I don’t knit shawls and wouldn’t follow Stephen West’s designs much. Usually don’t knit much any more either…
But when a friend posted about Stephen West’s “Enchanted Mesa” sweater on FB just a few days after the release of the pattern… I fell in love ! Bought the pattern, printed it. And began to think about suitable yarns.
A quick dive in my huge stash, to dig all the thin yarns I could find in tones of plum and orange. With added light pinks to make it work. Now that got exciting ! Some super old vintage Phildar yarns, a treasured ball of Noro Silk Garden Lite, some handpainted handspun mini skeins in just the right colors… and tons of lace weight Phildar mohair (the discontinued “Aurore”) to use when yarns wouldn’t be thick enough to match the rest…
I grabbed my circular needles which had not been used for a couple years… and cast on as fast as I could ! Colors just fell into place quite naturally. I knew I wanted that rusty orange as main top color.
As for all top down sweaters, the beauty is that you can try it on as you go. I quickly realised that
– I had misread the collar directions: measurements are 10 inches, not 10 cm ! To be cut/frogged/reknit at a later stage
– Pattern direction for sleeves were perfect as they were, no need to use less stitches. Had to frog and reknit the (beg of) sleeves twice to realise this 🙂
– The orange stripes I had planned at bottom of pink short row section didn’t quite work. Frogged and reknit.
– Using bits and pieces of vintage yarns means that when you run out of one color, you have to frog previous sections to make it work. “Lucky me”, I had already planned to frog and reknit the collar 😉
Altogether, I love everything about this sweater. So much fun to knit. (Re)learned several things along the way (as in, I haven’t knit for years!!). I also love the fact that I was able to use so many favorite yarns, include some of my own handspun. It took me a couple months to finish, but really you also have to consider december was a busy month 😉 And then another month or two to get a decent haircut and decent weather to take pictures…
I also loved knitting with much finer yarns that what I have also used. Seriously considering knitting more such sweaters now. If I ever reknit this pattern, I would work only 4 wedges though (5 tends to lower the short row section way down to my elbow, which makes it sometimes not very practical especially to wear under a winter jacket). And I ended up reknitting the collar with a few rows of garter stitch to finish it off. The turned hem kept rolling the wrong way, and I didn’t like it.
So what do you think : Crazy sweater, or Awesome sweater ? (collage made with PicMonkey, we couldn’t stop laughing !)