Finished: Combospin, Harvest cardigan

It is finished! I blogged before about casting on my Harvest sweater, and the process of spinning it from various braids of different kinds of fibres.

Handspun funky striped sweater
The pattern is Harvest, a brilliant seamless and free pattern from Tincanknits. This pattern is lovely and straightforward, and there's something very satisfying about how little finishing there is to do at the end - since the buttonband is knit at the same time as the body, once you've bound off, you're done. This also makes it perfect for stripy handspun yarn, since the stripes wrap around the entire garment.
Striped combospun sweater in oranges, browns, and yellows, merino and wool and silk and alpaca
I did do a few mods that I picked up from some other Ravelry projects - one was knitting the sleeve cuffs perpendicular to the sleeves, which gives a nice mock-ribbing effect. Another is adding knit-in pockets - this is my first time using this technique, and I'm really pleased with it. Basically you knit waste yarn over the area you want to place your pocket, then slip the stitches back and re-knit. Then, you have two sets of live stitches - one to knit the ribbing over top of your pocket, and the other to knit the back lining. Then I sewed the lining against the front of the cardigan to finish the pocket.

This was a very quick knit - just over a month from cast off to bind off, and I was working on other projects during that time as well. Stockinette and garter stitch go quickly, even more so when I can't wait to see what stripe will appear next.
Work in progress handspun knitted sweater in yellow and orange stripes
I did use one psychological trick to keep me motivated while knitting: after I separated for the sleeves, instead of continuing down the body, I immediately knit the sleeves next. Sleeves are a bugbear of mine: I always underestimate how long they will take, and I find them very tedious. Especially when they're the one thing standing between me and a finished sweater. So, by knitting the sleeves in the middle of the project, it prevented a good deal of frustration and made the project go much more quickly.
Handspun Tincanknits Harvest Cardigan sleeves
The sleeves are the only part of the sweater where I alternated skeins - I knit them in 3-round stripes. This is because I wanted the width of the stripes to roughly match the body, and if I had just knit from one skein the small circumference of the sleeves would have caused much wider stripes. The effect is subtle but I'm very happy with how it turned out.

All in all, I am really happy with this cardigan! I took it out for a test drive yesterday and it was perfectly cosy. I can tell I'll get a lot of wear out of this one.

So, to summarise, I went from this disparate pile of fibre:
Combospin stashed braids of dyed fibre in oranges and yellows and browns

To a huge plying ball:
fluffy longhair calico cat with huge ball of yarn

To this yarn:
Handspun yarn combo spin collection, one sweater's worth of marled combospun yarn

To this sweater:
Homespun handmade knitted striped cardigan plus size

Project page on Ravelry


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