Knits in Progress: Two Very Different Sweaters

One of my unofficial knitting goals this year is to knit more garments, and I’ve begun with two completely different sweaters– one top-down pullover, the other a bottom-up cardigan –and I’m loving both of them so far. Let the sweater knitting begin!

The first is Golden Hour, knit in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna in ‘Pink Sands’. This is the yarn that I used for this tank top, then frogged, and then recycled the yarn. I actually started knitting this in January and planned on knitting Manzanilla, but once I looked at the pattern I realized that it was a way more complex knit than I felt like taking on at that time (to be fair, the complexity was all at the beginning, and I’m sure once the yoke and arms were complete it would be very simple).

Considering how much pick up/put down I have to do with my knitting all the time, I very rarely get an hour or two to devote to knitting that requires close attention, so Manzanilla wasn’t in the cards. I decided on Golden Hour, which I had admired for a long time and looked like an easy to wear sweater that would be perfect for this yarn. I’ve tried it on, and so far everything is going wonderfully! The yarn is so buttery soft, I’m convinced it’s going to be a great spring sweater.

The dark grey cardigan in progress is Pomme de Pin, a sweater I’ve admired forever. I had the yarn all picked out for it- Briggs & Little sport in Charcoal. If you clicked over to their site then you know they are super old school, but when it comes to wool, that’s exactly what I wanted- a rustic pure wool, north american from sheep to skein. If you like real wool (meaning, that rustic sort of wool that feels sheepy and might have bits of hay in it sometimes), I really recommend the very budget friendly Briggs & Little. I’m biased, it’s the oldest wool mill in Canada and so my national pride is all up on that. I’ve knit with it before and it holds up beautifully.

They just started a spring knit along for any knits in one of their light weight yarns, so it was the perfect reason to get started on this cardigan. I don’t often do knitalongs, but when it feels like a knit might otherwise take forever (or never get finished) it can be particularly motivating to have a target date you are working towards, and have the encouragement of others knitting along with you. I’m secretly hoping to use the deadline (May 15th, so lots of time) to finish both Golden Hour and Pomme de Pin!

42 comments

  1. Estela   •  

    Love the sweaters. Golden Hour looks like exactly something I want/need/must have in my closet ASAP.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks so much! I am excited to wear it, the pink feels perfect for spring.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  2. Melissa   •  

    Quite the perfect pink! I love the idea of two at once sweaters–and both so different. Inspiring, as always, Julie!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Melissa,

      I agree that it really keeps the interest to have two sweaters on the needles that are so different- it keeps me too interested to cast on for anything else! 😉

      Cheers,

      Julie

  3. Katherine   •  

    Two beautiful sweaters! I really look forward to seeing them both finished. I’ve wanted to try Briggs and Little for quite awhile, so it’s nice to hear your recommendation!

    • Julie   •     Author

      If you love rustic, feels-like-the-sheep-is-right-here yarn, then you will love Briggs & Little. My daughter says it’s too scratchy (it is real wool after all – she prefers superwash), but I love it. Plus, it’s very pill-resistant!

  4. Christine   •  

    Julie, if you’re interested in Canadian woolen yarns, also cast your gaze over to Alberta; we have Custom Woolen Mills, which still runs equipment from the 1800s, like a mule spinner. It was founded by and is run by a woman, and they make all sorts of awesome wooly things. It’s a really cool place to visit, and fabulous to have such a neat manufacturing industry out this way. http://www.customwoolenmills.com

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thank you so much for the recommendation, Christine! I got lost on their site for a while, and nw I know I have to try some of their yarn. I love that the fiber is sourced in Canada, too!

  5. Laura   •  

    Oooo, your Pomme de Pin is looking fab and super wearable! Briggs and Little is the first real wool I ever knit with (and I believe it was a sweater knit from a pattern I found on Craftster)! It’s since been frogged and reknit several times into (attempts at) new things and I have to say, it’s held up beautifully!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Laura,

      I totally believe that Briggs & Little yarn can stand up to multiple froggings and re-knittings. It resists pilling, as well- just can’t top a wool cardigan!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  6. Monica   •  

    These look lovely Julie! It’s great that you had the “courage” to frog and re-use the yarn for something else, it certainly looks like this is a very good match….And Pomme de Pin is also a beautiful cardigan. I also adore yarns that hold on to a bit of their “heritage”. Putting a little bit of a pressure on yourself in way of a deadline always helps, gives you a bit of that extra kick I find. Cannot wait to see these finished and photographed. Your photos are always great!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Monica! I definitely tend to linger over my knitting, so I am greatly helped by external deadlines! I’m really pleased with how the pink yarn has held up after frogging and reknitting, it doesn’t look worn at all, so that bodes well for when i’m actually wearing it!

