Back in March when I met Rochelle in D.C., I bought some yarn at Fibre Space, a great yarn shop in Alexandria, Virginia. I was mainly intending to window shop and enable help Rochelle pick some yarn, but then I saw a pattern booklet with the pullover Vashon on the cover, and suddenly it was absolutely imperative that I knit myself a chunky cabled pullover for our trip to Ireland in the spring.
Except as the temperatures at home started to warm up a bit, I started to cool on the project, and put it down for several months. But I picked it up again recently and now I have my chunky cabled pullover! Just a bit later than planned.
I made a few changes from the original pattern: I knit the body in the round to the armpits, I lengthened the body to a hair under 12″, and I gave it a crew neck instead of the not-really-a-funnel-neck-I-don’t-know-what-it-is that the original pattern has.
You can see the original below:
You’ll also notice I knit full-length sleeves. Because a bulky weight cardigan full of cables? Why in the hell would I want 3/4-length sleeves? Answer: I would not.
I also knit the sleeves from the top down, but I often do that. A bit fussy to get them started with all the cables, but well worth it in the end to have a seamless knit (except for the three-needle bind off on the shoulders) in such a heavy yarn, which was a concern I had about setting in sleeves and knitting the whole thing flat.
And I love the way the sleeves looks! I almost lazed out and knit them plain, but I’m so glad I went for the design.
I knit the pullover to give me a little less than 3″ of negative ease at the full bust. Initially, I started in on size 9 needles and was getting gauge, but the fabric it was producing was awful and too stretchy. I went down to 7s and was much happier. The negative ease helps make this not feel too bulky and awkward since it’s a lot of cables and a somewhat heavy weight yarn.
The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Chunky in the colorway Penn North. I wanted a vibrant color that wasn’t too out there for a rather traditional looking aran-inspired pullover, so yellow was perfect. As you know I think of yellow as my neutral so it goes with nearly anything, in my book. (Apparently including the woods.)
I paired this pullover with a skirt I whipped up last week, based on the same skirt from the 40s dress pattern I used for my Can-Can skirt, although it’s busy enough and the lighting was crazy enough that you can’t really tell. This time it’s about 2″ longer overall, and not that you can see it, but I lined it in red rayon bemberg to prevent it from clinging to my knees when worn with tights or leggings.
I’m not usually a big fan of lined skirts or dresses (much prefer to wear a slip), but I thought I’d give it a whirl to see what I thought. And it’s still not resolved! Argh. The first time it was too long (about 1″ shorter than the skirt) and you could see it whenever I sat down, so I chopped off the hem and re-hemmed it a bit shorter (about 3″ shorter than the skirt). Now it’s short enough that it catches on my tights, which was the whole reason I lined it in the first place. Soooo I may need to rip out the lining hem and let it down a tiny bit, after all that.
The fabric is a somewhat lightweight Japanese cotton from Lecien. I mean really, polka dots and flowers? Sign me up. It has a very Cath Kidston vibe to me. When I pulled out a stack of potential fabric last week, Mel voted for this one. I really love this print, and I suspect I’ll be wearing the skirt with lots of layers and warm footwear to keep it appropriate as the temperatures dip.
Like wearing it with my new boots, courtesy of the amazing folks at Sven Clogs. These are the most perfect addition to my wardrobe for fall and winter, I can’t even contain my excitement!
They’re shearling lined, which is a real necessity for me when it starts to get bitter cold. (We’re not there yet, but we will be.) I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I usually spend a lot of winter in Uggs but seriously, I refuse to let my feet suffer (well, much) for fashion when it’s that cold! And winter here is some serious business. And my feet get cold easily. So there you go.
Now I have a much cuter alternative! My favorite style of shoe (you know I’m a sucker for clogs) but in a winter boot? Yessssss.
For reference, these are the 8″ tall ones with the medium clog heel in brown (you can pick natural, brown or black), with black leather and black shearling. And the bottom strap is removable. I can’t even express how much I adore these. I’m pretty much never going to take them off for the next several months. Admittedly it was a little warm when Mel took these photos, but I know they’ll get a ton of wear soon enough! The folks at Sven are the best.
Now back to knitting. Here’s a secret: I tend to knit a lot of cardigans because I can never quite figure out how to wear pullovers. I’m forever trying them on with skirts or over dresses and thinking “meh”. So I wear them with jeans instead. Time and time again. Which has gotten really old.
Turns out all I needed to do was wear them with a slightly shorter hemline. Because I’m such a shortie, it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed by clothing, even in heels (which obviously lengthen your leg line). Somehow I was always left feeling a bit poorly proportioned in a below-knee skirt and a pullover. I know plenty of shorter women don’t have an issue with this, but for me, it never seemed like it was working.
But a couple of inches shorter was enough to hit a skirt-to-pullover ratio that I feel really good in! So I may head back to pullovers soon. (Well, once I finish the two cardigans I have going…)
Anyway, it was a glorious day to tromp around in the woods. Not the best choice to photograph a yellow pullover when the leaves are falling, but c’est la vie.
At this point, I’m feeling pretty happy with fall. Though I’ll be singing a different tune in two months, at least I’ll be armed with a thick pullover and cute, warm boots. Are you feeling prepared this fall?