6mm needles. At my new gauge of 3.5 sts per inch, I knit the size ML to get the desired 51.5″ chest. At my new gauge the yoke came out a little extra long which I love for this sweater. It is really an oven, meant for me to wear as an outer layer. In Vancouver it rarely gets properly cold, so my bulky Almanac and a puffy vest are all I need most of the time!

What’s next?

I have my third Love Note on the needles so I’ll finish that one up first in 2020. As for wardrobe additions, I want to finish one sock weight sweater for myself this year. Sock weight is something that is sorely missing in my sweater collection, and I think it would get a lot of wear. Em and I are cooking up something new so I’ll be knitting myself a few of our top secret new designs too!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Peggy Ward permalink
    February 25, 2020 1:41 pm

    I’ve had so much fun with your sweater patterns! I can’t thank you enough for the directions and beautiful style. I’ve especially loved the creativity of the strange brew yokes, most of all I have had tremendous fun knitting for my granddaughter

  2. Sue Capstick permalink
    January 14, 2020 12:07 pm

    Hi
    Im new to your blog and loved reading your easy friendly approach talking about what you’ve knitted in a year.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  3. January 11, 2020 9:16 am

    Thank you for sharing your collection of gorgeous sweaters with us! They are all so lovely. The green Love Note is my personal favorite. I made Love Note in an aqua DK this year, and I’ve received countless compliments on it. Next time, I’ll be brave enough to try it with fingering and mohair held together.

  4. Ginette permalink
    January 10, 2020 3:49 pm

    All I can say is WOW, what beautiful work. I knit sweaters and love it but am such a beginner compared to you. great work

    Ginette

    • Chris permalink
      January 18, 2020 5:44 am

      I just finished the cartography hat from the Strange Brew book (one of my best Christmas presents). It was so much fun to knit using Malabrigo Rios. I can’t wait to start my next project from the book….but which one????

  5. VA in SC permalink
    January 9, 2020 7:55 pm

    Be auricular work!I am gobsmacked by the speed you can do all this!

  6. January 9, 2020 3:53 pm

    Maybe it’s because a muted green is one of my favorite colors but Love Note looks like an absolute dream. Congrats! One of these days, I hope to be prolific enough to knit more than one sweater a year, LOL

  7. January 9, 2020 1:18 pm

    I wanted to have a collection of different coloured yarns before starting on a sweater (I’d like to do something like the almanac) but it’s going to take me forever. Are there any brands that sell mini skeins?

    • January 9, 2020 2:29 pm

      I would go with something like Jamiesons or Brooklyn Tweed, or Lopi. They come in 50 gram skeins, which saves you a little bit because you don’t have to buy a whole 100g skein. Lots of dyers do minis, usually in sock weight BUT you can always double up sock weight to go with your worsted/aran, so that might make it all go faster!

  8. Bindy in Australia permalink
    January 9, 2020 12:04 pm

    Great work, Alexa: they’re all lovely. I have my eyes peeled for “Love Note” yarn, and the Penny is very tempting. Happy knitting in 2020! 😊

  9. Sara Wutzke permalink
    January 9, 2020 7:17 am

    Hi!

    They are all so beautiful! Love Note is in my make nine this year 💖 i love all three of yours that Vintage Ornaments is especially fun.

    Sara

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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