Julie knits and writes and knits.

Sketching Peacefleece Sweater

Sketching Peacefleece Sweater

This little project has been months in the fussing. Started with a nice trip to a lovely yarn store in Blue Hill, Maine, while on vacation last year.

Fell in love with any shop owner who would understand knitters so well she would leave this sign on the door….

so bought out most of her horde of Peacefleece. It was their old dyelot, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to match the yarn, but I bought a bunch of colors thinking I’d make a lovely stranded something for my husband. Musky, earthy, lanolin-rich colors of dirt and nature. Pine, peat, brick, cement. Right?

And I began to swatch and sketch right away. I’d sketch and show him, and sketch and show him. Twenty-four years together means I can read this guy pretty well. He admired the sketching, but wasn’t sure he’d wear any of the sweaters I showed him. I let it drop for a while.

Weeks and weeks later, I started picking up patterns of stranded and banded and striped sweaters to show him. “Hmm… not bad,” he’d say. “That’s a nice sweater…” he’d say… But not “I really want that.”

I was sifting through my Zimmerman library a few weeks ago, just admiring it all, and he looked over my shoulder at the good old plain old saddle shoulder sweater, and said “I want THAT.”

Yes. That was it. Of course. We all know this. What he wants is a plain gray sweater. Just gray. Just plain.

All well and good. He shall have his plain gray sweater. All I had to do was find some more grey Peacefleece, which was bound to be available through Ebay or Ravelry, or… from the manufacturer, or… in my yarn shop’s basement?… or no? No?

The best offer I had was from Gary at Peacefleece who actually offered to buy back my ancient lot of yarn and replace it with the new colorway, which I thought was outrageously cool of him, but I couldn’t let him do that. I believe that if you’re going to horde yarn, it’s kind of your responsibility to figure out what to do with it, and not make it other people’s problems if it doesn’t work out the way you envisioned it. God bless all the patient yarn store owners and yarn manufacturers out there, but their margins are too skinny for my bad planning.

So Mr. will get a different sweater in a lovely grey shetland yarn or local handspun.

Now, what to do with this peacefleece? Sketching and swatching. A tunic felt right for yarn spun from Russian and U.S. fleece.

The colors, however, were all too dark to play nicely together. I didn’t really have enough gray to stretch into the tunic for my ladies large self. I used the cuff to swatch, knitting and ripping it back at least 7 times. Charting, weighing the yarn, ripping. I realized I needed to dump the peat color, find another color to use, and went to my yarn shop, which used to carry Peacefleece. They don’t any more. But they took one look at the yarn and said, You sure that’s not Philosopher’s Wool?

It’s not — Peacefleece worsted is a little lighter in gauge and a lot softer — but there were hanks of Philosopher’s that very nearly matched the grey. Not enough to use it in the straight runs of color, or even alternating rows, but a good substitute for the background color in the chart work, which made the other colors pop.

The chart on the top in the top photo is what I would have preferred to knit, but after knitting that cuff and weighing the yarn, I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the brick to make that work.

Anyway, this is where I’m headed. A nice Zimmerman EPS Tunic whose neck-and-shoulder decreases I have yet to figure out. Kind of want to combine raglan and yolk, but don’t know if that’s a good idea…. Anybody?



  merete wrote @

is it possible to get vibeke lind: knitting in the nordic tradition for you (library). she has so many lovely suggestions for this kind of sweater pattern (and i love your colours). many sweaters like the fair isle yoke sweater elizabeth has in her books, are worked partly as a raglan in other schools among them vibeke’s. i wish you luck on this chunky monkey that i can’t wait to see finished.

  Marsha wrote @

This is so inspiring! I’ve never designed a sweater myself, though I do have “I bet X would be kind of neat for a sweater” ideas from time to time. Reading your post has got me in the mood to try writing some of those ideas down and see what happens with them!

  Ewe-niss wrote @

Love the colors combination!
The sweater is going to be wonderful, I don’t know enough about knitting to answer your question about the yoke and raglan together. At first I was thinking you wanted to do the rapid decrease that EZ does on the fair isle yoke, I couldn’t see how that would work while doing raglan. Now I think you are talking about the pattern as in a fair isle while doing a raglan. Hmmmm… I wouldn’t know till I got to that part 🙂

– and darn the men and their safe plain sweaters… miles and miles of straight stitch in the same color in the same plain pattern… I have one I am making right now that I call the ‘pup tent’. My husband is a 2X. That is a lot of plain old knitting.

  Peacefleece Tunic Update « knittingjuju wrote @

[…] is Barb modeling the Peacefleece Tunic. It’s come a long way from its beginning… which was just a bunch of yarn in my stash and a sketch: Peacefleece […]

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