Knitting in the Fall: Bedford Redux



Pattern:   Bedford by Michele Wang, from Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2011

Yarn:  About 10 years ago I went to a wool market and got sucked into buying this hand-dyed silk and kid mohair yarn. The yarn was absolutely gorgeous, and I had visions of knitting something luxuriously fabulous with it.  It didn’t matter at the time that I really dislike mohair.  I really thought if I had just the right project, I would LOVE mohair.  It never happened.  The yarn became three different sweaters, and this is the fourth and final incarnation, because of course mohair should not be frogged, ever, let alone three times.

Modifications:  This is the second version of Bedford; I didn’t wear the first version  because while there wasn’t anything wrong with it, it was just a tad too thin to wear a shirt underneath.  And at some point I needed the yarn for a new version of Bryn Mawr dress . . . .  For this Bedford, I knitted the raglan two stitches wide instead of four, made the body longer and the sleeves shorter.

Thoughts:  For such a detailed (over-written, as I think BT patterns tend to be), the directions for the neck shaping doesn’t work.  It is a good thing that I haven’t followed neck or sleeve instructions — for ANY pattern — for at least a couple of decades, mainly because I am a small woman and I routinely modify patterns to suit my dimensions and preferences.  But back to the instructions:  Michele Wang really should have done a better editing job with the directions for neck shaping.  Her buyers, and Brooklyn Tweed  fans in general, deserve better.

As for the finished sweater . . . .  I don’t love variegated yarn, I don’t love mohair, so I am pretty sure I will not be wearing this top much.  On the other hand, I do like how the sleeves turned out:  even though I also don’t like reverse stocking stitch in general, the purl fabric works well for this variegated yarn.  Maybe some day, someone will see me wearing this sweater and love it so much that I will just give it to her!

Knitting for the Winter: Bedford, Klimova, Levenwick

Pattern: Bedford, by Michele Wang; published in BT Fall 11, from Brooklyn Tweed.

Yarn: Woolen-spun, 2-ply sport weight Cormo wool from Elsa Wool Company, in undyed dark grey.  The 100% cormo is soft and itch-free for next-to-skin wear.

Modifications:  None, except for using lighter-weight wool.  I even kept the reverse stockinette for the sleeves, even though I generally dislike the look of it.  In retrospect, I should have knitted my usual size, but I thought since I was using sport weight instead of worsted weight wool, I needed to go up.  I used the directions for size 39, and after blocking, the bust measurement was … 39 inches.  Sigh.  I love the sweater, but it is a bit floppy on me.

Thoughts:  The stitch pattern results in a bias fabric which did not entirely block out.  I liked the simplicity of the pattern; it made for mindless knitting, but sometimes that is exactly what is needed.

Pattern:  Klimova, by Alison Green Will; from Twist Collective Winter 2010

Yarn:  Worsted weight merino wool from mmmm!Malabrigo, in “emerald blue.”

Modifications:  Made the usual adjustments for length, so ended up with less cable repeats.

Thoughts: I am not entirely happy with the unshaped funnel neck, but aside from that, it is a beautiful sweater.


Pattern: Levenwick, by Gudrun Johnston; in Wool People Vol. 1 Look Book, from Brooklyn Tweed

Yarn:  A worsted weight merino/silk yarn from Lambspun of Colorado, in sage.  It has bits of glitter spun in, but since I have recycled this yarn a few times, most of the glittery bits are gone.  

Modifications:  The fronts overlap  left-over-right instead of right-over-left, and I left off the bottom buttons because I thought the cardigan looked better without them.  I think I reduced the number of stitches in the left front because as written, with the buttons sewn on the button band, the front measurement would have been too generous.  No pocket, because it seemed a fussy addition.

Thoughts:  Not sure what went wrong, but the collar does not “stand up” correctly.  The button band should have been wider — it is rather flimsy as written.  I love the dyed purple wood buttons I found at Lambspun!