  7. Jodi   •  

    Ooh, I love pomme de pin! On my to-knit list, too. So good to have some variety on the needles.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I’m loving Pomm de Pin so far, I’m just at the stage to divide for the arm holes. I was surprised at how easy it was to memorize the stitch pattern!

  8. Lisa   •  

    Oh, very nice yarn choices for these sweaters. The pink feels subtle and airy, while the gray fits that stitch perfectly. I have no doubt you will finish in time!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Lisa,

      You are spot on- that’s what is so fun about knitting these two different sweaters at the same time, between them I have all the variety I need! Plus I’m glad the KAL is keeping me to a deadline, otherwise I tend to linger over my knitting.

  9. EmilyVP   •  

    About Briggs & Little type yarns – I have some that is quite “rustic” that I picked up randomly at a Sheep & Wool festival a few years ago. Will that type feel better once finished & soaked? I am kind of scared to use mine because I don’t want the finished object to be scratchy and unbearable.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Emily,

      It is still a rustic wool even after washing, but you could use a wool wash like Eucalan (which has lanolin in it to soften fibers) or add some glycerin (available at drug stores) to the wash when blocking, and it softens the fibers a bit. But it will never be as soft as superwash, which is wool that has been coated. If you are worried about the scratchy factor, Try knitting mittens, a cardigan, or slippers with it instead, so it won’t be worn next to any sensitive areas!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  10. Christine   •  

    Those sweaters both look great Julie. I love that you frogged and re-used that yarn. You inspired me to do that a while back through another blog post you wrote.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hooray, so glad you gave frogging a shot! I feel like as knitters, we spend so much time and money on choosing a good yarn, it’s a shame to leave it in a knit that you aren’t using. I’m really happy with my decision to frog the tank (which was beautiful, but not something I was going to really wear much), I will get likely get so much more wear out of a sleeved sweater!

  11. miss agnes   •  

    You’ve got yourself a lovely combo for spring, which will make a nice outfit. I love that pink, and the stitch pattern for the cardigan looks quite intricate yet like something you can quickly memorize – am I wrong ?
    Don’t you crave lights colors and layers after the winter? I’m sure you will be finished way before the kal deadline. Happy knitting, sweet Julie!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks Agnes! You are absolutely right- the pinecone lace stitch on the dark grey cardigan is very easy to memorize, and my fingers are so used to it I barely have to look at my hands at all, which makes for a much faster knit, of course! I’m usually a slow knitter, but so far so good!

  12. Michelle   •  

    So fun to see what your frogged tank is becoming! I revisited your recycled yarn tutorial just this week to remind myself how you wound and soaked it. I’m redoing my way-too-baggy cardi. 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      high fives on frogging the sweater that didn’t quite work out! I feel like as knitters we have to get out of the rut of viewing frogging as a problem, and reframe it as an opportunity to knit with a great yarn again, into something that you will wear. I mean, we are all going to knit something else once a project is complete, it’s an advantage to knit again with a yarn that we already know a lot about!

  13. Yvette   •  

    Any shout out to Briggs and Little is fine by me. I just love their woolly wool. Gorgeous texture and colours. Yes, the national pride thing too. Someday I hope to visit the East Coast and the B&L mill will definitely be a stop.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Yvette,

      I haven’t spent nearly enough time on the east coast either! I’m hoping to get out that way this fall, but we’ll see what happens. I adore their yarn, and am always impressed in particular by how much depth and colour their heathered colourways have.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  14. Alina   •  

    They both look so beautiful! I love how different they are – the construction, stitch pattern, yarn. It’s always nice to have diversity on the needles – never gets boring 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      I think between these two sweater patterns, it cures the urge to cast on for more! I already feel like I have a lot of variety, but am only knitting two things. Such a rare feeling!

  15. Sarah Dunstall   •  

    I’m knitting a cowl for the knit-along (Briggs and Little). I’ve knit 2 sweaters and a large shawl with their Regal yarn (worsted weight) and a pair of mitts with Heritage (aran weight). The yarns do soften with washing, but still remain ‘wooly’ in feel. I use ‘Soak’ soap and then block. My projects are on my ravelry page (dunskins on Ravelry). The Pomme de Pin looks gorgeous in the charcoal. Rethinking my queue again!

