For the past month I have been working on a project for myself - a Montagne sweater by Melissa Labarre from Quince & Co. If you've been following my knitting adventures for a while, you may have noticed that I am a fan of bulky yarn, especially Puffin from Quince & Co. I've used it for this, this, this, and this! It is so wonderfully soft and squishy and is a total pleasure to knit with, especially when it is freezing in our house. This pattern first caught my eye several months ago because yes, it used Puffin, but also because it looked like a simple, big and bulky, cold weather sweater. And I loved the kangaroo pocket. So even though Summer is almost here, I was excited to make this and be all set for Fall. As it turns out, it was actually cool enough for me to wear it several mornings last week when I puttered in the herb garden.
The yarn is an undyed natural heather - Caspian. I did not follow the pattern exactly. It called for size 11 needles - one 16" and two 29" circulars, plus a set of double pointed. I had a 29" and the dpns in size 10.5 and when I swatched it, it was almost perfect. So to save money, I went with it. In the long run, I did one thing right and one thing wrong. The shorter circular needle was to be used first for the small amount of stitches when casting on. It was a tight stretch, literally, but I made it work with the longer circular. After the fact, I realize that this may have stretched out the neckline a bit. The other decision I made about the needles was that it was not necessary to have a second 29" circular; I just had to put the bottom hem on scrap yarn while I knitted the pocket. No big deal. As for that pocket, it wasn't exactly tricky, but for some reason I have a visible line at the top of the pocket. This was my third attempt to join the front and back of the pocket together and I was afraid that if I messed with it anymore the yarn would start pilling. Oh well. It isn't supposed to be a fancy sweater anyway.
For the first arm, I followed the pattern exactly and it did not fit. It was too tight and for a bulky sweater like this, I want to be able to layer it over a t-shirt and there was no room for that. So I started over and made up my own sizing. The armpit where I had to pick up the stitches is still a little tighter than I'd like, but the rest of the sleeve is what I wanted. I also extended the sleeve length - it is supposed to be 3/4, but I thought that was kind of silly for a sweater that is meant to be worn in cold weather. My sleeve length is just at my wrists, which is long enough without hanging down over my hands and being in the way. Despite the funky looking pocket, I really love the sweater and am excited to wear it! We'll be heading to Maine in a few weeks and we normally have a couple of rainy cool days - perfect!