Tackling the Channel…

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Pretending that I’m not wearing this sweater in 30 degree weather…

I just got back from a quick blog photo session with Andrea and Kristin so I actually have multiple projects to share! So rare! And I plan to get the rest of my stack of finished projects photographed this week before so many of my obliging friends depart the city. As in move far, far away. For good.

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Most of the projects that I have to share are knitting so best to start there and spread the sewing out a bit! So with no further ado… The Channel Cardigan (project details can be found here)! This gorgeous, squishy delight is brought to us from the delightful imagination of Jared Flood.

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Ignore the terribly wrinkled skirt!

This sweater was part of the Brooklyn Tweed Winter ’14 collection and I have been drooling since I saw the first photos.  Instant knitting lust! I was temporarily intimidated by the 5/5 difficulty rating but I quickly got over that. Then I was thwarted by my stash diet as this project is a bit of a yarn hog and I didn’t quite have enough in my stash to cover it. However, I had some yarn to exchange at Romni Wools and mixing colour lots on commercially dyed yarn is generally pretty safe so I forged on!

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Stable buttonbands for the win! Gorgeous, heathered yarn for the win! Awesome vintage buttons from
The Workroom for the win! So much winning!

This project was done using Cascade 220 Heathers in Peacock and while I was a little unsure of this colourway before I started, I am now in love with it! The purple and green strands make this yarn almost luminous when the light hits it (see above photos for most representative images of the colour). I’ve never worked with the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter that the pattern called for so while I can’t really comment on how it compares, Cascade 220 does seem to be a fairly common substitution. This cardigan is HEAVY though so the loftiness of the Shelter yarn might not be a bad plan if your stash diet and/or budget isn’t prohibitive! Today was 30 degrees in Toronto so putting this sweater on to take pictures was a little miserable! But next winter I am going to be a happy camper in this baby!

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As always, knitting from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern is a delight from start to finish. Their patterns are always well edited, are usually error free and explain every technique in excellent detail.  It’s rare that I need to look for tutorials online when I’m working from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. My last couple of projects have been from Quince&Co patterns, which has only made me that much more appreciative of BT’s attention to detail.  Sadly, I have yet to encounter a Quince pattern that was error free.  Anyone else have that problem? I’ll freely admit that it irritates the hell out of me, even if the mistake is an easy one to figure out. But I digress…

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Elements that I love on this cardigan? The tubular cast-on. The raglan sleeves. The giant shawl collar. The dense and stable button band. The gorgeous belt loops. Gauge! I’m a tight knitter and therefore usually have problems getting gauge on projects. However, I tend to be spot on with  Jared Flood’s patterns, which is always a relief!

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Elements that I dislike? The belt! This sucker was a misery to knit and I find that the edges of it are uneven enough to drive me mad! I also wish that the belt loops sat a little higher on the body as they don’t quite hit my waist. Since that is a problem I could have and should have corrected while knitting, I’ll table the complaints for now! I also find the collar a little awkward as it is. Another button or two would be a huge help but since I don’t currently feel like undoing my work, I’m going to settle for a couple of snaps. It might also be that I knit a little too much fabric for the button bands; I definitely knit the side with the buttonholes a wee too long! Oh well…

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Not a clue what I was doing here!

All in all, I’m not sure which element(s) deserved the 5/5 rating as I think this was fairly straightforward make. The textured fabric requires more attention than straight stockinette but otherwise? Not a difficult pattern so dive in if fear has been holding you back!

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And a little fun from Kristin! The sweater looked fabulous on her!

So what do you think? Any interest in making this sweater? You all share my love affair with Brooklyn Tweed designs?

It’s late and writing coherent sentences is becoming increasingly challenging so I am going to leave it at that for now. If I think of anything else to say tomorrow then I’ll add it!

G’night Peeps!

Sara

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16 thoughts on “Tackling the Channel…

  1. Looks great Sara! But I already told you that IRL. What do you mean that the button band was knitted too long? I did not notice at all. To me it just looks like a perfect and super huggable sweater. I don’t think I’ll knit it myself (belted styles are not my thing after all) but you certainly do a good selling job on the BT patterns. Perhaps some of that Cascades 220 I’ve got waiting for me will turn into one of their sweaters next winter. Also, those photos did not turn out bad at all! You look super cute, and Kristin missed her calling as a blog model… she has no excused with that dress form from now on! Your Chanel rocks!

