Summer of Basics

Summer of Basics: Final Plans!

Cable and stockinette stitch swatches in grey wool yarn

I jokingly posted on Instagram the other day that I’m sure everyone has been waiting with bated breath to hear what my final plans for the Summer of Basics are. Wait no more!! I finally decided on the sweater I am going to knit, and I’m committing my plans to writing so I can stop waffling and finally set down to action.

Summer of Basics Sweater: Birch Bay Aran

I was digging through our attic the other day while collecting items for an upcoming block-wide yard sale. The room also serves as the holding area for my yarn stash so I was pretty quickly distracted and began looking through some my long forgotten treasures. I happened upon my bin of minimally processed mid-weight grey yarn, specifically this sweater quantity I have had for ten years. (There was a period of time when it was all I bought. There is a lot of it in every weight imaginable. I still love it all dearly.) It got me thinking about the fact that I have always wanted to knit a Julie Hoover pattern, and how I was with Jaime when she finished this gorgeous sweater while on our trip to Nashville last April. Within moments, I swear you could have seen the lightbulb go off in my brain had you been up in the attic with me: I needed to make Birch Bay in my Greenwood Hill Farm yarn. Right away.

L / My swatch in Greenwood Hill 2 Ply DK. R / Birch Bay by Julie Hoover. (Image © Brooklyn Tweed.)

But, this is me, after all. And Kelbourne Woolens is sponsoring the #sob17bestmod prize, so of course I have to make some modifications to what is – arguably – already a pretty perfect design. The easiest mod was to swap out the cable design. I knit a few designs last winter with a cable I am totally in love with, and have wanted to see how it would work up in a heavier yarn, so that was an easy switch. To save on yarn and reduce bulk/weight, the back will be stockinette stitch. The sleeves will either be a 1 x 1 broken rib, or stockinette – it will depend on how things look once I have the body complete and how much yarn I have left to work the collar. Otherwise, my gauge matches that as given in the pattern, and I have the schematic to work off of if anything gets wonky along the way.

I’m super jazzed about my (officially official) plan, and I love that is checks off a bunch of crafty boxes: I’m using a much loved stash yarn, knitting from a designer’s pattern that I admire, adding a great sweater to my handmade closet, and working in a few mods to keep things interesting. Here’s to hoping all goes smoothly and I have a new cosy pullover come fall!

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