Still faster than knitting

asparagus sweater

I’ve really been enjoying the sweater knits I’ve added to my stash this past year.  Quality sweater knits are truly a joy to sew with.  Besides being warm, it’s just so gratifying to be able to make a sweater in a couple of hours.  You can’t knit that quickly, and largely because of projects like this, I have zero interest in picking up a couple of needles and yarn.

This past week I’ve been working with this lovely pale green wool/cotton knit that I picked up at Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, NC.  It has a sort of waffled texture, but it’s a bit hard to describe.  It’s not quite crocheted, not quite waffled–in short it’s it’s own thing.  I washed it (cold + gentle cycle) and then threw it in the dryer (no heat) because I live in a real house where my laundry once in a blue moon does not get done by me.  Wanting to not end up with another shrunken sweater, I thought I’d get the shrinkage all done right up front.

The problem is that it shrunk a bit too much and I didn’t have enough fabric to make what I wanted.  I toyed around with the idea of a basic tee, but that sounded boring, not warm, and like something that would not showcase the beauty of this fabric.  Plus, I really had my heart set on a fat cozy collar.  So I called Mulberry Silks to see if they still had some of this  (It’s “asparagus” Italian wool/cotton knit and it was about $17 something/yd in the sale bin if you’re interested).  “Asparagus” is quite a misnomer–you can see from my pale self that the fabric is a great deal more delicately green than the asparagus that graces my plate.  The wonderful owner said she remembered cutting it for me and was happy to ship it to me.  So, more expensive project than I anticipated, but a RTW sweater of this quality of wool would definitely still cost me a great deal more and I know how long sweaters last in my closet.

asparagus seams

I decided not to serge this fabric and instead chose to leave wide seam allowances and whipstitch them open.  I don’t sew with enough wool, but when I do, I’m always struck by how beautifully it takes to steaming + the clapper.  Those SAs are FLAT.  It took forever to do this over all of the seams, but the inside is gorgeous, and it was nice just to savor the beauty of this fabric a little longer.

Whenever I was getting antsy about how long it was taking me, I reminded myself that I can still whipstitch faster than I could ever possibly knit.  And it took me back to my hand sewing roots.  I can see myself getting into couture kind of stitching.  I think there’s just some fabric that just screams to have special treatment.  You know that spot in Tootsie when Dustin Hoffman is talking about wanting to make Shirley’s hair prettier because “she deserves it”?–similarly, I think there’s fabric that deserves to be pampered.

The pattern is Burda 7433.  I had made it before but was never able to wear it because unfortunately DH shrunk that one, but also, it needed a narrow shoulder adjustment.  I compared it to my TNT t-shirt and adjusted the pattern by 3/4″ which seemed like a lot to me, but that’s what I needed.  The only thing is that I adjusted the front side piece, but missing 3/4″ makes the princess seam line run *very* close to the shoulder seam.  If I ever make this again, I’ll have to move the front/side princess line so that it hits at a better spot.

Here’s the collar without the foldover for those ultra chilly days.


So, yay for a warm sweater, and yay for great fabric stores, and beautiful fabric.  Readers, have you ever had to order extra fabric after your original purchase?

My full review of the top is here.

Happy New Year!


2 thoughts on “Still faster than knitting

  1. Perfect knit sweater and that colour is so pretty. I her you about knitting. Only if we could get our hands on that sort of fabric here it might have saved me from casting on today 🙂

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