    • The length of the button band wasn’t too noticeable but I had to do some easing to match it up with the sweater edge and the result of the extra length is a little bit of gaping. I can live with it but I think it would have been a bit more polished if the band was a little shorter. And I agree about K! Such a natural! No more dress form photos for her!

  2. I totally share your love for Brooklyn Tweed, life’s too short to be bothered while knitting. I think I’m moving towards a well-designed and well-explained patterns only for both sewing and knitting. There are plenty enough of those not to get bored, so I should be fine!
    You should totally try to knit in shelter (or loft), I’ve made one sweater in loft, and it’s my favorite ever, it’s just so comfy, light and warm. It’s just such good quality, and it showcases nicely the effort that goes into knitting a sweater!
    I love your cardigan, the color is absolutely gorgeous, I’ve had my eye on it since it came out, but have been a bit undecided about whether I should knit it or not…

    • Thanks! And I do really want to give loft and shelter a try! The colours are so saturated and gorgeous and I am so curious about the fabric it would create! One day… And I say you should knit it! Not the least but boring to knit and a very satisfying finished sweater at the end!

  3. It’s so beautiful! I liked the pattern when it was released, but now that I’ve seen yours, I LOVE it! I think I’ll have to do another BT sweater in the fall . . .

    Also: you captured a pic of the rarely sighted Kristin, LOL!

  4. I can’t tell you enough how jealous I am that you’re finished with your Channel Cardigan. It looks really gorgeous, and I think the color you chose is absolutely wonderful! I agree, that this pattern is not as difficult as the rating suggests, and I found it to be well written. I like how there are non-standard cast-ons and techniques throughout, because I like to feel like I’m getting something for my money when I pay for a pattern. BT doesn’t disappoint. I do wish, however, there was a way that the instructions to the pattern could have been consolidated. 18 pages is a lot. Often, I prefer to read my pattern instructions on either my phone or ipad, and it is a huge headache to jump back and forth between pages on a device. I wish that pattern writers would be more conscious of this, but that’s just a personal preference.

    Really, really lovely job on this. Hopefully, you’ll have a couple cool summer evenings so you’ll be able to wear it before the fall.

    • Thanks, Michelle! How is yours coming along! I agree that the 18 pages is completely awkward (all of the BT patterns suffer from this) but since I love the details, the instructions, etc I can’t complain. I also like to read my patterns from my various devices so I do tend to create several smaller PDF’s that are easier to scroll through for the different sections. It’s not ideal but it does the trick for me.

      Can’t wait to see your cardigan! Will be keeping an eye out…

  5. Let me clarify, as someone who’s worn this sweater: It is superb. So beautiful, so nicely knitted, such a great style. I do feel that knitting it with BT Shelter would be a smart idea – budget depending – because (having knit with the BT), I know it is very light-weight, even as it’s super warm. Easier on the hands, while knitting, if nothing else. But it does look perfect in the Cascade and it has a great “winter sweater” texture. I estimate that the cardi weighs a pound, which will be FANTASTIC come November, but it means this is a true winter sweater, not a 3 season experience.

    • Oh yeah. This sucker is absolutely a winter sweater but in this part of the world, that is a big chunk of the year! I kind of want to get my hands on the BT sample so that I can see how it compares to mine, weight-wise. I still say that you should make a version as this one looked gorgeous on you! Perhaps in Shelter?! To satisfy my curiosity? Yes? Great! Thanks!

  6. This is stunning! The colour is perfect and you are going to be so cozy this winter.

    I tend not to be a belted sweater sort of person, but seeing belted rather than buttoned on Kristin is making me rethink that. there’s definitely something to be said for the versatility, though I’m not sure I’d have it in me to knit the sash.

    Also, if you ever want to team up for a photoshoot, let me know! I can usually convince L to help out, but he gets bored after three shots.

    • Thanks, Angela! I’m not a belted sweater kind of girl either and was mostly frawn to this one because of the collar and the details. I usually do wear it as Kristin demonstrated cause it’s fast and easy or leave it undone entirely. Knitting the belt was certainly an exercise in patience but it was really the only unpleasant and boring task in this knit. You can try mine and decide if you’re sold! And I will almost certainly take you up on the photoshoot offer! And ditto for me should you need pictures for your own blog!

  7. Gorgeous sweater! The colour variation in the yarn is really great, and the details really stand out. I have yet to try a BT pattern, but they look good, and I’m certainly all for error free well written patterns.

    • Thanks, Chloe! You should indeed give BT patterns a try. As Michelle mentioned above, they can be a bit cumbersome but they also usually have something new for me to try so I tend to enjoy. Look forward to hearing your opinion!

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