Your humble blogger? I’m about to finish up Clue 2. I have to say, though, the encouragement of folks here in the office and on Facebook and Ravelry guarantees that this will not be another unfinished project on the pile. This is still very exciting!
Last time we showed a Llamalini (109yds/50g) sweater with its Y-shaped cables. Here it is again at right, with the body and sleeves separated. It’s slightly damp, since the knitter gave it a little bath just to see if the yarn would do anything odd. Good news – the Llamalini linen/llama/silk blend came through like a champ. Looks like smooth sailing!
A knitter in accounting is steaming ahead in Poems Silk (109yds/50g), following the Harder Path with a stockinette background. She’s very happy to have Clue 4 in her hands and plans to dive in at lunchtime.
And speaking of Clue 4, there’s yet another branch in the path! Amy provides options for waist shaping. If you’re a curvy type, there’s an option for accentuating your curves. If you prefer a more straightforward line, there are options for that as well. I’m loving just how customized I can make this sweater.
Today I launch into clue 3. I plan to be caught up by the time Clue 5 rolls around –I hear it’s going to bring even more options. See you on Monday!
So, how’re we doing? Personally, I love it so far. The reversible right twists look great and are easy to keep track of. I’m feeling good about the path that I’ve chosen… and now it’s time to choose again!
Amy Gunderson gives Harder Path followers another fork in the road – choose stockinette or reverse stockinette. “One reason the reverse stockinette path might be a good choice for you is if you’re working with a variegated yarn. I happen to prefer the look of variegated yarn over a reverse stockinette fabric rather than stockinette, but it’s your choice!”
We have people in the office using both solid and variegated yarns. Above is Jennifer’s collar in Poems Silk. I may just wander over to her office and try to nudge her in the direction of reverse stockinette – I really want to see what the yarn is going to do!
This weekend will be a good opportunity to stay (or get) caught up on what we’ve done so far. We’ll be back on Monday with Clue #3!
True to her word, Amy Gunderson has written two versions… and hints that there will be further twists and turns down the road for those who wish to choose their own adventure.
Amy: This pattern is going to be a bit of a “choose your own adventure” sweater. There will be different “paths” to choose along the way to having your very own seamless sweater. At the very beginning of this pattern, you will find yourself at a large fork in the road. In one direction you will find a slightly more complex path. There will be right twists (RT) and reversible cables. In the other direction, you will encounter a more pared down version that involves 2×2 ribbing and garter stitch. Choose your path according to your experience level and willingness and ability to keep track of rows.
Your humble blogger and most (but not all) of the participants here at Universal Yarn are picking the harder path. Where that will lead us? We’ll just have to see!
First things first – we’ve had a couple of very good questions!
Q: What’s the difficulty level of this sweater? A: Amy tells us that it’ll be customizable from “easy to intermediate.” It’s written in such a way that you can be flexible and choose to include or not include some of the details to fit it to your personal comfort level.
Q: How much knitting should I expect to do per night? A: Some of that will depend on you, of course. We’ve got both hares and tortoises here in the office, but we’re feeling pretty confident that the pace will be reasonable. The designer, Amy Gunderson, is estimating about 45 minutes per day of knitting.
My personal plan is to crank up the first season of Downton Abbey and watch an episode a night to get caught up (again) while knocking out a few rows in the evening. Perhaps while sipping some tea. It’s a sacrifice, but I’ll soldier on.
Now on to Jackie! Jackie is tackling the Mystery KAL as her very first sweater project. Unfortunately, Jackie is allergic to wool. To me, that seems like being allergic to air, but Jackie isn’t letting that stop her.
Jackie’s chosen to do her sweater in Good Earth cotton/linen blend (204yds/100g). Good Earth Multi is in the swatch pictured above, although Jackie settled on a solid color for her sweater. The drape on Good Earth is naturally different than a wool blend, but it’s got a great hand and knits up beautifully. Jackie’s going to make the simpler version of the sweater.
We’re all very proud of her for stretching her wings by trying something new. We should all try to learn something new every day – knitting-related or not!
And we’re off! Folks in the office have made their yarn selections. Bags of yarn have arrived at our desks and we’ve ripped into them and started swatching.
Deluxe Worsted and Deluxe Worsted Superwash seemed like the classic choices for a sweater. Both are 220yds/100g 100% wool. Based on the dead-on gauge swatch in Deluxe Worsted pictured at right, it’s going to be a good fit.
We’ve had some people ask how well Deluxe Worsted Superwash actually stands up to washing, so we put a couple of gauge swatches to the test before starting an entire sweater. Machine washed and tumbled dry, the swatches looked just fine. We feel comfortable casting on with confidence.
We can’t wait for the clues to start rolling in. There’s a Ravelry group going where you can share your progress.
The “mystery” in this KAL should be what the finished product will look like – it shouldn’t be confusion about gauge and fit. So the folks at 30 Day Sweater have provided a video to go along with the Universal knitalong with helpful hints on making your finished sweater the perfect fit for you.
Thanks, guys! We hope this inspires people to try new things with their knitting!
Have you heard about the 30 Day Sweater Challenge? During the month of October, the folks at – wait for it – 30 Day Sweater Challenge are hosting a massive knitalong. You pick your pattern and yarn, and join others who are also making top-down seamless sweaters at the same time, trading tips and tricks.
We couldn’t resist joining in the fun, so we’re hosting a Mystery Knit-Along for those in search of a project! Designer Amy Gunderson has created a top-down pattern sized for men and women that fits the bill. Amy says, “The knitting itself should be ideal: enough going on for it not to be boring, but not so much going on that you can’t watch your favorite tv show while working on it.”
To help keep you motivated, we’re also offering a contest! If you complete your sweater in a Universal yarn by November 14th and send us a photo, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a set of Deborah Norville interchangeable needles. These are very pleasant needles to work with – smooth and quick to use, and perfect for your *next* top-down sweater!
Amy has given us the info we need to get started selecting yarn and swatching for gauge. To fit bust/chest 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52)” you will need approximately 1000 (1175, 1330, 1525, 1700, 1875) yards.
Gauge: 18 sts/24 rows in St st
We’ll be knitting along in the office, too. We’ve picked these yarns for ourselves:
• Classic Shades
• Classic Shades Solids
• Classic Worsted
• Deluxe Worsted
• Deluxe Worsted Concord Tweed
• Deluxe Worsted Superwash
• Nettle Lana
• Uptown Worsted
• Poems Silk
• Poems Silk Solids
We’ll post 2 clues per week, given on Monday/Tuesday and also on Thursday/Friday, for a total of 10 clues. The first clue will be on Tuesday Oct 1st, and the last clue will be on Thursday Oct 31st.
We’re swatching for gauge (you do swatch for gauge, don’t you?), but we can’t start our top-down sweaters until Amy gives us the go-ahead on October 1st.