Not Just for Astronauts Anymore
The Tang is finished and I’m not talking about the breakfast drink of astronauts.
Pattern: Tang (Rav link) from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, colorway “Buscando Azul”
Notes: I am super happy with this sweater – the color, the fit, the actual knitting of it – all of it turned out great. Of course, as usual, I had to worry about it while in progress including:
-that the variegation of the yarn, which is exactly what to expect with kettle-dyed Malabrigo, would be less than flattering in a sweater. I don’t think it’s too bad with this colorway which is more tonal than variegated and the shade of blue – I would call this a jewel tone – is gorgeous.
-that even kitten-soft Malabrigo would be too scratchy for a next-to-the-skin garment. I have a very low itch-tolerance factor (I always wear a blouse or turtleneck under a wool sweater), probably exacerbated by a childhood of wearing stiff, harsh sweaters (which were probably acrylic rather than wool anyway!). Of course, Malabrigo is to that yarn as silk is to sandpaper. The sweater is warm and cozy and soft.
-that it wouldn’t fit. I just do this automatically with everything I knit, even a pattern from a book called “custom knits”. It fits just fine.
This is my first knit from Wendy’s Custom Knits and, as expected, it was a great project. Wendy’s instructions were clear and easy-to-follow. I learned several new skills – provisional cast-on (slick!), top-down set-in sleeves (I’d only done top-down raglans before) and short rows (awesome!) I have been somewhat intimidated by short rows when reading about them before and while I understood the theory behind them (to add shaping with out changing the number of stitches on the needles, in this case for the sleeve caps) it wasn’t until I actually knit them that I “got” it. They still seem rather magical (And, who thinks up this stuff anyway? How brilliant were these long-forgotten early knitters?!)
About the only downside was the large amount of stockinette – it’s great for mindless tv/movie/Inauguration Day viewing, but it’s also easy to be distracted by some hussy with cables or lace. Officially this took me six weeks, but I stopped several times to work on cowls and the Hemlock ring blanket and socks and mitts. It would have taken much less if I hadn’t strayed.
Fortunately, I got it done in time to wear it at least once before spring – a colder week (and snow on the way) allowed it to make its public debut yesterday where more than one person didn’t realize it was a hand-knit sweater. Score!