Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Letter to Alicia Re: Wyeth

Dear Alicia,

Thank you for letting me test knit your incredible Wyeth Pullover. I needed this sweater, with it's addictive, textural arrow pattern. Then, there were stockinette sleeves for tv watching. Oh and there was a lot of tv watching with this knit. It sat beside me through hours of the kind of news we have all been alternately worn down or motivated by. As events unfolded in front of me each evening, there sat my Wyeth, in my lap. Then, when I found I couldn't focus or even remember to knit, it just sat beside me. You were incredibly understanding with your test knitters.





When I "came to" and remembered I needed to finish those sleeves, I had enough time to be done for release day. But then there would be blocking....which led to the discovery of a harsh line between mixed dye lots I didn't even know I had that necessitated re-knitting the entire right sleeve. Since I was already behind I went for the re-knit so I would at least have normal photos to show what a lovely project this is.

I may  have mixed feelings about my performance as a tester, but I have no regrets about asking to test this. It is special to me. Beyond being a beautiful sweater I will enjoy wearing for years, it was a comfort to me and a tangible reminder of clinging to hope in hard times. The phrase "Move forward" has been in my head for months, and I find these arrows, on stockinette relief, brought it to mind many times as I worked.


Thank you, Alicia, for putting your creative stuff out there in the world and for letting me test knit it. And, seriously, this will never happen again.

Love Michelle


Details: This is deeeeeep stash. It is actually the same Patons color as my husband's bulky sweater- the one I wanted to steal, but really need to de-pill. Well, now I have my own, making theft unnecessary.

I used US needles size 0 and 2.5 to knit this with 4 skeins of Paton's Classic Wool in the Jade Heather colorway. I originally wanted to use some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Old World colorway for this, but decided the stitch pattern would be more apparent with this yarn that I've had since 2008 or so. It feels very good to use old stash.

However, old stash can come with caveats, like missing ball bands. I don't know how I mixed dye lots. This is usually a yarn that is consistent across lots, but even so, I thought I bought this batch all at once. When it was blocking, I saw the color change was two inches from the sleeve pick up, I decided it would be better to rip the whole sleeve out and start over using only the darker shade for the whole sleeve. I also didn't have enough of the lighter one to knit a whole sleeve. The seam in the fabric, where the sleeve is picked up, along with the difference in direction the stockinette lays, masks the color change well. At least I think so. Sigh. I make noob errors regularly.

I followed the pattern as instructed. This would be an easy knit to lengthen with an arrow repeat, or crop further, for that matter.

Because of the deeper neckline, I chose my sweater size based on bust size. I didn't want it to be gaping or hang on me, however I could have modified this to have larger armholes, because I often like to do that. I didn't because it was a test, but it may be something you'd want to consider if you are like me and your arm and chest sizes don't always match up to one single pattern size. My sleeves do fit fine, and I will say that I think the sleeves are meant to be fitted.







Now go make your own!
 (More on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

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