    • Julie   •     Author

      I saw your lovely cowl in the knitalong ravelry group, the texture is fantastic! I love the woolly, sheepy feel to yarn, but I know it isn’t for everyone. I’ve seen some great POmme de Pin cardigans in this yarn, and I feel like with it being a bit more rustic it helps provide a bit of structure to an otherwise fairly seamless knit.

  16. Snow   •  

    “Golden Hour”-perfect pattern name to pair with that golden rosy yarn. I can picture you easily in the 3/4 sleeve version (with maybe the same button closure on the sleeve as the neck for design continuity?). Great choice and classic lines.
    Pommel de pin- love lace in a sturdy yarn! Keeps it from being not another boring cardi. Toasty but enough ventilation to keep from overheating.
    But what is going on with the design at the neck? Looks like the designer didn’t want a ribbed collar or maybe even a collar at all but wanted built up neck in the back but it tapers oddly in the front. It looks awkwardly bunched on everyone. Almost a half hearted attempt at shawl collar or scarf collar. I like the idea of the lace design for the collar instead of ribbing but you may end up doing an attached skinny scarf for the collar. You’re going to have to fiddle with that collar.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Snow,

      I’ve already been obsessing over my button choice for the small closure at the back of the neck on Golden Hour! I probably wont’ do them at the sleeves because I find anything tapping on a table when typing really distracting, so I rarely even wear bracelets. I have a coat that has these zippers at the cuffs and it drives me crazy if I’m wearing it at a table in some drafty cafe! the Pomme de Pin neck- haha, I know what you are getting at! Did you see the photo of the back of the neck? It’s done on purpose, there is a bit of a scarf neck thing going on there to probably make it extra cozy. I’m going to see how I feel about it when I get to the neckline, and see what my options might be.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  17. Stefanie   •  

    Yay on garment knitting! I’m so happy to have finished the tween’s and am almost done with mine!

    • Julie   •     Author

      High fives on sweater accomplishments!! WE are getting close!!

  18. Bronchitikat   •  

    Like the pomme de pin particularly. Trouble is finding ‘sport’ weight yarn in the UK. Though her gauge looks pretty much like your average DK.

    I too needed a lighter weight cardigan but, as I’m really trying to lose a lot of weight, decided to buy a cheap acrylic one and not invest a lot of time and wool.

    • Julie   •     Author

      You are right, sportweight and a lot of UK DK weights are very similar! I think if you saw a sportweight pattern you wanted to knit, you could easily sub in the DK. And I know what you mean about not knitting for your ‘final form’ as it were- I never knit myself any sweaters when I was pregnant, just bought the cheap acrylic ones because it was all going to be temporary!

  19. Wanda   •  

    Beautiful work! I love both of these patterns and the yarn colors you’ve picked look really pretty. I’ve been in ‘baby blanket universe’ for a few months now, with 3 different friends having babies in March, April and the third one due late summer – first one got done just barely before the baby arrived, and it looks like that might be the case for the April baby too. 🙂 I’ve promised myself, however, that once the blankets are all done, I’m going to pick a sweater for myself and knit it – which will be a first for me despite years of knitting. Sweaters have scared me off, so fussy about the gauge which I can never seem to get exactly right. But I’ve been eyeing a gorgeous mustard colored yarn from Brooklyn Tweed for months and months, I’ve envisioned myself in a homemade cable-y cardigan with that yarn – one of these days, I want to make that vision real!

    • Julie   •     Author

      aw, so many wonderful babies to welcome, that is exciting! I love your plans for the golden cabled cardigan- and cardigans are forgiving in fit, so it’s a great idea! I find that if you use a yarn you love, it compensates for a lot.

  20. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    Julie these sweaters are going to be absolutely Beautiful!
    And you’ve chosen my two favorite colors
    I truly cannot wait to see them finished!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Danette,

      You can never go wrong with pink and grey- they are are both surprisingly easy to wear on most people! I’m making good progress, even though I’m a fairly slow knitter. Both are past the halfway point!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  21. Tien   •  

    Love both of these sweaters-in-progress, especially the cardigan. You are inspiring me to cast on a sweater for my next project 🙂 I’ve heard such great things about Briggs & Little yarns. Their durability and rustic woolly qualities are particularly appealing in contrast to all of the super soft merino yarns that I’ve been using lately, which tend to pill more easily.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Tien,

      You are absolutely right, superwash yarns do pill so much more easily. I love a lot of superwash yarns, but maintenance has to factor into them! I do love my gleener, even though it’s still a chore to de-pill a superwash sweater. Briggs & Little is a wonderfully sheepy yarn, and reminds me a lot of Brooklyn Tweed shelter actually. But way cheaper. 😉

      Cheers,

      Julie

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