Jaime Jennings is the first of our illustrious knitalong panel to have finished knitting her Amanda cardigan, and it’s a beauty in undyed Heirloom Romney. She put up a thorough post on the Fancy Tiger blog on Friday, and I had a few questions for her as well:
First, Jaime, let me say your sweater is SO CUTE. It’s motivating me to keep going. I especially love that natural dark grey. And the leather buttons. But enough fawning! So how are you feeling about having knitted for Team Seamless? Were there any aspects that came up during the knitalong that made you wish you’d done any part of it any differently?
I’m so glad I was Team Seamless! I took out all the selvedge stitches so the side panels on my sweater and underarms look amazing with absolutely no breaks in the honeycomb pattern. There were two reasons that Team Seam might have been better for this. One was that I didn’t fix any cable mistakes. (I made a few.) I had so much work on the needles for the body, I was scared to drop down and fix anything and risk really messing up a lot of knitting. It makes you question ripping out more since there is just so much knitting on the needles. Second was the button holes, which were hard to line up evenly not knowing the exact length of the finished garment. Next time I would knit the sweater seamlessly, but I would knit the bands as written, back and forth after the rest of the garment was completed. I’m still glad I did Team Seamless though.
Do you think you’d still have been the first one finished if you’d knitted it in pieces? I want to pit you and Kate head-to-head in a knitting race sometime.
Maybe … seaming doesn’t really take that long. Kate would definitely win in a head-to-head knitting race. She had to take a break to knit another sweater and I just knit this one sweater.
One of the reasons you were confident knitting this seamlessly is that your Heirloom Romney is such a sturdy yarn, and it does seem (based on the photos) like it also worked up into something almost lopi- or jacket-like in density and warmth. I know it’s a big subject but what’s your nutshell stance on softness versus durability or ruggedness when it comes to yarn and choosing yarn for projects?
My nutshell stance is I’ll take durability over softness any day. You’re talking to a woman who has made four lopi sweaters, three Heirloom sweaters, and three sweaters in Loft or Shelter … it’s pretty obvious where my heart lies in terms of my love of a rustic wool. Amanda is a lot of work. I would be heartbroken if it started pilling or wearing out in a short amount of time. I wear my knit garments a lot — I wear them hiking, camping, while shoveling snow, snowshoeing, while wearing backpacks, you name it. I love being confident in knowing I can wear my finished garments often. This is especially true of a cardigan when you know you’ll always have a shirt on underneath, so softness isn’t such a concern. Of course, depending on the pattern, I might want a yarn with more drape, and every once in awhile I’ll knit something that’s just really soft that feels amazing. My next sweater is going to be Northdale, and again, that’s a big commitment. I’m going to knit it in Jamieson and Smith for durability.
You mentioned at the beginning that you were a little intimidated by the volume of cabling involved. Would you say you’re a cable devotee now or just glad you did it?
I am! I loved the cables. It was (surprisingly) easy to get into a rhythm with them, and I love the look. This sweater made me feel super confident in my cabling skills, so now I feel I can knit anything!
You talked a little bit about your neck modifications in your blog post — the neck being the thing you and I were mutually concerned about at the outset. Are you really thinking about ripping it back and altering it more?
I might … The jury’s still out. I’m going to wait and see more people’s finished sweaters. If one looks really hot, I’ll redo mine. But that’s not going to stop me from wearing it right now. I’m growing to like it more and more each time I wear it and I’ve gotten tons of compliments, so that is awesome!
Have you picked out your next cable project yet?
No, but I’ve got my eye on about 10 things from Brooklyn Tweed. I especially love Field — because I definitely didn’t get enough of the honeycomb stitch. Honeycomb forever!!
Thanks, Jaime — and congratulations on the gorgeous sweater! Will the rest of us ever finish? Time will tell …
PREVIOUSLY in #fringeandfriendsknitalong: The simple joy of seaming