I met Francis Chester, owner of Cestari Sheep and Wool, last spring at the TNNA Tradeshow in San Diego. I really liked the yarns he was producing and enjoyed talking to him and hearing his story about how he and his family got into the yarn business. In January I placed an order with Cestari and when this beautiful, rustic yarn arrived I new immediately that I had to knit a sweater with it.
I searched on Ravelry and fell in love with The New Treeline Cardigan by the Purl Bee, I especially loved Elly's beautiful version . I bought my yarn and began swatching. As I was knitting my swatch I noticed how lovely the stripes looked on the "wrong" side and made a decision to knit the sweater in reverse stockinette. With all those stripes going on I chose to skip the few stitches of ribbing that run along the front of the sweater where you pick up for the button band.
I was so excited to start this new project and the timing was perfect. For my 39th birthday my husband and I took a road trip to Whistler, B.C.; an ideal time to cast on my first sleeve. I was able to finish two sleeves that weekend ( I actually knit three sleeves, I had to rip one out because I forgot to switch to larger needles after the ribbed cuff, grrr!).
When I got home from vacation I started on the body of the sweater. The edges were rolling where the button bands would be but I carried on thinking that once the button bands were in place the rolling would stop; (remember how I chose NOT to do the few stitches of ribbing…). Every chance I got I worked on the sweater and was excited to be heading off to Squam soon, 8 hrs of knitting on a plane and then a finished sweater that could be photographed along the shores of Squam lake. When I arrived at Squam I noticed that my stitch count was off and spent my first evening there ripping back to where I joined my sleeves! So disappointing! My classes at Squam were wonderful but I was so distracted with my unfinished sweater, all I wanted to do was finish it. Unfortunately, the sweater was not completed at Squam but I did get to try it on and have my friend and cabin-mate, Karen Templer, snap a few photos. The sweater was a little snug but fit well even though the fronts were still rolling.
Photo by Karen Templer
My flight from Manchester to Seattle was delayed by a few hours so I was able to get a lot of knitting done. By the time my plane touched down in Seattle I was almost ready to bind off. After 11 hours of knitting, my fingers and wrists were tired but I was thrilled!
The next day I completed the sweater, washed it and layed it in the warm sun to dry.
I love it! I love the yarn and love the pattern. I love that it was knit from coast to coast. I love it even though there are a few things I might do differently next time.
So what would I do differently? For starters I would go up in a needle size for a slightly lighter fabric (although, with wear, the fabric is starting to relax) and I would not ignore the few stitches of ribbing. The button band does have a tendency to curl but it is also relaxing over time.
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