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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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