My ends of summer tend to dissolve into a happy hectic heap of hosting and visiting, ferry-riding, and last trips to places that will close down when summer is officially over.
It’s a lovely time that gets sweeter with each passing year, but there’s one problem: all this living messes with my knitting. Although I love portable knitting, there is a limit. There’s a danger of losing forward momentum on a project and just letting it go . . .
This is not what you want when you have two sweaters you want to finish by October 14 aka Rhinebeck aka the weekend of the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York. If knitting were a religion, Rhinebeck would be our pilgrimage holiday, and I want to have fantastic festival sweaters this year.
Here’s how I’m doing on these two start-and-stop sweaters. Feel free to praise and encourage; I need the strength to keep pushing past the things that give pause, such as counting increases, picking up stitches, and any other sweater-related tasks that are not just plain knitting.
Old Friend Pullover
I don’t think we had this in mind when this pattern was named, but like a human Old Friend, this sweater and I have History. We love each other even though we had that spat that one time when I made the front many inches shorter than the back. We worked through it, ok? I stalled between the Right Sleeve and the Left Sleeve, because I simply did not have the brain strength to pick up 76 stitches evenly around the opening. I don’t say that that is a good reason, but it’s the honest reason. When I have the choice of picking up stitches evenly, or starting a whole new sweater, I’m weak. I can’t help it.
But look: Here she is! My sweet Old Friend. All she needs is her jaunty patch pocket. Where did I put that thing? (This is the problem of making the pocket first as a swatch. Pro tip: Keep track of that thing.)
The pattern: Old Friend Pullover by Erika Knight, in MDK Field Guide No 20: Atlas. The yarn: Atlas, in Truffle.
This photo shows Old Friend before its ritual soak in the Soak. I tried it on, though, and all my worries about it being too oversized (even for a fan of oversized) melted away. The shoulders! The funnel neck! The side vents! This is going to be a sweater I reach for every day, once it cools down a few degrees.
Main Squeeze Pullover
The Main Squeeze Pullover has a bottom-up construction, so you can’t knit the yoke until you’ve got the body and both sleeves all knitted and ready to join together. Therefore I am speeding through the sleeves—I’ve just started the second one—so I can get to the sweet, ever-decreasing top of the sweater.
Showing the Main Squeeze on top of the Old Friend demonstrates what a difference ease can make. I’ve got 12 inches of ease in the Old Friend, the better for swishing and swanning—and only a couple of inches for the more t-shirt-like fit I’m seeking for Main Squeeze. As recommended in the pattern, I’m knitting the body of the Main Squeeze inside-out, which allows you to knit instead of purl every other row instead, so you’re looking at the wrong side here.
Because life is like that, it was only when I took these pictures that I realized that I must have mixed two dye lots of Atlas shade Lapis on the body of my Main Squeeze. So I have a decision: let it be, or re-knit one skein before joining up for the yoke.
It’s only one skein. But still. What are your thoughts?
A sweater is never done until it’s done. The most nearly-done sweater in the world may never get finished. That’s the reality of knitting and humanity. So, I’m feeling good about these two, but I’m not declaring mission accomplished until they’re blocked and stacked on the shelf, awaiting October.
And yeah, I’m thinking about my next sweater already. I love knitting sweaters, and I haven’t knit nearly enough Atlas yet.