Shearer II FO

Afghan beneath the sweater is Darling Daughter's fifth FO - a chunky-weight basket weave lap blanket - as I was snapping these pics it happened to be blocking while she cast on "Trellis" from Knitty Spring '05.
Pattern: Modified "Shearer" by Kirsten Kapur
Source: Juniper Moon Farm Shepherd and Shearer
Yarn: All of 8 Balls of Naturally Naturelle 10 Ply Aran
Colour: Natural
Source: Romni Toronto, Boxing Day Sale 2015
Needles: 4mm, 5mm
Start: January 2, Finish: February 19, 2016

What. A. Slog!

I was not in the mood for knitting this. Especially not in the mood for knitting it quickly. I didn't get "into" it until the last half of the second sleeve. I'm quite happy with the result though - looking at it in these shots its kind of surprising me how much I like the looks of it since I literally wake up in the morning grateful I won't have to work on it.

...'Glad to see the "back" of this one both hanging up and now en route to London about 5 weeks after casting on. (I was originally hoping to be done in 2. That's all the actual knitting time it took but fiddling with size, shape and stupid errors born of knitting tired/distracted made it seem to drag on and on.)

In this version I wanted the same amount of ease (+4") but for a more narrow frame (36" chest vs 42").  So I omitted the outermost cable either side of front and back.

The overall length is 2 1/2" shorter and the sleeves are less deep at the shoulder by about 2".

I really think set in shoulders suit the sweater better than the drop shoulder of the pattern so again I planned and did attempt top down, short row shoulders. But I just couldn't focus on it and kept getting unsatisfactory results so ultimately I worked the sleeves bottom up and set them in.

Btw this is an excellent tutorial on calculating set in sleeve decreases.  I didn't actually use the approach, rather just copied the shoulder shaping of the sweater but it really is a great "how to".

...'Love the ribbing appearing to flow from the collar, become cabled, then return to ribbing again...

Also love the cables neatly meeting at the shoulder seam and the tidy, classic line of the set in sleeve.

Three needle bind off worked well to ensure front and back cables met nicely.

Finally, for two natural, Aran weight sweaters, knit on the same needles to the same gauge and with the same basic pattern you wouldn't believe how different they are. The Juniper Moon Farm yarn was "Minimally Processed" and by comparison this New Zealand Naturelle feels like super wash wool stripped of its essential wooliness.

"Naturelle" by Naturally in the "Natural" colourway!

On its own that's not the impression the sweater gives but comparing version one with version two the difference is profound.

My Beloved's functions really well as an outdoor-weight piece. When you pick it up if feels like it might well stand up on its own if you let it. This second one is softer, drapier, lighter weight with little to no halo even post blocking. It could work outside in the UK where its headed but wouldn't stand up to Canadian cold the way the less processed one does.

Since I wasn't able to try this on the kid I included generous seams just in case its too snug. To keep them behaving I tacked them all down and pressed them quite flat post assembly. (I couldn't resist adding a little date, message and signature on one of the side seams.

So a pressure-filled project comes to and end but with two questions still remaining...
  1. Will it arrive safely in England or get lost in the mail?
  2. Will it fit so that he likes and wears it?
I'd cross my fingers in the hopes those things work out but they're busy knitting another time-sensitive project - my second Syrian Refugee donation - this one requested by one of my aunts for a family set to arrive this week.



Lorraine said...

Marie- It will be worn and loved to death. That makes everything worth it.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

Wow it is truly beautiful. I love the embroidery!

Needles said...

Its is a thing of beauty. Even if it was a challenging knit. I am so thrilled to read that your daughter is continuing her knitterly ways. 5th project? She really has the bug and I am so thrilled for her and for you!

Steven said...

So, so lovely! And I'm going to be taking a gander at those hints for set-in sleeves. I don't know that I ever want to knit drop-shoulder sweaters again. Sorry it was a pain, but it sure looks worth it from here.