I recently finished a sweater knit in Noro yarn. I’m trying to both stash-down this year, and also to finish what I start (instead of having dozens of projects on the go). Also, it’s really cold this winter, so a new warm sweater seemed just the thing – with the weather to inspire me to finish. I remembered that I had a bag of Noro Hitsuji, a bulky single ply wool, which seemed to be the perfect choice. I used an older Rowan pattern by Kim Hargreaves called Nevis – it’s in a pattern book called A Season’s Tale. It reminds me of Mary Maxim sweaters, but with more of a trim fit. Knit in the self-striping Noro, I think it’s fun.
Here it is:
I did make some modifications to the pattern. The waist shaping is supposed to be done at the side seams, but I moved it into the body of the sweater. I positioned the decreases like darts in a tailored shirt, halfway between the centre and the side seam. I lucked out on the matches of the colours: I began both fronts and the back at the same point in the variegation, knowing that the fronts would match (so long as there were no knots). The back matches at the top and the bottom – it’s really twice the width of one front, which makes sense even though I didn’t think of that in advance. I figured the sleeves were about the same width as the fronts but longer, so started earlier in the variegation – I guessed, then decided blue cuffs would be nice. The matches worked out surprisingly well.
The front button band is supposed to be knitted afterward in its entirety. I wanted the hems to match so cast on an extra six stitches for each front. When it was time to start the stockinette stitch for the body, I put those six stitches on a safety pin. When I knit the button bands, I just matched the colour in the yarn and carried on. In the pattern, the buttoms were placed higher without one at the hem – I respaced them because I thought it looked as if one had been lost. I found some buttons with fun swirls on them which I like a lot.
The Hitsuji was a bit stiff while knitting and almost like a pencil roving for spinning. It softened up very well when soaked for blocking (like most Noro yarns). The finished sweater is very warm, which is just about perfect when it’s 20 degrees below zero outside.
Here’s the link to my Ravelry project page, if you’re interested in more detail.
Now, I had a bag of 10 balls of Hitsuji and this sweater only used 6.5 of them (although I did break into three more, seeking matches.) I was determined to not send the rest back to the stash, but to use it up. I also had a pair of black leather handles in my stash, bought for a purse that I didn’t like knitting so frogged. So, I decided to knit an entrelac tote bag and felt it, using up the Hitsuji and also some black roving from the stash.
Here’s the bag before felting:
And here it is afterward, still in need of a lining:
The black felted much faster than the Noro, so I’m thinking I’ll stop felting now. Here’s the project page for the entrelac bag on Ravelry.
What do you think?