Really, finishing a merino wool sweater at the height of Nashville’s annual Humidity Festival is the ultimate act of optimism.
Will it ever not be thick as gumbo outside? Will sleeves ever be a thing again?
My brand-new, smokin’ pink Debut Pullover answers: YES. YES THEY WILL.
Things I Noticed
This yarn. I can’t quite get over this yarn. It knits like a dream, smooth and vaguely twinelike, with low-contrast color shifts that are apparent only when you’ve knit a while and hold it up for an examination. This is Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio DK, available in the MDK Shop.
The color is Charles Village, the saturated magenta that all of a sudden seems like the best idea ever. I haven’t made a lot of vibrant sweaters, but this is a great color, and I feel great wearing it, so maybe that’s the single most important message I have for you: knit something in a color you’ve never used before. So liberating! Look at me, people! I’m having a swell time over here!
Length. My alterations to Karida Collins’s pattern were minimal. Most significant, I made the body about 4 inches shorter than the pattern calls for. In this yarn, which is superwash, the pullover gained about an inch in body length when I soaked and blocked the finished sweater. I based this length on a sweater I like, so I’m happy with how this worked out.
Waist shaping. I omitted the waist shaping, given that I was shortening the body length and wasn’t interested in mathing out how the shaping should land. It’s a modest amount of shaping, so eliminating it didn’t much affect the look of the sweater.
The underarms. I worked the underarms as written in the pattern: three-needle bindoff. But I’d go with a grafted plan if I make another one of these. This would require me to leave 10 live stitches rather than bind them off. I think this would be a bit more streamlined, and also: I LOVE GRAFTING STITCHES. (Here’s Jen Arnall-Culliford’s grafting video tutorial, solid gold.)
The sleeves. The sleeves are long and slim, and I like the look of this. Modern and undowdy. (Dowdiness can creep up on a person; gotta keep vigilant.) They come close to violating my rule of No Knitting Shall Cling Unto My Person, but hey—this merino Organic Studio DK yarn is remarkably soft.
The yoke. I worked the knit-purl swirly yoke as written in the pattern, but I might next time go down a needle size to snug it up a bit. All the back and forth between knits and purls means that the gauge changes slightly, resulting in a subtle ruched effect. I’m happy with the way my smokin’ pink Debut Pullover looks. Just noting that a smaller needle might be worth trying.
Details. Pattern: Debut Pullover from Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings. I worked the third size. I used four skeins plus part of a fifth skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio DK. I used a size 5 needle. For some unknown and unfortunate reason, I used DPNs for the first sleeve, then lightbulbed the idea of magic loop which made Sleeve 2 way faster and more fun than Sleeve 1. (If you are wondering what the magic loop technique is, Jen Arnall-Culliford’s video tutorial will give you superb instruction.)
Hazards. I got marooned on Sleeve Island. I barely got out of there alive. All I can say is that you need to power up on the sleeves, because it will a) give you a strong sense of accomplishment and b) let you see this yarn in all its glory and therefore inspire you further.
I also think this is a project that benefits from swatching.
And from wearing.
I’m in a catfight with somebody over this thing.
PS The past weekend’s Staycation sale resulted in a scurry of folks climbing on the Organic Studio bandwagon, so if you’re interested in these Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarns (sure you are!), you might want to stake your claim sooner rather than later. Thanks to everybody who jumped on board—you’re going to love this yarn.