Thought it was about time I’d share the finished Love Note sweater. You’ll have seen me posting progress shots of the sweater earlier in the summer. The pattern is by Tin Can Knits and came out earlier this year, in May. When the pattern was published and making the rounds on social media I found myself in a massive knitting rut (and all around crafting rut tbh). I wasn’t knitting much and when I was, I wasn’t enjoying it. In the midst of all of that I found myself curiously attracted to this pattern.
On the face of it, if you’d line up ten random knitting patterns this one would probably be my seventh pick to knit. The speckles and mohair, slight balloon sleeves, the lace. I have a pretty good idea what I like to knit and wear these days and it usually doesn’t feature any of these things, let alone all of them combined. While I feel that I can be a bit (or very?) predictable in my pattern choices because of that, I mostly don’t mind because I like what I like and that’s fine. That said, I don’t think it hurts to try something different once in a while, and while I don’t think this was the source of my knitting drought, I didn’t have much to lose from trying something out of left field. And you know what, it might have helped a little bit? In general I think there is something to be said for knitting a project with a lot of plain stockinette when you are in a rut and you want to keep on knitting a bit.
I had these skeins of speckled sock yarn in my stash already, I think I got them at the height of the speckles hype when they where everywhere and I got caught up in the enthusiasm. It was lingering in my stash as I had long come to the conclusion that despite using a skein for stripes in a shawl, I wasn’t going to make a fully speckled garment. I had seen them used knit together with a solid yarn in other’s people projects though and figured that might be a way for me to use up the speckled yarn in my stash.
The technique is called colour blending, and it’s a fun way to play around with colours. Tin Can Knits did a great post on colour blending for this project, but it is useful for any kind of blending you’ll want to do in your knitting and I found it inspiring. Because I wanted to use the speckled sock yarn I had in my stash, the direction I wanted to go in was defined already, but it still left room to play with colours combinations. In the end I decided to pair my light blue sock yarn -with speckles of orange, yellow, neon, green and black- with a intense dark green mohair. The end result was the green blend of colours you see on the photos.
I didn’t change much to the pattern, apart from making the sleeves full length, and adding some sleeve shaping. I decreased the number of stitches, but not as much as I would do for a regular sleeve to retain a slight bit of the bubble sleeve style that the original has. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to have enough yarn for full length sleeves, because I had just about enough sock yarn to make my size as stated in the pattern. After I knitted the body I weighed the yarn I had left, and then again while knitting and after I finished the first sleeve. This way I knew I was going to have enough to finish the pair. In the end I even had a bit of the sock yarn left, so that worked our fine.
It was a speedy project, because of the big needles and the cropped length that I picked, and could probably be speedier than what I did if I had been more into my flow. There is also a lot of room for making it your own by going all out with a bonanza of colours or keeping it a lot more toned down with beige or grey tones. As with all Tin Can Knits patterns, it comes in a huge size range, from new born to adult sizes. so there is the potential of knitting one for everyone knitworthy person in your life. So, if anyone has a mind of doing some sweater gift knitting I’d say this would be the perfect project!
This was the first time I knitted with kid-silk or mohair and the main thing I learned from knitting with it is that my cats love it! This is the part of the post in which I’m giving you more information about my cats than is interesting for anyone, really, but of course I’m going to do it anyway. Now, my cats tend to love all knitted fabric (they definitely picked the right house to live in) but it was still a surprise to see their mohair dedication! Usually their ultimate favourite yarn is lopi which doesn’t exactly compare to mohair. I think part of the attraction to them was the combination of the mohair with another yarn and the thick needles, creating a very soft and puffy fabric. So this sweater (and future projects of this type) definitely has the cats’ blessing.
The photos were taken on one of our walks this month, with the heather in full bloom it made for quite a spectacular backdrop. It was my first time going out to take photo’s of my knitwear in my new neighbourhood and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go in my new stomping grounds, but between having these scenes in walking distance and doing the usual pause when a group or runners comes by I don’t think I needed to worry much. In the photos I’ve paired my Love Note with a home-sewn dress in double gauze, perfect for the hot-cold weather that day!
I surprised myself with this cast on, and I’m also surprised at how happy I am with the result. There is definitely place in my wardrobe for this type of project. I feel the green tones gives it a solid enough look, but at the same time the happy speckles make it spark and also opens up the possibility for some sneaky matching, like I did here by pairing it with an rust orange dress. It was nice to experiment with some things that I normally wouldn’t go for. In terms of yarn choices, but also in terms of garment shapes, such as the slight bubble sleeves. In my earlier knitting years I knit a lot of cropped styles, but recently (until I made Love Note, and then instantly cast on Argil) haven’t done anything with that length. This sweater has reminded me that it is in fact a useful length and fits well in the style of things that I like to wear. So all in all, I would say that this wild card project that I never would have foreseen me liking so much was a roaring success. How nice is it when that happens??
Finally, I cannot think about this jumper without my mind wandering to some of the not so straightforward meaning attached to it. This is the project that finally got me out of the worst of my knitting rut. It didn’t get me back to where I was before aforementioned rut, but it did get me back on a level I am content with. I said this a couple of months ago on instagram, but I certainly don’t think that you loose your identity as a knitter (or sewist or any kind of crafter) if it’s not working out for you right now, or for any period of time. I also don’t think you need to be churning out projects at all time to qualify as a maker. But it does suck if you miss it and nothing you try to get back into it works out. I feel that more than any other project I did this year, this is the one that got me back to where I am now. The reason why this one did and others things I tried didn’t work out have probably nothing to do with any of the projects I did and there is likely a multitude of factors that got me to where I am now. These things are not neatly put into boxes, or black and white situations. But it does add some symbolic and sentimental value to this particular piece of stringed together yarn that I made. And I’m grateful for the ride we have been on.