Even though this project was started sometime before Easter it somehow never made it into the blog before now. The sweater is Salina by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan Vintage Style and it’s one of my all-time favorite patterns. I used Felted Tweed which was the recommended yarn in the pattern. I even used the same colour but didn’t notice it at first. I just chose a colour that I liked, thinking that it was different from the very yellow green used in the picture. It was my first time ever to use Felted Tweed and I can’t recommend it enough. Not only is it pleasant to knit with but knitted to the correct gauge it makes a wonderful fabric that has a nice drape without being floppy in any way.
I knit it on 4mm needles and got perfect gauge which was lucky as I was too lazy to do a proper swatch and just started with a sleeve. In the end it was good I did because I probably would’ve had to unravel the swatch to have enough yarn for the cuffs. The yarn amount for the large size is 7 balls and it is enough to make the sweater but not enough to make a decent size swatch as well. And if your gauge is not spot on you may have to get more yarn.
I pretty much followed the pattern as written. Rowan patterns normally don’t include selvedges so I added a stitch in each side to make a garter stitch selvedge which makes it much easier to keep track of the row count as one garter “knot” is equal to two rows. I need to do this because I prefer to knit exactly the same number of rows on the front and back instead of just measuring. It may be a bit overly perfectionistic but in my experience it makes the finishing easier and better-looking. Another thing that’s important to achieve a nice finishing is the placement of the increases and decreases.
I never do them on the first two stitches if at all possible because it makes it more difficult to get a nice seam. With this pattern it wasn’t a problem on the body as it instructed you to K2 and then do the increase/decrease. Having added a selvedge stitch I of course K3. The pattern even told which decreases and increases to use. If it didn’t I would have done the K2tog at the beginning of the row and SSK at the end anyway as I think it looks the best this way.
For a beginner who doesn’t know about selvedges problems with this pattern may arise at the shaping of the sleeve cap. After casting off in each side the pattern instructs you to decrease at each end and if you didn’t include selvedges you’re likely to do it on the first two stitches. As the sleeve seams are often the most difficult ones to sew nicely it’s in my opinion very important to place the decreases after the first stitch. Sometimes I’ll do it right after the selvedge but on Salina I decided to do it af the first 2 (3) stitches like I did on the body.
I joined the shoulder seams using backstitch and the rest of the pieces using mattress stitch. I find it harder to make nice seams using backstitch so I only use it on the shoulder seams to make them stronger as they have to carry most of the weigth of the sweater. I don’t know what to call the kind of stitch I used to join the cuffs to the sleeves. I don’t think I’ve invented it but I don’t remember seeing it anywhere else before. I chose to do it this way because I wanted a seam without any overlap so the cuffs will look good whether I choose to fold them up or not.
After doing all the seams and weaving in all the ends I only had to sew on the buttons. I knew right from the beginning that I wanted to use ebony buttons to match the black specks in the yarn but luckily I didn’t buy them before I had finished the sweater or I would have bought them too big a size.
All together, this has been one of my favorite knits this year. Not only the knitting itself but also the finished result. It’s the perfect combination of design and yarn and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a first sweater project to anyone.