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Friday, February 23, 2007

Vine Leaf Sweater



I knit this sweater in January of last year after a road trip to New Mexico. On the drive home we stopped at a truck stop for gas and refreshments and as it turned out yarn. Amongst the wall of potato chips were hanks of handspun wool. At two dollars a hank I scooped up thirty of them. I gave my mom a few and kept the natural unbleached color for myself. I used the vine leaf lace pattern found in one of the Barbara Walker dictionaries as the main stitch and on the hems a shell stitch that scallops nicely. The front is asymmetrical and closed with four buttons and instead of buttonholes the lace serves this purposes.



This sweater gets a lot of wear. I even sleep in it. I like it so much I'm thinking of reknitting it in a manufactured wool and writing up the pattern but am not sure what wool to use. Any recommendations? I thought about Manos but the gauge is a bit bigger. Still, I think it would work nicely.

Update: Here is more information on the yarn I used. It is a loosely spun single ply and the gauge is 16 sts and 25 rows = 4" in Vine Leaf Stitch with a US 8 (5 mm) needle.

15 comments:

Marnie said...

It's lovely! I can't imagine sleeping in a wool sweater, especially in LA, but I can see wearing something like that a lot.

What is the yarn like? Is it plied or singles? It looks like it might be a worsted weight, but I can't completely tell.

I'm all for merino, and loves me some Karabella, but I wonder if Wool Cotton wouldn't work to make a nice lighter alternative. If you are going to reknit it, why not in something that you can wear a different season? :)

EDNA HART said...

The thing with Maons (love it) is the thick thin thing--I'm not sure about that with the lace. Altough it could add even more design interest and the colors are so geat.

Ava said...

Just wanted to say that I LOVE this sweater! I'll have to get back to you on yarn.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

I love this sweater, too. Beautiful and cozy at the same time.

I realized that I have the perfect recipients for LaLa scarves as well - my little nieces would love them in girly colors. Sometime during the year I'll whip out two for Christmas.

Twisted Knitter said...

I saw that sweater in your Olive Oil photo the other day and I've been meaning to ask if you knit it! I love the natural color and the yarn really does show off the lace pattern. I'm not sure if the Manos would accomplish that nearly as well. (I've been knitting with Manos for the last few days).

I think it would look great in hemp or linen too.

(*whisper* write up the pattern -- I'd buy it)

EDNA HART said...

I like the Karabella Idea or how about Debbie BLiss Cashmerino DK? Very Snuggly and they have a few ne colors.

Mandy said...

Kat, what about Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran? Okay, so that's just because I abjectly adore Rowan tweed yarns, but it has the right gauge and would suit the pattern well. :)

What an awesome find, handspun yarn in a truck stop. It's so wonderful to have a story like that about a sweater. :)

lori said...

Thank you for posting about this sweater. I remember loving it when you wore it at Julia's in October.

We should all stop at truck stops more often!

pamela wynne said...

This is beautiful!

And I third the vote for Karabella, or a good wool/cotton blend.

Cheryl said...

What a gorgeous sweater! I just love it. The collar especially, it's beautiful.

Nonnahs said...

I can't believe I forgot to tell you in person yesterday how much I love this sweater! Almost as much as I love your green socks! ;)

Sonya said...

I would vote no for manos - love the stuff, but unless you knit it tight, tight, tight it pills like nobodies business. Also I think the uneven nature of the handspun would detract from the pattern. Maybe malabrigo if your heart is with merino (but still awfully pilly) and the aurora 8 and like, just too much ply - complete other end of the spectrum. I had the flash of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran http://www.josharp.com.au/Yarn/Yarn.html
there are some really lovely naturals and it is still a little on the "wooly" side. Yes I am yarn crazed.

By the way, I was pointed to your site by Darlene, she thought I would like it and right she was.

femiknitter said...

I saw this sweater in your ravelry pic and tracked it down here! I like the sweater too and would be interested in a published pattern. What about Beaverslide Worsted Wool? They have a large range of solids, tweeds, and organic/naturals. It might be a better option than the thick-and-think Manos but would still have a rustic feel to it.

Penny said...

I most definitely stop at the wrong truck stops! That is one beautiful sweater.

kat coyle said...

Thanks Penny! I was shocked when I saw a wall of handspun yarn at a truck stop. I bought almost all the yarn they had; if you're ever in Arizona near Gallup New Mexico pull over at the truck stops.