This was one of those patterns that I instantly liked when first seeing it in Knitty. I like knitting with skinny yarn and skinny needles. And I like plain sweaters that can be dressed up or down according to occasion and mood. But somehow I never quite worked up the nerve to cast-on. The pattern was in my Ravelry Queue for a while and I checked other people’s finished Thermals from time to time. In the end seeing all these nice sweaters on Ravelry and following the posts in a very inspiring Knit-Along on the German Knitters forum made my fingers itch to finally cast on. In the end it took me not quite three weeks from start to finish. I sewed in ends on Halloween eve while the door bell kept ringing incessantly and kids kept demanding treats.
Thermal sweater in Rowan Felted Tweed yarn
Pattern: Thermal by Laura Chau, Knitty.com Winter 2006
Yarn:Rowan Felted Tweed, color Whisper (SH141), 7.5 skeins (375 grams)
Needles: 3.75 mm
- Pattern is originally written for sock yarn with a gauge of 28 stitches per 4”. I chickened out on the skinny yarn and chose some Felted Tweed from my stash instead. It’s still fingering weight yarn but is much more fluffy and lofty than sock yarn. The Felted Tweed gave me a gauge of 20 stitches per 4”. I had originally planned to knit the smallest size but with my gauge that would still have meant I’d end up with a HUGE sweater. I compensated by casting on only 200 instead of 224 stitches.
- Worked body much longer than pattern suggested.
- Didn’t like how the button band looked on most Thermal sweaters on Ravelry. Worked it sideways and added two more buttons.
- Knitted the set-in sleeves from the top down according to directions in Wendy Bernard’s book ‘Custom Knits’. Worked like a charm. Did I ever mention how much I dislike sewing in set-in sleeves?
This is a lovely, very simple sweater that wears very well. The waffle stitch was interesting enough to keep me interested but easy enough for TV knitting at same time. And even though I pretty much improvised this whole thing it turned out fitting really well. To top this awesome knitting experience off I found THE PERFECT buttons in your run of the mill department store. No fancy button store. Nope. Just Kaufhof at Alexanderplatz. They match the strange blueish/greyish/greenish (un-)color that Rowan called ‘whisper’ exactly. Wouldn’t have thought this was possible.
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