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Ok, so the weather turned out to be cold today (yes, 64F is cold to me). So I got to wear my Bradshaw today. Of course I was teased a bit about wearing a parka, but I went to lunch with a coworker yesterday and sat in the shade. It took me 2 hours to warm up again. Poor blood circulation? Maybe, but now I got Bradshaw to keep me warm!

My obsession with Bradshaw began when I bought the Noro Knits book for the Butterfly pattern. The contrasting collar and cuffs caught my attention straight away and possibly even more than Butterfly, if that is possible. As soon as I got it home I google searched this baby to death and only came up with one other instance of the sweater at HPNY knits. How could that be?? Such a wonderful sweater going unrevealed. Well, that is when I google search the yarn…the rest is history, or at least to be continued later in the post

Yarn:

Inspiration: Noro Bradshaw Sweater from Noro Knits
Needles: Size 10.5
Size: 38-40
Yardage: Approx. 1048 yards or 8 skeins of Iro, 3 skeins of Berkshire Bulky
Modifications: Knit the body to 29″ instead of 34 3/4″, knit the collar to 9″ instead of 14″, only increased sleeve cap stitches to 60 sts in an effort to reduce the bat wing effect in the underarm.
Enjoyment Factor: 8.5

Knit Time: August 24 – September 29

The Good:

  • Sale Yarn: I cannot stress enough how imperative sale yarn is to my knitting. As I was saying above, I google searched the yarn and Holey Moley was I surprised at $20.00 a skein for the base yarn, Noro Iro, and $17.00 for the recommended Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky!!! That makes this sweater nearly $275.00!! now I like the sweater and all but nearly $300.00 is pushing the edge of knitting sanity. That is when my faithful partners Little Knits came on the scene with 58% off Noro Iro, and WEBS produced the suitable substitution yarn, berkshire bulky, at an economic price. All in all, the sweater cost me a little less that $100.00. Pricey yes, but have you calculated your knitting projects lately?? You will be surprised at how much we could save by going shopping 🙂

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  • Both yarns were wonderful:
    • Noro Iro: despite being 80% wool, is really softened by that 20% silk content. It is not scratchy at all (disclaimer: I do find Kureyon to be scratchy but not prohibitively so). The knots were horrendous, but wonders of spit splicing made me less angry with the situation. When blocked it really did not grow that much, nothing to change your knitting needle size for.
    • Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky: I love this yarn. I used it on my Doctor’s Bag and it fit perfectly as a sub for the DB Super Chunky. It is soft and a pleasure to knit with because it slides through your fingers like butter…mmmm silky soft. It is a loose spun yarn so some pilling, haloing, and stitch definition should be factored in. However, my Doctor’s Bag still looks really good so I knew it would stand up on my sweater. Note, this yarn grows like a chia pet. My garter stitch gauge swatch (read: my sleeve bottom because I was too lazy to make a gauge swatch) grew by about 1.5″ in width and that was without any extra stretching so beware.
  • Knits up pretty quick, except for the garter stitch. One month for a knee length coat sure isn’t bad.
  • I really like my buttons. I also used a backing button for more stability. I highly recommend this as the finished result is amazing.
  • I love the contrast color I chose. Every time I look at it, it makes me want to put it on

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The Bad:

  • Beware of the measurements. I know that every knitter is different but if I didn’t have the issues with Butterfly I might have knit on this blindly. Surprisingly I didn’t have a problem with the sleeves as I had thought I would, they actually came out perfectly in length. What I did change was the finished sweater length. I am 5’5″. If I hadn’t cut off that 6″ of length I would have had a trench coat. I was going for a shorter length but this one is fine.

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  • The sleeve hole size. When I finished the sleeve cap, I pinned it in and noticed quite a bit of extra material right in the underarm area. Huh?? what is that used for outside of giving me those dreaded floppy underarm bat wings. I didn’t really know how to fix it so on the second sleeve I only increased sleeve cap stitches to 60 sts instead of 66 in an effort to reduce the bat wing effect in the underarm. Since it was ribbed stitched I didn’t think that would be an issue. I think it helped quite a bit but I still have some extra room in the arms.

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  • I am not a drop sleeve gal. Good to know ones personal style preference and I am definitely putting this on the list of things to avoid in the future. I really like this sweater but the drop sleeve makes me feel like it is falling off, plus I just don’t think it is that great a look. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t keep me from wearing this sweater, but I will steer clear of them in the future.

The Ugly

  • Garter stitch, garter stitch, garter stitch. I won’t repeat it here, but I think I summed it up pretty well here.
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