Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Classic ReDo - The Top Down Stash Buster

I can't believe that I knit this sweater 13 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 9 months pregnant with Olivia and on vacation at the Jersey shore. I really wasn't allowed to do much so I sat in my comfy chair and knit this great sweater. I was very excited to use up so many little bits of this and that.... the last stages of nesting I guess. I really didn't have a plan and since I couldn't move very far I would just reach down and put my hand in my giant bag of bits to choose the next yarn that would go into my sweater. This might be a challenge for some of you but I think you should resist the urge to plan. Just have fun with it and have faith in your overall choices.

This version was knit from the bottom up and I can remember running out of some of my bits and wondering how I would finish the sleeves and make them look semi symmetric. The key is not to worry. As long as you have similar colors and textures you will have nothing to worry about. If you were to look closely at my sweater you would notice that my sleeves are similar but not identical.

I new when I finished this sweater that it wouldn't be long before I'd want to knit another. Well....13 years later I'm ready to get started.

Are you ready to get started?

For the 2011 version we are using one of my favorite "Knitting Pure and Simple" patterns which means that we will be knitting our new sweater from the top down. I love the raglan shaping and the idea of no-seams is very appealing. We are making this sweater as a knit along so you are welcome to come in and join us on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 from 5-8 p.m. Can't make it in? Here are a few helpful hints to get you started.

First, gather your stash. I like to dump it all into the middle of my dining room table so I can see everything.

Second, edit. Get rid of the yarns that just don't look right with the majority of your yarns. Don't worry. This should be really obvious.

Third, make sure you have a base yarn. I can best describe this as a plain yarn with lots of yardage that pulls the whole thing together. Lastly, make sure that you have lots of variety to add to that base. Mohair, chenille, variegated, boucle, thick and thin, the more the merrier.

The pattern we are using calls for a worsted weight but don't be afraid to add in other weights. Most of my lumpy bumpy yarns are bulky but they add such great texture to the project that I wouldn't dream of excluding them and over a few rows these heavier yarns will not distort my gauge. I also have some left over sock yarn that I will either double up or run with one of my other yarns. In short, don't be afraid to experiment.

I know you are dying to go check out your stash so I'll let you go for now. Maybe I'll see you on the 19th. Either way I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Good luck and Happy Knitting

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