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Thinking about the September Sweater

I’m a creature of habit. Or, at the very least, a seasonal being. And so, when I have done something two years in a row, I begin to see that something as a tradition, and I expect to do it again and again. So it is with the knitting of the September Tea Leaves.

Tea Leaves Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

I knit my first one in 2011, in a gorgeous heathered teal, and I wore the daylights out of it, October through April. And during that entire season, I thought about how I might do things differently if I had the chance to knit it again: I’d tighten up the neckline a bit, and switch the garter stitch cuffs to ribbed cuffs, and maybe make it a size smaller.

08 sweater 01

Next September, I did just that, in a lovely kelly green tweed, making all of those changes along the way. If it’s possible, I think I loved wearing this one even more.

I’ve knit other sweaters for myself, but it’s the Tea Leaves that are wardrobe staples. I wear them around the house for warmth, and I slip them under jackets and scarves when I go out. There is no question I will make another of them come September, and there is also no question that I will change it up a bit.

September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

For one thing, I think I have enough greens (did you ever think you’d hear me say that?) I have my eye on the other side of the color wheel this time: oranges, reds, browns, or maybe even *gasp* bright pink. I know, I know. Pink? Who am I?

In addition to color changes, I think I want to do something new with the yoke. I was adventurous last year when I took it upon myself to change the cuff design, and I think I could do something really interesting yoke-wise this time around. Replace the ruching with a cable maybe? I plan to spend many hours wandering around Ravelry for inspiration, and then I will probably have to do a little math to make sure it all fits together seamlessly.

Or, I might just keep the yoke as-is. I do really love the way it looks… why mess with success?

September sweaters, at Polka Dot Cottage

I have one itty bitty concern, and that is with gauge. I’ve made both of the previous sweaters in Cascade 220, but I’m considering switching to Berroco Vintage for this one. I know I could work up a couple of gauge swatches, and I intend to do that (much as I dislike it). But I thought maybe some of you have experience substituting one for the other, and could share your findings with me.

Have you found that you get the same gauge with both yarns?

If my gauge ends up being different, I think I’ll just stick with what works and use Cascade 220. I don’t want to be fiddling with gauge in addition to any yoke changes.

September Sweaters, at Polka Dot Cottage

I love playing with Photoshop to try out yarn colors. I’m leaning really heavily toward orange.

I know it’s still July, and I really, really don’t want to wish the summer away, but it’s hard not to get a little excited for September knitting!

22 thoughts on “Thinking about the September Sweater

  1. The orange looks good! I like the neckline design but one way you could change it up is to have a tighter neck, bring it in closer to a crew neck.

    1. True! I think, though, the shape of the neckline is one of my favorite things about this sweater. I prefer not to change that.

  2. I love the orange! The brown is pretty too!

    1. I’m thinking along the same lines. I’m trying to remember what else I wear in the cold months (favorite scarves, gloves, my jacket, etc.) so that I choose a color that could still be worn with those things.

  3. Orange or pink – for cheer throughout the autumn/winter. I would leave the yolk as you may alter the way the cardigan hangs. You could always add a neckerchief ( scraps of vintage sheeting?) Good luck.

    1. I’m slowly coming to the same conclusion. I really love the way it hangs, and I’d hate to compromise that. A spiffy neckerchief is a must πŸ™‚

      1. Ha, I just noticed how I spelt yoke – oops!

  4. I think you would look lovely in that heather orange that is in the top left corner. I’d worry about changing the yoke & getting the right fit. It’ll be interesting to see what you do.

    1. I was thinking that since the first sweater was a heather, and the second was a tweed, that this one would be a solid color. Still, that heathered orange is awfully nice!

      1. I think what it is, is I like that touch of yellow in that heathered version.

  5. Lisa, I don’t knit and you’ve got me excited about your sweaters! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    1. It’s contagious πŸ™‚
      I have to not get *too* excited here, or I will be tempted to forget about the blanket I’m crocheting and start knitting the sweater right now!

  6. I rarely make the same thing twice. I have the dreaded second-sleeve (or sock) syndrome which is why I learned the magic loop so I could make them both at the same time. I think it’s great that you’ve found something you like and play with it, change it up. Cool! I also think it’s great you can wear yellows & oranges. Hard colors for a lot of people. My personal favorite is the purple which I see no one else liked! Figures. Odd man out here! I know whichever one you pick will be great!

    1. I love the purple, too, but it doesn’t go with *anything* else in my wardrobe. I like to be able to mix-and-match my clothes as much as possible πŸ™‚
      It’s that “not liking to make the same thing twice” thing that is getting me interested in changing up the yoke. As long as the color is different, and there are some places to experiment, I hope I won’t lose interest!

  7. I’d definitely go with the orange. Your pics inspire me to give in and learn how to knit (and not get so frustrated). I love the idea of making my own sweaters, but knitting just stumps me no matter how many videos I watch, or books I try to learn from. I crochet and am currently still working on the granny hexagon blanket from your site (which I love), but it’s all slow moving as I work full time and have kids in activities in the evenings. I’ve crocheted only one sweater (ever) for my daughter that only took about 3-4 days total, but it was a simple pattern. How long do knitted sweaters like yours take once you know what you’re doing?

    1. These have taken me about a month to knit. From what I can tell, either I am not a very fast knitter, or I don’t devote as much time to it as some people. I have seen people on Ravelry knit up a sweater in a week. I would have to be living and breathing it to even come close to that.

      I learned to knit four years ago, but before that I was like you are – couldn’t wrap my brain around it for anything! Have you considered loom knitting? I am convinced that the two years I spent playing around with the knitting loom “prepped” my brain to finally understand how to use the needles. That experience, plus knittinghelp.com and one visit to my local yarn shop to explain a particular concept that was troubling me, were all it took.

      1. Actually, I do loom knit and have for maybe 4 years now, but I’ve generally only made scarves and hats. I started to make your neck warmer a while back, but the yarn wasn’t quite right and I never got back to it after getting the right yarn. My hands and brain just can’t quite connect when it comes to the knitting needles. I clearly just have to keep trying. I’ll check out the site you suggested. Crocheting just feels totally natural to me; maybe someday the knitting needles will too.

        1. For me, I think it was maybe the fourth time I tried that I actually got. It took a lot of loom-knitting, and a lot of time before it clicked πŸ™‚

  8. I love Berroco Vintage yarn. I make hats with this yarn and the recipients just love them. Easy to knit with too. The colors for this yarn are beautiful. The orange is nice but I also like the grey. A grey sweater is nice too especially wearing a colorful t-shirt underneath. It is a nice color that goes with just about every color that I can think of too.

    1. I love it too. I crochet all of my blankets with Vintage. That’s what made me want to try it on the sweater. I like the idea of it being machine washable. Still I am hesitant until I can compare the gauges of the two.

      There is definitely a gray sweater in my future at some point. Definitely.

  9. […] just can’t get the September Sweater out of my mind. The other night I dipped into my stash and pulled out a ball of Cascade 220 […]

  10. […] of you may have seen this coming, when I started posting about knitting my September sweater more than a month before September was even scheduled to start. You might have had your suspicions […]

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