A New Sweater

Wow. We haven’t talked about knitting or had a Fibre Friday in ages. Well, it’s time to get back into that rhythm!

This is a sweater I made for Mr. Math. The pattern is called Balkan and is a design by Brandon Mably for Rowan Yarns. You can see it in the original yarn and colours on the Rowan site, right here. And here’s our variation:

Balkan, a design by Brandon Mably, knit by Deborah CookeMr. Math wasn’t fussed about the softness of the Colourspun yarn that’s specified for this sweater—I made him a crew neck sweater of softly spun yarn once before, and his whiskers roughed up the neck ribbing. He wanted something tough this time, and he didn’t want muted colours. He picked the yarn and the colours: it’s Harrisville Highland which is a wonderful tweed yarn. I bought it on cones, which is how they put it up for weavers. The colours are Tundra and Black Cherry.

(I have more Colourspun in the stash to make him Bute, but since it’s a cardi and a v-neck, and the Colourspun is knit with Felted Tweed, he’s okay with that. It’s a good thing that only women are particular! LOL)

This sweater is a very trim fit, and doesn’t have much ease in the body. I had some troubles with the sleeves: they were too tight in the forearm, then too full in the upper arm, then too long overall. When I reknit them to be wider on the lower arm and narrower on the upper arm, the sleeve cap ended up too short to fit into the sweater. I knit them either three or four times, but finally, they’re right. (Lots of notes on my Ravelry project page.) I was so fed up that the pieces sat in my knitting basket for more than a month before I decided to sew it together for Christmas.

The Harrisville Highland on cones isn’t washed, so it hasn’t been fulled. I gave the finished sweater a good soak in the tub and even walked on it to full the yarn, then blocked it to size to dry. The yarn blossomed in a wonderful way, and softened as well. Because it’s a tweed yarn, it has many other colours and subtle gradations, which don’t show up in the picture above. Mr. Math loves it. He wore the sweater on Christmas Day and has worn it a lot since then because it’s been so chilly here. He says the trim fit makes it great for layering and that it’s really warm.

4 thoughts on “A New Sweater

  1. Love the close-up on Rav. Way to persevere – my husband would have just ended up with a vest with the sleeve issues 🙂


    • Well, Terri, I’m not sure how much test knitting happens. Obviously, there’s the sample garment, but that’s only checking the instructions for one size. We’ve talked about extrapolations for other sizes before and how they can go badly awry. This isn’t the first sweater I’ve knit that ended up with long skinny sleeves – in fact, there are two frogged in my basket, waiting to be reknit. Maybe that’s about skinny models…(?) Either way, it tempts me to try that new Amy Herzog book…


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