Sweater-palooza

cI’ve been knitting sweaters – but not for me. Afghans for Afghans wants to ship 500 sweaters to a girls school in Afghanistan – if I can make a tiny difference in the girls attending, that would be great news. So I’ve been knitting. One is a cardigan of my own design – to be honest, this is a design I like so much I want one for me, so I’m taking some good photos to make sure I can replicate it in my size, if I so desire. This one is in Cascade Eco-wool – a wooleny bulky two-ply that has a lot of loft. Those are Izzie’s paws – she can’t keep her paws off it! Project details here.
Afghans for afghans sweaters

I love the buttons too, they seem very English old-school, which will be lost on a child, but they will last – well made leather ones.

Afghans for afghans sweaters
I also knit a pullover cable sweater. It’s been more of an adventure in the knitting. First, I knit the back (sorry for the lousy photo):
Simple cable pullover

and realized it would be too large after blocking (although it is superwash yarn, so stay tuned for further developments). But I realized I could knit the front slightly smaller, and with a loose fit on a child, no big deal. I started one cable pattern, but it didn’t look right, so I pulled back several inches, and came up with this version, which I liked.

Afghans for afghans sweaters

The sleeves are plain, but with the neckline, I did something a little more special.  Over on Craftsy, Fiona Ellis has a free class on cabled knitted necklines – and she shows you how to carry a cable pattern into the neckline for what she calls a “couture” effect.  This is what I did, and I think it adds just a bit of specialness:

Afghans for afghans sweaters

Now as to size. I finally realized that this sweater was made out of superwash yarn, so I soaked it, then threw it in the dryer – it came out smaller (maybe a size 10 or so), which is a good middle size for the campaign going on.

The third sweater is a big old bulky sweater with ribbing – the yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky (merino wool, cashmere and acrylic) – both soft and indestructible! Plus, it was a score in a stash swap – thanks, knitters! I followed the Split-collar pullover pattern, except I realized that the split-neck would probably not be culturally in keeping with the conservative Afghan culture, and I wasn’t sure how warm it would be either. Instead, I knit a ribbed neckline that turns over for double warmth. It isn’t fancy, but the yarn and the bulk will hopefully be appreciated by the wearer.

Non-split neck pullover

Non-split neck pullover

One finishing tip for bulky sweaters – you can strip the plies of the yarn – in this case, I split the 4-ply into 2 2-plies, and used that for seaming with less bulk. In addition, for the side seams, I did the mattress stitch only 1/2 stitch in, instead of the usual one stitch – it came out beautifully with very little bulk. I did full seams at the shoulder because the weight of the sweater requires a good structure there.

And Izzie seems to approve of these.
Afghans for afghans sweaters
Afghans for afghans sweaters

I hope to knit one more sweater – it’ll be a smaller one in the leftover Eco-wool and other scraps. Interested in knitting a pair of mittens or socks or a sweater? Check out the campaign for the girls’ school, and join us on Ravelry for the sharing and ooohing and aaahing!

Download PDF

4 thoughts on “Sweater-palooza

  1. Thanks! The yarn for a couple of these came from a yarn swap, and the shawl-collared cardigan yarn was a WEBS anniversary sale purchase from a year ago.

  2. Izzie has fine taste in squishy wooly goodness. Your projects have inspired me to get a second completed. Thanks!

Leave a Reply