Honeycomb Aran

Materials: 7 skeins Valley Yarns Northampton in light gray; size 4 & 6 needles. Pattern: Honeycomb Aran.

Time: Several months.

Cost: $36.32!

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This sweater came about because I’d been wanting a big, cozy, old-school fisherman’s sweater. And I mean old school in terms of pattern, too, not just style — no “modern twists on a timeless classic.” This Patons pattern fit the bill, with the added benefit of a less-bulky raglan sleeve. (A lot of vintage ’80s patterns rock the exaggerated drop shoulder. Also, ’80s and ’90s patterns are less enamored of sleeves that fit like sausage casings.)

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It is big and cozy! I took these photos on a day that maxed out in the low 80s, and still had a very hard time persuading myself to take it off after taking these photographs. The Valley Yarns Northampton is rapidly becoming my go-to budget wool: it goes on sale with some regularity, and does a fine job of walking the “tough workhorse” and “soft enough to, you know, wear” line.

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The pattern is pretty straightforward, and is easy to modify into “knit three tubes in pattern until the armpit.” This time, however, I did what I should’ve done a dozen sweaters ago and used a tubular cast-on and tubular bind-off. Why didn’t I try them ages ago?! I have so many sweaters marred by too-tight cuffs and janky necklines!

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I don’t know if I’ll ever tire of cabled sweaters. But this one was a satisfying case of wanting a specific garment, and ending up with the exact desired thing.

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