Fruits of Monogamy

This pattern for an oversized sweater first appeared on my Instagram feed as I was preparing for bed on January 31st.

It popped up again the next morning with a release date of February 1st! I made the purchase by 8:00 am.

I spent several days swatching, as the pattern recommended US 7 needles, which I determined was a joke. My adventures in swatching, ease, and gauge are chronicled here, here, and here. As discussed, the recommended gauge produced a very loose fabric, which did not please me. Thus, I did the calculations to determine which size to knit in my preferred gauge to obtain the size sweater I wanted.

All that swatching and calculating meant I did not actually cast on for the sweater until February 4th; however, the knitting moved quickly, and I soon had pockets! The pattern actually directs that the pockets be added at the end, but I like to weave in ends and finish as I go.

As of the 20th, the front (and the back up to the arm holes) was completely done.

On the 23rd, we had a day road trip, which meant lots of knitting time. The body was finish by that time, so I was able to knock out the cowl and a sleeve. Yesterday (the 24th), I leisurely finished the second sleeve. After a nice soak, the sweater dried overnight.

This morning, we had a quick photo shoot in the morning light.

As expected, she grew and blossomed with the bath, but she is within half an inch of the finished size predicted. She is a slight bit larger.

In addition to gauge, the only other thing I modified in the pattern was to add three pull stitches up each side of the body, beginning with the 1 x 1 ribbing from the bottom hem. I did this for two reasons, experience has shown in the past that when I knit stockinette in the round for the body, it becomes twisted over time and does not hang properly because it lacks the structure of a seam. The three purl stitches serve as a visual reminder to me when blocking and wearing of how the sweater should lay. Also, I anticipated it might be a bit boxy with the wearing, and the purl stitches give me a slight bit of draw-in or expansion over the waist and hips.

Pattern: Larch by Pam Allen

Yarn: Madelinetosh Vintage in Night Bloom

The pattern is very easy and well written. It is perfect for beginners. Stitches required are stockinette, ribbing, picking up stitches, yarn-overs (for short rows), ssk, k2tog, and three-needle bind-off.

Despite the size of the sweater, it is a very fast knit. It took me less than three weeks, and one of those weeks, I took off to work on my loom. In large part, it is mindless knitting, so perfect for TV or conversations (or traveling in a vehicle).

I wholly recommend the pattern and the lovely yarn!


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