thankyou, Suvi S

We have just returned from a lovely, relaxing couple of weeks holiday. Shortly, I intend to bore you senseless about where we’ve been — but first, the important stuff — some knitting.

You see here the arm cable of my new sweater Baby cables and Big Ones Too, by the wonderful Suvi S. Let me start by saying that I can’t recommend this pattern highly enough. It is incredibly well thought through; carefully and clearly written; and the finished garment is just amazing. I loved the pattern, I love the sweater, and am full of admiration for the designer. Thankyou, Suvi S!

This was an excellent holiday project. I began the sweater just before leaving, and finished it just before returning. Every part of the process was enjoyable.

As you see, I was so happy with the pattern I could barely stop knitting it. Despite the blue skies in the third image, the hood indicates that I am actually knitting in a howling gale. And though there are no other people pictured in image two, this is not because we were on holiday in some sort of poolside ghost-town, but because I had arisen at the crack of dawn — to knit, of course.

The sweater is a seamless raglan, knitted from the top down. Despite being an ardent admirer of Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top this was actually my first time making a top-down garment. I am completely converted to this method of garment construction, and Suvi S’s version of a top-down raglan has so many tasty details. Let me mention just a few of these:

1) Picking up stitches at the underarms. If I am making a bottom-up seamless sweater, I usually either cast off the underarm stitches (and make a little seam later) or attempt to keep the stitches live, and graft them. Here, because you are working from the top-down you pick up stitches around the gap instead. This is neater than the grafting method, and, satisfyingly, means the sweater is really entirely seamless. Nice.
2) the cables twist to the right on the right sleeve, to the left on the left sleeve. Neat!
3) The cables have both elegance and simplicity and the way they pass over from the garter to the stockinette parts of the sweater is very satisfying indeed.

Knitting an entirely seamless garment from the top-down has many benefits — the most significant being that you can make something that fits perfectly, and that has no finishing involved. This means that, when you have finished your last row, you can just stick your sweater on over your swimsuit and insist your companion take a picture of you in it right now.

And then you can put on some proper clothes and pose in a tasteful interior for a more appropriate picture.

Tom says it is his favourite out of all the things I have knitted. I am inclining that way myself.

A word about the yarn before I stop rhapsodising about my sweater: I used a grey shetland DK from woodpark wools. They have a flock of rare-breed sheep close to Girvan (that’s in Ayrshire for those of you who don’t know) and sell wonderful, springy, and completely unadulterated lovely stuff from their own Jacobs and Shetlands. The colour of their yarns are totally true-fleece — meaning that all the shades of grey and brown and black have a lot of depth to them — the pale grey shetland I used here is actually made up of many different coloured fibres, including several different greys and a lovely slightly fawn-y brown. It is a super wool that shows off the cables fantastically well, and suits this sweater perfectly. Woodpark wools are spun at the natural fibre company — there is absolutely no messing with their production process. In short, Woodpark Wool is another Scottish yarn company that I heartily recommend!

So heres the lowdown:
Pattern: Baby Cables and Big Ones Too by Suvi S
Needles: 3.5mm addi turbos (I am wee up top so knitted the smallest size at a slightly tighter gauge to give a 30″ chest measurement)
yarn: woodpark wool dk shetland (pale grey).
ravelled here