Project: Tweedy Ravello
Pattern: Ravello by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Donegal Fine
I originally bought this yarn with some birthday money back in November. When I picked it out, I had a completely different project in mind. Something rustically tweedy with colorwork throughout the whole body. I was really on a stranded knitting, steeked cardigan phase back then. (Let’s be honest, I still sort of am… I don’t think it’s something I’ll grow out of.) But once I got started on the project, it just wasn’t coming out the way I had envisioned. And the yarn was not the most fun to knit colorwork with. It just didn’t slide through my fingers in the way I wanted when I was working with more than one strand at a time, throwing off my tension, and making any progress feel like it was taking forever. And when the knitting stops being fun, it’s time to rethink things. So I set it aside for a bit, hoping for a project to come around that would be a good fit for the yarn, the colors, and work with the amount I had on hand.
But silly me, that pattern was sitting in my queue – Ravello was a perfect fit for this yarn.
I have many of Isabell’s patterns on my favorite’s list, but this is the first one I’ve knit. I admire her aesthetic – it’s sporty, casual, stylish, makes great use of lines and patterns, and provides you with tons of great opportunities to play with color. All things that totally jive with me and easily fit into my wardrobe. Ravello is a spectacular example of Isabell’s beautiful design and I had great fun working it up. The pattern was well written and easy to follow. Just as you would imagine, her patterns are straight-forward and beautifully simple in their construction. You can follow the pattern to the letter and end up with a great product, or you can easily customize it and put your own spin on things. (For a little inspiration look at all the great customized projects creative knitters have been working on.) I changed mine just a bit. I worked two extra stripes on the sleeves (because I was afraid of running out of the cream yarn) and added in a bit of waist shaping (this sweater has zero shaping and I need all I can get).
The sweater is light weight, so I’m looking forward to getting a nice bit of wear out of it this spring before it has to be put away for fall. The yarn is nice and relatively soft against the skin. The slight thick-thin texture plus the tweed flecks gives it just the perfect amount of a rustic, homespun feel without losing modernity. Really, my main complaint is that it just breaks so darn easily. The tiniest snag and it will break – ask me how I know. (Minutes after taking these photos, I picked up Rufus and his nail caught in the sweater and ripped a tiny hole right in the front. It’s fixed and not noticeable, but now I know to be very, very careful.)
This sweater wraps up my first Love your Library project and I happily declare it a success. I used a pattern I had on my queue for ages, yarn I had in my stash, and am left with a great, comfortable sweater to wear for many seasons to come. Unsurprisingly, I’ve already cast on my next challenge project – Joji’s Old Romance. Because you can never have enough beautiful cardigans.