My first hand-knit sweater. I started it in the wee hours of 2009 and finished it up the first week of January 2010. It is made from the pattern owls by Kate Davies. I picked this pattern out many moons ago, when I was first browsing through the deliciousness that is Ravelry. The owl cable ended up on a hat for my friend Tyler, and also in several swatches I was knitting just to keep them from being so boring. So the pattern sat in my Knitting Folder for a long time. When I found Bernat Alpaca on sale at Michaels 2 for $5, I knew I could knit it up into this sweater!
Husband gave me a set of Harmony Circulars for Christmas, and boy howdy, they are NICE! SO POINTY! And the cables are incredibly flexible and the joins are smooth. DELICIOUS!
I learned a new cast on for this project, a ribbed cable cast on, which has nothing, as far as I can tell, to do with cables, but that's what it is called. I tried to do it in 2x2 ribbing but couldn't make it look right, so I just made a 1x1 ribbed hem and cuffs.
I also learned a new technique called Magic Loop, which allows one to knit smaller diameter circular items (like these sleeves!) with one long circular needle instead of several DPNs.
This sweater was incredibly fast to knit because of the relatively fat yarn and large needles (size 10 1/2). That also made it super thick and extra warm (alpaca being famous for it's warmth factor). When I finished it it kind of reminded me of one of the sweaters I would have worn in the Eighties, over a turtleneck of the same color, with matching stirrup pants. My friend Angie confirmed this by saying it reminded her of the Eighties too. :(
I searched for 40 buttons that matched, for the owls' eyes, but couldn't really eek that many out of my stash. My Father and Grandmother both saved buttons (and all manner of other things that I have inherited) so I picked some out that were close enough and sewed them onto just the front of the sweater.
The owl cables were super easy to do without a cable needle, as there are only 4 stitches involved in each crossing. They are cute! Maybe too cute for me, but the sweater is warm and that is what I wanted! Hooray for finished objects!