Tuesday, November 05, 2019

FO Update: Love Note Sweater

Ah, the ubiquitous Love Note. This ultra-popular sweater pattern from designers Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel—the duo of design geniuses behind Tin Can Knits—swept through the knitting community like a fluffy storm when first released in May 2019. Six months (and almost 1500 Ravelry projects) later, it’s still going strong. 

I cast on my version on September 29, and considered it “finished-finished-finished" (to borrow from the “Knitmore Girls”) on October 20.* So, three weeks. It might have been done sooner had I not put it on time-out for five or six days while I stressed out about sleeve and body length. More on that later…

In addition to being fun to make, this sweater liberated some “vintage” yarn from my stash, which feels Oh, so satisfying. The pattern calls for two strands, a fingering-weight wool and a lace-weight mohair/silk blend, which you hold together throughout.  
I used Dream in Color “Baby” (lace/light-fingering weight, 100% superwash Merino, now-discontinued ) in the November Muse colorway, a tonal chocolate brown with navy and burgundy speckles. Holding this together with Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Liqueur yielded a rich, wine color that’s exactly what I wanted. And the fabric is so soft and fuzzy I can hardly stop petting it. 

The fit and style of the finished sweater are terrific, but the jury’s still out on a couple of issues that have nothing at all to do with the perfectly-written pattern and everything to do with my own personal preferences: 
  1. Kidsilk Haze sometimes sheds and irritates my nose and eyes. My hope is that holding it together with another yarn will offset that tendency. I’ve worn it a couple of times and it’s been OK, so far. So…fingers crossed.
  1. Despite lengthening the body and sleeves by several inches, it still feels a bit short. The sweater is meant to be cropped, but I want a lower hem, and like my wrists to be covered when it's cold out.

Regarding the length: Right off the blocking wires, the fit was perfect, but the fabric seems to be floofing back up again (a technical term). A Google search while I was knitting revealed that superwash wool grows approximately 17 - 20% when washed and worn, though, so I’ll give the yarn a while to relax. I’d really, really, really like to avoid undoing the bind-off (JSSBO) and ribbing to extend the hem, as mohair is a major pain to unravel!
If I could go back and give some advice to Past Me, only change I'd make would be to skip the provisional cast-on in the beginning, use a stretchy CO of some sort, and just start with the neckline ribbing. A few knitters on Ravelry did this, and were happy with the results. 

Or, if I wanted to stick with what the pattern recommends, I'd do the provisional CO the traditional way (holding the live stitches on waste yarn). For this sweater, I worked the cast-on over a circular needle, which is great in theory, but a little tricky when you go back to pick up dual strands of fingering and laceweight mohair/silk. 

The Love Note pattern itself is wonderful—simple, quick to knit, clearly written, and size-inclusive (yay!)—the way Tin Can Knits patterns tend to be. It might be fun to knit one up in a DK-weight yarn. Something with a little alpaca blended in would be cozy, with just enough fuzz to blur the edges, without being super-fluffy. 
Please...just look at the sweater!
I do apologize for the sketchy images. My apartment has a nice view, but it is so dark! Someday soon, before Winter really sets in, I’ll ask a friend to help me get some nicer FO photos in natural light. 

*For the uninitiated, finished-finished-finished means a project is off the needles, blocked, and has all the ends woven in. If buttons or a zipper are involved, those would have to be done, too. In other words, as finished as you can possibly make it. And if you're looking for something to listen to while you knit, the Knitmore Girls' podcast is good fun, and has a backlog of 500+ episodes!


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