White Summer Sweater

Summer is not typically the time anyone thinks of needing a sweater. Most people are so sick of sweaters they shove them in a storage container (with some lavender or cedar) and hide them away until the Fall. I don’t do that. I keep a rotation of sweaters available for extra warmth in my office. In the summer, juxtaposing a 68° interior against a sometimes 115° outside can make for a very confused internal body temperature. I like to keep a shawl or light sweater around in case I need a little extra warmth.

I wanted to make a cropped sweater since I like to wear skirts that fit at the waist and flare out–it’s my favorite silhouette. It had to be made with this white Debbie Bliss Rialto DK yarn I procured from a friend a few years ago, and it had to be lace since that would stretch the yardage a bit further. I had the Surry Hill pattern by Maria Magnusson (Olsson) in mind but I wasn’t sure I’d have enough yarn for the project. However, after finishing the Great Red Coat and coming out 3 skeins ahead, I had the (maybe false) confidence I needed to start the sweater.

Now, I have to admit that the pattern I chose gave me a little pause. It looked like other knitters had made lots of modifications to suit their needs–no two sweaters looked exactly the same. And looking at some of those, none of them were cropped. However, I’m, like, almost 6′ tall and, based on the pattern picture, it’d be cropped on me for sure.

It starts with a broken rib stitch at the hem that is repeated on the arm cuffs, collar, and up the button placket. The lace pattern has a 12 row repeat and a slightly complicated, but necessary chart. It is probably the most thorough chart, save for the lack of WS rows. I mean, she included the increase details and button hole row.

The pattern has a note about needing to either knit looser or switch to a larger needle since some knitters have found the arms to be too small. Now, call me crazy, but don’t you think maybe you should change the arms if several sources have a problem with it? Four years ago, I knit the Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig from the freshly printed Coastal Knits book. It turned out that several complaints had been made about the arm girth so the designer made an optional modification to accommodate a larger opening. That’s all I’m sayin’.

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I forged ahead, dedicated to knitting the pattern as written. I ran into a couple of problems when I kind of forgot where I was in the lace pattern and messed up one row for a repeat or two–easily fixed. I knit the arms as loosely as I could but they still ended up a little tight but manageable since the yarn is very springy.

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It fits beautifully around the bust area, though, which makes me happy. Since the body and arm length are the same, I end up with a 1/2-sleeve cropped sweater. If I had to do it again, I’d elongate it so I got a 3/4-sleeve.  But, the greatest news is yet to come: I sewed the buttons on in a timely fashion! Who looks responsible? I do. And I ended up with 1.75 balls leftover. Everything’s coming up Milhouse.

I had budgeted two weeks to complete the White Summer Sweater and I achieved my goal. I kind of needed it after taking three months to complete the Great Red Coat. I was sure I’d get it done in two months (and I’ll probably test that theory with another coat) but other obligations took priority. For now, though, I’ll be concentrating on smaller projects in preparation for the crazy assortment of items I plan on knitting for the colder months.

My brain is already swirling with hats, vests, shawls, and sweaters. Most dangerously, I’m thinking of new yarn. I’m feeling all of the new speckled yarns these days but I can’t lay my hands on any of it. It’s time to pull stakes from our current place and head north, which is something that has been in the works for the last year or so. In order to make our house look as desirable as possible, we’ve had to spend some cash on getting rid of a few eye sores and painting it. Nothing kisses all your money goodbye quite like home improvement. Anyhow, I’m on a yarn restriction–not like I need it. I have plenty of yarns in my stash to satisfy most of my yarn cravings.

Here’s a sneak peek of what I’m using as speckled yarn methadone:

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