Bedford Redux

Materials: 5 skeins Valley Yarns Northampton in Twilight Heather; sizes 3 and 5 needles. Pattern: Bedford.

Time: A month.

Cost: $23!

The first Bedford sweater that I made a few years ago (…three?!) is one of my go-tos — it’s easy, sweatshirt-y, and cozy. So why mess with a perfect thing?  I decided to make another with some Valley Yarns Northampton that I got for particularly cheap during one of their periodic specials.  It’s a purple heather with strands of blue and red which you can see if you look really closely in good light.

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Carried away with the knowledge of my own confidence and expertise, I didn’t bother to try the sweater on until I’d gotten all the way up to the neck decreases.  And it was way too small.  So I got to rip almost the entire thing out, resulting in an enormous yarn football, and knit the stupid thing again one size up.  Knitters, learn from my mistakes: take the three minutes to stand up and try on what you’re making once in awhile!

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The second time, however, was the charm.  I worked the sleeves inside out and flipped them at the join.  Also, the yoke decreases for this pattern are notoriously badly written — most of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns I’ve used have an admirable attention to detail, but this one is the exception.  Based on others’ notes on Ravelry, I improvised.  After joining for the yoke, I worked three plain rounds and then one decrease round.  Then, I worked the yoke decrease round every other round until it was time to start the neck shaping.  At that point, I worked the decrease rounds more frequently — about two out of every three rounds — to end up with roughly about the right number of stitches called for the neck bind-off.  I didn’t sweat the precise number of stitches to be picked up for the neckline, picking up about three out of every four, which is a ratio that works for me.

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Behold my knitterly hubris!  (The re-knit sweater is great, though.)  I think my gauge is becoming more standard in my old age.

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Besides the usual palate cleanser of winter accessories, the next major projects in my queue are a few cardigans to try and restore a bit more equity to the pullover-to-cardigan ratio in my wardrobe.

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Also, sometimes my camera gets really artsy when left to its own remote-controlled autofocusing devices:

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