One of my main goals for learning to knit was to create a sweater for myself. Because I am so tall, it is very hard for me to find sweaters with sleeves that are long enough. By knitting my own sweater, I could add my own length to the sleeves. My good friend (and knitting inspiration) Stephanie shared her enormously successful Right as Rainbow sweater pattern with me around the beginning of March. I read through the pattern and loved her clear explanations, detailed photographs, and interesting design.
I talked to Stephanie about the pattern and her yarn recommendations. I love the softness of cotton, but it does not return to its original shape as easily as wool and gets stretched out over time. Thus, I decided to look for a wool/cotton blend. Although this is a FANTASTIC pattern, it does require many colors of yarn. This is great for those who have a huge stash of leftover colors, but my stash to this point has been mainly acrylic and cotton yarns (both washable and great for children). I needed to find an affordable yarn that would still knit into a beautiful sweater for myself.
While searching through the local yarn store and various online yarn suppliers, I happened to find Cascade Sierra– a wool/cotton blend with vibrant colors that had been discontinued and was on clearance. I ordered a bunch of colors in shades of blue and green so that I could choose among them when they arrived and save the additional yarn for future projects. I ordered seven skeins of the color “Moth” to make up the bulk of the sweater. Once I began working with the yarn, I loved it so much that I went and ordered a wider selection of colors to have on hand for future knitting.
I bought some long (47″) size 6 circular Addi knitting needles at the local yarn store. Although the pattern began with the sleeves, I was determined to work on the body first. Since I was 8 months pregnant, I figured I could always work on the sleeves while I was at the hospital. As it turned out, by the time I went into labor I was already finished with the main part of the body and both sleeves. The pattern called for one single row of color on the cuff of the sleeves, but I was so tired of knitting gray by that point that I decided to add some additional color to the cuff of the sleeves. I am so happy with the way they turned out!
The most exciting part about knitting this sweater was beginning the rainbow yoke. This is the top part of the sweater which connects the sleeves and changes colors every 10 rows. By the time I was ready to have my labor induced, I was on the second color of the rainbow yoke. I brought the sweater-in-progress and all the colors for the rainbow yoke with me to the hospital and worked on it as much as I could! Each shift change in nurses brought lots of interest to the project I was creating as they came to check my vital signs and check in on the baby.
About a week after my son Christian was born, I finished the sweater. I created it for the size I expect to be in the fall, so it is not quite a perfect fit (keep in mind I’m a week postpartum in the following pics!). The sleeves are as long as I wanted, which makes me very happy. I absolutely love all the blues and greens and have several shirts in my wardrobe that match it well. I wore the sweater out for our first “date night” to celebrate my husband’s birthday (Christian came with us, but the other three stayed with Grandma). I look forward to cool evenings in the fall where I can wear my sweater more frequently!