"Shearer" by Kirsten Kapur FO

Pattern: "The Shearer Pullover" by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Shepherd and Shearer Worsted
Needles: 4.5mm, 5mm
Start: October 13 Finish: December 8, 2013
Modifications: Details on Ravelry page (here) and blog posts labelled "Shepherd and Shearer"

 This knit has seen wear every weekend day for almost 4 months as well as its first washing!

This because My Beloved has very much appreciated its warmth during this oh-so-frigid winter...Under a heavy coat when walking the dog, over shirt sleeves hanging out around the house, whatever he was doing, the minimally processed, heavy worsted/light Aran yarn held in the heat/kept out the chill like a dream.

Now as the weather finally moderates a bit he's taken to wearing it on dog walks under a fleece vest and leaving his coat behind at home.

I fretted so much trying to modify it from the pattern as written to be more akin to the kind of men's sweater people bring back from trips to Ireland or Scotland.

The gory details of those mods are laid out step by step in past posts, suffice here to say to make my vision a reality in wool I...
  • Added ribs at cuff and hem so as to make the cables appear to spring from/flow back into ribbing. 
  • Eradicated the drop shoulder and worked the sleeves top down after picking up around the armhole.
  • Rolled and tack down the collar.
Using the amazing Asplund as my inspiration on how to approach sorting out those mods I was uncertain whether I could actually make it happen. Like The Little Engine that Could I just kept saying "I think I can", visiting and revisiting Asplund's blog and Ravelry Projects and sure enough, in the end, I did!

Looking back now I don't know what I was so worried about. The exercise was less about knitting technicalities and more about keeping an open mind to...

  • the possibilities of how I might accomplish what I wanted
  • letting go of the habit of relying on the pattern to instead work with the pattern.
  • being ready and willing to try things, rip back, try again and maybe again to get it right while recording the details so I could repeat it on the other side.
  • Working without interruption from other projects so as to keep a clear eye on my process and all the details straight in my mind.

Once I relaxed and accepted those unusual (to me) practices the process of finishing the sweater in fairly short order left me feeling more satisfied than exhausted and with a satisfactory result too.

Much credit to the yarn itself. No doubt the kind of beautiful stuff for which cables were originally designed. It knits like a dream but also washes beautifully. A pinching along the length of the cables and ribs as it dries adds great visual pop and I bet, also, warmth. During drying I also occasionally encouraged it to kind of fluff up a bit to great advantage. When My Beloved saw it dried and ready for wear this past Saturday morning his first comment was "This looks like a brand new sweater again!". After all a cream sweater worn repeatedly every weekend for months can't help but start to show some sign of grime - especially around the hems but there's no sign of it now. The yarn really is fantastic.

I'm pleased to say my approach to Shearer carried forward into the knits I worked over the weeks that followed. In coming days I'll post about them as well. 'Meantime, thanks so much for all the kind comments that have welcomed me back this past week and thanks for dropping by today.


Brendaknits said...

The sweater is beyond the beyond for sure. It looks great on your Beloved - which in part means your mods worked and you got the fit just right. Thanks for the link to Asplun's blog. Another great knitter to watch and learn from.

Sandra said...

Beautiful! Mine will only wear cardigans - and I just finished one, so we'll see how that works out - if he wears it or it becomes an oversized one for me...

Acorn to Oak said...

Wow! That's an incredible sweater! And, how wonderful that it's being enjoyed so much! Congratulations! :-D

Lorraine said...

Marie- That sweater marks a huge turning point in your knitting- it's a tour de force.

And he looks amazing in it.