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sweater evolution December 3, 2013

sometimes it just isn’t over until it’s over…

Moving cross-country last year winnowed out grand portions of my household back East.

Not spared: my collection of sweaters.

Gone to good homes & beyond, anything that would not fit into the three remaining packing boxes on moving day. (You see, I’d saved the most valuable belongings to be packed until last.)

It was ruthless. And Reckless.

Funny thing is, now that I’ve put some new roots down, and it’s gotten very chilly, I’ve been reaching for some phantoms. These were the items I thought I’d brought, rescued or put away for a particularly c.o.l.d. day. But they are no longer in the wardrobe, oops! but gone on to a, hopefully, better place, c’est la vie.

Now, what remains has to really earn its keep. Once you’ve been recklessly ruthless, it’s much easier to keep downsizing and exiting those styles that are not being worn.

Case in point:
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Long ago, in 2004, I knit a wonderful cardigan, one of the most ambitious projects I’ve ever attempted, a design from the Vknitting Fall 2002 magazine.

In my newbie-ish, mad-knitting-scientist way, I tinkered it right from the beginning, imposing a scoop-necked huge collared zippered cardigan mod on a pullover pattern.

But. I never wore it!

Thinking it was the zipper I really loathed, that became a buttonband (in 2008).

And. I still. Never wore it!

How it became one of the sweaters that survived the moving rough cut is a mystery but survive it did and the other day, I decided it was finally now or never.

Enter that perennial favorite here at Studio Chic Knits: The Dyepot.

Even though I really love the color, it was time for a change!

So off came the collar, on went a neckband and into the bubbly. I used something I’d acquired at a fiber fest long ago – some Gaywool Dye in the color LONGWOOD, a rich deep brown.

This product mix is really appealing – no additional stuff has to be added during the process (salt, sodium acetate, etc) so it was almost a set-it-and-forget it kind of hour or so in the simmer.

Rinsed thoroughly and given a final vinegar-laced pass and VOILA:

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Even the buttons match now!

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Such a deep lovely burgundy – and who said being stubborn doesn’t pay…

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10 responses to “sweater evolution December 3, 2013”

  1. technikat says:

    So why didn’t you wear that gorgeous fuschia? I’m asking because I’m in the process of knitting a beautiful fuschia cardi from Vogue Knitting Fall 2011. Well, the color is cerise but it looks fuschia to me.
    Was it hard to coordinate with other clothing. Those traveling ribs show up really well in the fuschia but aren’t so visible in the burgundy.

    I love reading about the new life you give your sweaters by relatively small mods, like adding a button band or removing the collar or using the dye pot. I also enjoyed reading about how you modified the neckline and worked out the curve. It gives us less adventuresome knitters courage to go ahead and make those changes.

  2. AnnF says:

    Love both versions but the burgundy is so rich-looking gorgeous. Perhaps it’s because I tend more towards darker colors…whatever the reason, I love it!

  3. Issy says:

    OMG! i LOVE the new colour! And style. Fabulous. Just fabulous!

  4. PJ says:

    Amazing vision! Great sweater! Wear it!!!

  5. Angela says:

    Gorgeous! It should get serious rotation now!

  6. Lisa says:

    This sweater’s story is exactly how I think of you–ingenious, talented, persistent, and gorgeous.

  7. Arla says:

    Wonderful result! I love the new color and the style seems more contemporary with the simple scoop neck. Great job! I bet this is going to be a favorite going forward.

  8. Nik says:

    Oh, honey, this is beautiful. So “autumn-y”.

  9. Elle says:

    Everyone is focusing on the new color (which is great), but it’s the collar that really changed everything. I’m betting it was that huge wing collar that was keeping you from wearing the sweater. The collar screamed “Frumpy”, while the new neckband is so much younger.

  10. Dorothy says:

    Wow!! The burgundy version is gorgeous!

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