Knitting in the Fall: Svalbard Redux

Svalbard.2.1
Svalbard
Svalbard.2.2
Svalbard

Pattern:   Svalbard, by Bristol Ivy, from Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 6.

Yarn:  Laramie, a hand-dyed merino wool in worsted weight from Mountain Meadow Wool (Buffalo, Wyoming), in color Prairie.  The yarn is rustic but soft, in a color that is outside my comfort zone — but the ladies at the yarn shop convinced me that it goes with my complexion . . . .

Modifications:  I knitted this cardigan a few years ago but never liked the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool yarn: it had almost no memory and was unaccountably itchy around the neck.  Svalbard 1 became one of the few sweaters I never frogged, and I gave it away without regret.  But I liked the pattern itself, hence Svalbard 2.  The only modifications I made were shorter sleeves.

Thoughts:  It was a fun knit four years ago, and it was a fun knit this time around.  I like this version much better, I even like the colour!  It is a big long on me, but now that I am solidly middle-aged, coverage is a good thing.

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Knitting in the Winter: Svalbard

Svalbard cardigan
Svalbard cardigan
Back chevron detail
Back chevron detail

Pattern:  Svalbard, by Bristol Ivy, from Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 6.  I fell in love with the “chevron increase” detail in the back, and also liked the idea of an easy-going, no closure swing jacket.

Yarn:  Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, in teal (discontinued colour).  This is my first time knitting with this yarn — indeed, with any yarn from the Elsebeth Lavold brand.  I like the slightly slubby texture of the yarn, and the silk content gives the knitted fabric a very nice drape.  I did not enjoy all the little pieces of hay and other scratchy bits left in the spun yarn; they were a nuisance while knitting, and I can still feel them when I wear the sweater.  Over all, I probably will not knit with this yarn again.

Modifications:  My yarn is a DK weight, so I used the directions for size 42.5 and ended up somewhere around 38-plus.  It is definitely quite roomy, and long — but I am quite short.  The armscye was a bit tight before blocking, and although fine now, this is a cardigan for wearing over a light top.  I should have tapered the arms more, but having never worked with Silky Wool before, I didn’t know that the yarn would relax as much as it did with blocking.  Oh well.

Thoughts:  Bristol Ivy is a thoughtful designer.  I love the ingenious shoulder and body shaping she achieved with her chevron increases, which resulted in lovely stylized hearts on the back yoke and under the arms.  Not that anyone is going to look under my arms, but the design details are there, and I know they are there.  The cardigan does have a bit of a bubble shape to it, even after blocking.  I would not recommend this shape for someone who is any combination of big/ busty/short, because the shape adds width (this from a 100-pound woman).  But, I will wear this because the color is pretty, it is comfortable, and I’m past the age when I actually give a damn about looks 🙂