Materials: 7 skeins Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted in Marshmallow; sizes 4, 5, and 6 needles. Pattern: Bray.
Time: A couple of months.
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.
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.)
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.
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.