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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
- Noro Iro, 80% Wool and 20% Silk, color #63
- Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky, 85% wool/15% alpaca, color Red Purple
Inspiration: Noro Bradshaw Sweater from Noro Knits
Needles: Size 10.5
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
- 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 🙂
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garter stitch, garter stitch, garter stitch. I won’t repeat it here, but I think I summed it up pretty well here.
PEOPLE I have been knitting this garter stitch collar for nearly two days now! I want to gnaw off my own arms due to the miles of garter stitch. Ok, not miles, but the seemingly endless 92 stitch garter rows are driving me to the brink. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I give props to every person who can do garter stitch sweaters and scarves, because I am losing my mind with the knit knit knit coupled with the lack of growth. Funny part is this process is exactly the same when working stockinette in the round but somehow that brings me more peace than the ribby soul sucking powers of garter stitch. I may have to cut the collar a little short due to
the desire to keep my sanity design reasons. It is looking pretty big right now at 9″ and it might swallow my head if it gets to the required 14″ length. Besides, as I was trying it on I realized that I will have to move to the arctic to get the most wear out of this sweater because the 15% alpaca in the Valley Berkshire Bulky obviously packs a punch in the body heat absorption category. I can feel the heat radiating from my neck, its kinda weird.
Phew, ok…. I am better now, back to the knitting.
**BTW, doesn’t that color look yummy with the blur added. Love it.
Knit, knit, knit.
That is all I can do to keep my head up these days. I am fighting a mysterious cold that had yet to manifest itself into bone aching and snotty coughing, but instead as a constant headache, muscle tightness, and borderline nympholepsy. I have all these things I want to do in the craft world, but am exhausted just thinking about it. But enought complaining…
I finally got may contrasting yarn from Webs for the Bradshaw sweater that you can see above. I have moved on to the sleeves and I am loving the color combo.
I am also eager to join some knit-a-longs. I don’t know why because I normally have a hard time putting up enough W.I.P. pictures to constitute true participation but I am going to get better at that, you’ll see.
I am working on a new shirt for my Intermediate sewing class and a jacket for my women’s tailoring class. I will have to give you more details on that when I have more energy because I am currently too slee…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Knat: I have knit the back and the left side of the Bradshaw sweater
Knitting: I am knitting the right front of the sweater with the irritating “do the right shaping like the left front and add some buttonholes” directions
Reknit: I am also reknitting the right front of the sweater because I was distracted by the buttonholes and forgot the arm shaping, hence my irritation with the directions, even thought they are perfectly fine if you are able to remember to do them. While ripping to fix the armhole, I also noticed that I did the math for the buttonholes incorrectly and only made 4 button holes instead of 5. So instead of the 24″ I had, I am back to 9.5″. Good thing this is bulky yarn!
It’s all ok though, because I can’t finish it until my order of the contrasting yarn arrives from Webs. Until then, I will figure out what to do about the sleeves because this is the same pattern book that gave us monkey arm sleeves for the butterfly. This pattern calls for 23.25″ sleeve length with a 6.5″ cuff people!!. Hmmm…can we say octopus tentacles??
Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
Thank you for all the great comments that you all have given lately. I feel bad that I have not been able to get back to every commenter but life has gotten the best of me since Hawaii. The catching up, the work, the lack of sleep, the bridal shower prep, and now a trip to my beloved East Bay has left me without much time to send responses. I will be enjoying all my favorite foods and visiting my favorite yarn shops while I am reliving my Nor Cal lifestyle. I can’t wait!! As a special bonus, I will be eating at one of my all time favorite restaurants, Chez Panisse!!! When I was a poor college student at UC Berkeley me and a friend would skip our Political Science lecture and go to Chez Panisse for the lunch menu. This was before I knew about the crushing agony of credit card debt, but it worth it and makes for great culinary memories.
In knitting news, the swallowtail shawl left me with nothing on the needles for my upcoming trip so I casted on for the Noro Bradshaw sweater. Knitting on 10.5 needles is a trip. I have already knit 12″ of the 24.5″ of the back in two days. I can see why people love chunky yarn so much.
One bad thing about this yarn is that knots are everywhere. I found three knots in one of the skeins. I was pretty pissed when I found out the length between two of the knots was this small 😡
Also because I was winding so fast it managed to do this damage to my ball winder. 😦
Oh well, what we do and accept from our knitting.
Quick Look!!! It’s yarn..
yummy yummy yarn
Noro Iro #63 (80% Wool, 20% Silk)
Now that you are passified with the beauty of new stash, I will launch into my excuses for not posting. Nah, I have just been lazy and unable to take pictures of my knitting due to heat or lack of adequate lighting. Wow, the excuses flow so freely. Anyway, this is the yarn I have been lusting after for a while and just decided to bite the bullet and get. Noro Iro which will become the two color Noro Bradshaw sweater below:
I have only seen one other people make this, probably due to the prohibitive cost, but since Little Knits had it for 58% off (Yeah Knitaholics R Us I know! I AM a sucker for a sale) and brooklyntweed gave it such a rave review, I thought it was finally time to bring this baby home. I do have a few knits to finish before I get to this.
- Finished Butterfly Sweater
- Finished Amy Butler Weekender Bag
- Probably will be finished by the next time I post, Amy Butler Blue Sky Sunhat