Bronze Brynja

brynja1This cardigan is one of my last finished objects, the last FO of 2016 in fact. I was wearing it today when, coming home from work, I realised how long it had been since I published anything on this blog, so I’m glad I’ve finally stopped caring about posting my projects in the order I finish them! Please excuse the crazy hair, I had just been rained on. OK who am I kidding, my hair is always crazy! :-/

brynja3The pattern is Brynja by Linda Lencovic, in PomPom Quarterly, Issue 11 (Winter 2014). FYI, it is now also available as an individual download. It had caught my eye when it first came out, and I immediately thought of it again when, about a year later, the lovely Aïda brought 19 skeins (yes, NINETEEN – no, I haven’t used all of them) of Phildar Sport’Laine (Bronze colourway), a discontinued wool/acrylic blend, at our annual fabric/yarn swap. The yarn slept in my stash for a little over a year, which I guess is not too bad compared to how long some other yarns have been waiting in there. It was very pleasant to knit with, and its only downside is that the 49% of acrylic mean that things can get a little bit sweatier than with my other, 100% natural, sweaters. Sorry if that’s TMI. It does not smell though, probably thanks to the wool content?

brynja4I did not find the instructions for the cardigan completely user friendly, which I’m thinking might have to do with the very limited space they had to fit in the magazine (4 very small pages, schematic included). There were also a couple mistakes in there, which had me unravel quite a few rows (details on my Ravelry). Mistakes/Small lack of clarity aside, it was still an enjoyable knit thanks to the AWESOME cable pattern. I mean, isn’t it gorgeous?

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The buttons were rescued from an old jacket by my mother. Merci Maman!

And so easy to knit and to memorise. Plus, no need for a cable needle. I loved seeing those cables take shape and I love the texture they give the finished cardigan!

brynja5However, when I first finished the cardigan and tried it on, I felt pretty meh about it, if not seriously disappointed. All I could focus on were the very low armholes, which I am not used to. I forced myself to wear the cardigan nevertheless, on a very casual day at work… and I fell in love with it! The low armholes can’t even be seen from the front, only from the back, and they do not bother me at all anymore; I actually like their relaxed feel! They don’t look that good when the cardigan is closed, but I always wear it open, so…

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Pockets! A bit small for the hands but perfect for tissues and chapstick!

My Brynja has now become one of my most worn cardigans (I know I say that about a lot of my knits, but it is true, I do wear most of them on a very regular basis – the majority of them never even see the inside of my wardrobe from about September to June). Its colour goes with a surprising amount of prints and other colours, which I did not see coming. By the way, did you know the name of this colour in French is “caca d’oie”, which means “goose poop”? Oh, the glamour! It’s actually a very accurate description of the colour, much more so than the one chosen by Phildar, isn’t it? But I didn’t think “Goose Poop Brynja” would make as catchy a title! 😉

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Vuelta Al Cole Sweater

VueltaAlCole1There’s no more denying it, holidays are over. I came back from Spain a week ago, and I went back to work last Tuesday. I told you before leaving that I had taken the materials for a knitting project with me, Andi Satterlund‘s Chuck sweater. In my mind, this would be the perfect sweater for your first day back at school, so I was really excited to knit it in August in order to wear it on my first workday in September, with autumny skirt and tights.

Well, no such luck, the weather has been unusually warm for a Belgian September, so I had to wear tightless skirts and summer tees the whole week. I’m not complaining (especially after the ten months long winter we had here last year), but I still can’t wait for fall to start! I know it’s not very original of me, but fall is by far my favourite season: I love the (not too cold) cold, the leaves changing colour… and fall clothing of course!

VueltaAlCole3Anyway, this is my second time knitting one of Andi Satterlund’s patterns and this is my second time being blown away by:

– the amazing seamless contruction,

– how fast it knits,

– how good it looks.

There were a few steps I dreaded before tackling them, but every time I reached one, I just had to follow the instructions and everything made sense in the end.

VueltaAlCole2The genius construction means that, once you have finished knitting, you weave in the ends… and you have a sweater! No tedious seaming up, to me it’s like magic!

It took me exactly two weeks to knit this sweater, and that’s with the time it took me to frog and re-knit the whole first cable motif because I had made a mistake at its very beginning. I think my Miette was also knit in two weeks. Both have more or less the same gauge and the same cropped silhouette that make them such fast knits.

VueltaAlCole4I made a size S without a single modification and it fits perfectly. The yarn I used is Drops Big Merino. This was my fist time using a Drops yarn, and I’m definitely convinced!

For the waist bind-off, I initially tried a traditional one… and could barely get the sweater past my shoulders. I managed to put it on after a lot of effort and it was not very comfortable on the waist, either. So I decided to try Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off instead, and it worked like a charm. I used a traditional bind-off for the rest of the sweater, where less stretch is needed.

VueltaAlCole5This is the perfect fall sweater. It goes perfectly with most of my high-waisted skirts and I have a few other sewing projects in mind that would pair really well with it.

I can’t wait for the weather to allow me to finally wear it!