From London to New York City

When in London visiting a friend almost two years ago (!!), I made sure to fit in a trip to the Liberty of London store. I love so many of the Liberty of London fabric prints, but I had no clue their shop stocked such a huge variety of things – I bought my mom some guinea pig salt & pepper shakers there, as well as two yards of beautiful fabric. Along my way to the fabric corner of the store, I came across this Rowan knitting book:

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And while I left the store without purchasing the pattern book, I could not stop thinking about the cover sweater. After failing to find the book cheaper or closer to my Seattle home, I ran back to the store one evening to purchase it. Normally this wouldn’t be noteworthly, but I misremembered my tube stop and had to sprint through a solid bit of London to make it from trafalger square to the theater where I was seeing Le Mis. I got there just in time, wholly out of breath, and since I was wearing awesome synthetic leather pants and a synthetic shirt, sweating through every pore. I felt kind of bad for the people who had to sit next to me, radiating heat, smelling funny, and breathing hard all through the first number…

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Anyways, back to the sweater. This sweater is probably one of the more advanced items I’ve ever tried to knit. I apparently get the terms ‘intarsia’ and ‘fair isle’ knitting mixed up, as I discovered that stranded colorwork is fair isle and knitting with lots of yarns is intarsia. PRO TIP: practice intarsia knitting before you start on the beautiful and expensive sweater. I did not practice, nor did I really look up tips on what to do until a third of the way through the floral pattern, so my pattern tension is all over the place and the colorwork is not as smooth as it could be. Also I might have messed up around the neckline because I made a small size and neckline still fell over both shoulders. I had to take it in before we took these photos. Whatever, I’m happy with the way it turned out 🙂

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I still can’t decide if I like the sleeves or not. I wish I would have snapped a picture of what a hot mess the backside of this was, as I didn’t learn until after knitting the whole thing that you can darn in ends as you go. Basically, imagine a long shag carpet on the backside of the flowers….

Finally, I thought I’d list the yarns I used for the colors, as the yarn shop I purchased from did not have the Rowan colors the pattern called for. I did use the main Pumice colored recycled yarn from Rowan. Basically you need cotton DK or sport weight yarns for the colorwork, so if you are contemplating making this and don’t want to buy a full skein for each color (as I had to) you can definitely use stash yarn!

Tahki Cotton Classic in Lt Blue (3883), Deepest Teal (3784), Lt Copper (3352), and Midnight blue (3861)

Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima in Natural (3718), Gold (3747), Wine (3713), Deep Coral (3767), Pansy (3779), Sprout (3740), and Navy (3723)

Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton in Zinc (304) – I actually used this color for two of the colors in the original pattern as I didn’t want to buy a very similar color for what turned out to be just a small section of the pattern. Mostly I used it on the leaves, but you can see it in the center of the flowers as well.

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(as soon as I sat on my bed, Luna was right there asking for some belly rubs)

Also – the reason NYC is in the name? This was my summer in NYC project because I didn’t have my sewing machine all summer! I also bought all the yarn in NYC 🙂

Photos by the most fabulous Stephanie Bulthuis – check out her site!!! She does all sorts of photography!

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