Winter wardrobe fix, part 2: Quicker sweaters

Winter wardrobe fix, part 2: Quick(er) sweaters

So the other half of the winter wardrobe equation is, of course, sweaters. I’m finally at the point where I’m beginning to believe my Amanda will become a sweater at some point — hopefully by New Year’s — but it’s been a tremendous amount of time on one sweater in the midst of an actual wardrobe shortage. I’m committed to picking up where I left off (i.e., frogged back to the ribbing) with my beloved charcoal Channel Cardigan, and while I have thought of that as a sweater that’s going to take some time and patience, it actually was going fairly quickly (especially as compared to Amanda). And I also have a fair chunk of my worsted-mod Perkins Cove to get back to, which should be a pretty quick finish — although I’m not at all sure I have enough yarn. Regardless, I can’t stop myself from pondering the question of other relatively quick-win sweaters I might just have to cast on.

Generally speaking, I should say, fast is not the main criteria for me when picking sweaters to knit. If I want fast fashion, I’ll just go shopping. For me personally, a handknit sweater is an investment of time, money and creative energy into a garment I can’t get elsewhere and intend to have and love for years. But when you need sweaters, you need sweaters, so here I am thinking in these terms.

If speed were the only concern, I could whip up a few top-down raglans in superbulky wool and call it a day. But I’m looking for some balance — sweaters worth investing in but that are maybe a little bit quicker to complete, due to gauge and/or proportion. I keep shooting myself in the foot by picking worsted-weight sweaters and then knitting them in larger sizes and smaller gauges, creating extra knitting for myself (and in that one particular case, for Anna). Here are a few that are on my mind:

TOP:  Uniform Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge — short, stockinette, simple or shaped neckband, worsted-weight — is probably the sweater my closet is most sorely lacking right now. I’m suddenly inclined to reassign my Slade yarn to this. (I might have enough all from the same dye lot.)

ROW 2 LEFT: Bellows, by Michele Wang, is obviously the sweater that has taken up residency in the foremost part of my brain and refuses to budge. Given the chunky gauge, and how quickly I’m seeing others knit this up, it seems like it would be wise to bump it to the head of the line and maybe have it while winter is most upon us.

ROW 2 RIGHT: Grandson Cardigan, by Josh Bennett, on the other hand, has been on my mind since I tried on the sample in May. It’s a lot of cabling, but it’s superbulky on 13’s — wouldn’t it still be a warm, snuggly sweater in no time?

MIDDLE: Gable by Hannah Fettig, is simple with a fairly abbreviated shape, and a basic pullover (or two) is another legitimate hole in my wardrobe. It’s fingering knitted on 5’s, but I have the urge to knit it in aran weight. I’ve been longing for a sweater in Berroco Blackstone Tweed (because I so love the way my Super Simple Mitts have aged) and this might be just the thing.

BOTTOM LEFT: Quiver by Megh Testerman is worsted-weight and short, with an interesting allover pattern that doesn’t require the fiddlier bits of its knitting all that often.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Chevron Cardigan, another good chunky cardigan by Michele Wang, would be even quicker if it were a little shorter, which is how I would want it.

What’s a wardrobe-challenged knitter to do?

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16 thoughts on “Winter wardrobe fix, part 2: Quicker sweaters

  1. Oh, Karen, I want to knit Gable so badly, but I am buried in holiday and other knitting right now! I want Gable in the called for Loft which I have yet to use, but your idea of the Blackstone Tweed–I have some and think it is a genius idea!

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  2. I am terrible at figuring out yarn substitions. If you decide to knit Gable in an aran weight…a post on how you figured that all out would be awesome!

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  3. Karen – I’ve been wanting to ask you how you liked the Trillium once you knitted it? I’ve had the pattern for awhile, but can’t decide whether it’s “the one!”

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    • I wasn’t sure about it at first, to be honest. It fits so different than the sample I tried on, which was so perfect for me. It was May when I finished it and it seemed too hot. And too long. But I’ve been wearing it nonstop lately and do really love it.

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  4. Grandson, where have you been hiding! I love this sweater! It looks cozy without being too thick of cables and what nots. But enough about me…
    I would hi thee to the consignment shop and/or ebay. Under the pressure of being cold and somewhat miserable, working, the holidays and all else, trying to happily and quickly knit a sweater…sounds like a recipe for…well, you know.

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  5. I am not much of a fan of chunky, cabled, worsted weight sweaters. Generally speaking, they don’t look good on me and they don’t fit in with the way I like to dress. I find that the sweaters I wear the most are within a gauge that ranges between fingering and sport, no chunkier than DK. Is this “faster”? Less of an “investment in time”? Not sure, really, but they are the ones that suit me, thus they are the ones I choose to knit. I wonder if others would agree with me that, once you start knitting in a finer gauge, you get a bit a bit spoiled by the finer fabric? Or is that just me?

    P.S. I do love Carrie’s Uniform cardi, but I chose to knit it in a DK weight. ;-)

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  6. Pingback: Reorganizing my to-knit list | Fringe Association

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