Late Summer Sweater

Materials: 7 skeins Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted in Marshmallow; sizes 4, 5, and 6 needles. Pattern: Bray.

Time: A couple of months.

Cost: $35!

This project had its genesis in an early-summer trip to Ohio, where the temperatures hovered in that irritatingly indeterminate place between thick sweatshirt weather and long-sleeved shirt weather (which were the options in my suitcase). It’s not a climatological place that I spend much time in at home in Kansas City; on summer mornings when I head out for a run at 6:30 am, it’s already 80 degrees and 80% humidity, and I return to the fully-frozen bottle of water that I leave in the park swimming in a puddle of its own condensation. (No summer woolens for me, no matter how lightweight.) But a light layer for crisp spring and fall mornings has been missing from my wardrobe, so by the time we left to fly home from our trip I had a box of yarn ready to meet me.

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I decided to go with Brooklyn Tweed’s Bray pattern, because a) I have a well-documented weakness for cables, and b) most of Bray’s main pattern is pretty lightweight and open, making it perfect for a warmer-weather sweater. (I did knit the YOs in the lace pattern through the back loop to make them a little less lacy, however.)

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Since I made this sweater from 100% cotton, I had to do a bit of extra planning. Cotton shrinks, on average, by 10% lengthwise. First I made a gauge swatch and used it to figure out what size I needed to make in order to get what finished body circumference. Then I went through the pattern and added an additional 10% to all of the length measurements. Then I did some basic math to evenly add 10% more length to the shoulder decreases on the arms and the body. I also blocked all of the sweater pieces before I seamed them up to try and avoid any subsequent, awkward shrinkage around the shoulder seams.  The arms and body shrunk noticeably after being washed, so I’m glad I made the extra allowance!  The sweater as a whole is also a bit more fitted than I’d anticipated, but I think that the lace pattern on the body adds some nice stretch.

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The recommended yarn in the Bray pattern is Brooklyn Tweed’s rustic wool, but I think that it’s particularly well-suited to make a casual all-cotton sweater.  I also really like the saddle shoulder!  It’s a design feature that I don’t see often enough.  Also, like many of Brooklyn Tweed’s other sweater patterns, it includes directions for a tubular cast-on, which I think is well worth the extra bit of work.

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One thought on “Late Summer Sweater

  1. Wow, that looks great! Kind of like the “fisherman’s sweaters” that have been popping up in shops lately except, you know, YOU MADE IT YOURSELF. Awesome!

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