Sweater Aspirations

I have a knitting confession to make. I have never knit a sweater. Okay, well maybe there was that one time (which, coincidentally, was exactly one year ago), that I knit a Cowichan Vest for my mother. But it kinda sorta didn’t really turn out since I stopped going to my knitting classes half way through and had to figure out how to shape the collar all by myself shortly afterward. So the collar was a bit funky but that’s okay. The nice thing about knitting for my mother is that she thinks anything and everything I make is beautiful. 🙂

Since that fun experiment, I’ve had sweaters on my mind. Beautiful sweater patterns abound, as many of my favorite designers (and knitting bloggers) seem to design mostly this specific garment. And what’s more satisfying than putting on a handmade sweater knit with a luxurious fiber such as cashmere or silk? Forget the fact that you could buy something similar made in China for less than half the price, nothing beats the value of handmade. Nothing.

I’ve been meaning to finally start on a full sweater pattern (sleeves and all) for ages, but there were a couple of things stopping me.

Sweater Aspirations by Wooly Ventures
This was what was left of my yarn stash (and knitting projects) at the end of my 11 month backpacking trip (not counting the projects that I had already sent home, of course!).
  1. Space – Try fitting 12+ balls of yarn into a 60L backpack when you already have a stash equal to this. Yeah, not happening (although maybe that was my fault for buying so much random yarn in the first place). Oopsies.
  2. Money – If you’re going to spend the time required to knit a full sweater, that sweater better be luxurious. But 12+ balls of luxurious yarn can get to be quite pricey. Initially I had my eyes on the beautiful Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter Yarn at $13 USD a piece, which comes out to about … $150 USD, taxes not included, pattern not included, time not included. Now that’s an expensive sweater! I don’t even want to think about how much that would cost in Canadian dollars …

Well, now that I’m back in Canada, and there are just a few weeks left until Christmas, time is on my side to complete an ambitious sweater project (or maybe it’s the opposite, but I like to think that deadlines help me to get things done).

As for the money side of things, I’ve gone slightly budget (I say slightly, because this sweater will still end up being more expensive than any sweater I would purchase myself at a store). I came across the Knitpicks City Tweed Yarn and fell in love with the Orca colour. Not only that, but this yarn is a blend of merino wool and donegal tweed, with 20% alpaca! Making it super soft, cozy and warm!

So before I could stop myself from being overly rational such things such as: “What are you doing, trying to knit a sweater with only 17 days left until Christmas and no previous knowledge of how to knit such sweater?” I’ve decided to make a bold, risky move and just go for it. Bam!

Oh, yarn. Glorious yarn.
Oh, yarn. Glorious yarn.

As for the sweater pattern, I’ve decided to go with the modern but classic Rift by Jared Flood. I love, love the shoulder detail.

Expect to see lots of knitting updates on Instagram these coming weeks as I race to finish all the knitting projects on (and some not even yet on) my needles before the morning of the 25th!

Would you consider yourself a “risky” knitter? What’s the most outrageous or ambitious project you’ve ever knit?