Posted on 23 Comments

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

I finished my September Sweater for 2014! You may notice a few things:

  1. it’s short-sleeved (my others are all long)
  2. it’s a raglan (my others are all round yoked)
  3. it’s long (my others are all hip-length)
  4. it’s not green (two out of three of my others are green)

All of those things set it apart from my previous September Sweaters. See 2013, 2012, and 2011.

In the last few years I have actually knit quite a few sweaters that were like those previous September Sweaters: hip-length and round-yoke. See Tea Leaves, Everyday Cardigan, Everyday Pullover, and In Threes.

Yeah. In fact, I was composing this post in my head last night and I actually fell asleep counting sweaters! It’s the knitter’s version of counting sheep, I guess. Now that I am wide awake, I have made it to the end of my list and I can tell you there have been 11.

Yes, that’s eleven round-yoke, hip-length sweaters in the last three years. Admittedly four of them were baby or toddler size, and took very little time to knit, but still! I’m kind of impressed with myself. And that doesn’t even include the one I have in progress.

So, anyway, back to this new sweater, and the different-ness of it:

Hudson River Stones

I love that I chose this brown color for the yarn. I really needed something relatively neutral in my closet. There’s whole lotta green in my sweater pile, folks. And a little bit of orange. And some gold. But mostly green.

The yarn is undyed (I think), and a natural alpaca/wool blend that I bought at Rhinebeck last year. I chose to make this year’s September sweater out of it because my September Sweater is also always my Rhinebeck sweater, and it felt like a very full-circle kind of thing to do.

The Rhinebeck connection is also the reason why I named it Hudson River Stones (the pattern name is Sea Stones). We spend a lot of time driving alongside the Hudson on our way to the festival.

The alpaca content of this yarn makes the sweater so soft. I’ve been wearing it all day today with a camisole underneath, so the wool has been in contact with my shoulders. It’s pleasant and cozy.

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

With the exception of the stockinette body, which seemed to go on for miles, and miles, and miles, this sweater was a pleasure to knit. It provided an opportunity to learn some new tricks, which is always nice.

The raglan increases were turned into a decorative element through the use of twisted stitches and M1R/M1L, which are both techniques I had never done before.

The decorative edging at the collar, hem, cuffs, and button band was different than my usual 2×2 rib and/or garter stitch, and in some areas required a sewn bind-off before beginning. That was a new one on me, too.

I am thrilled with the way this came out! Mostly. I do have one little irritating thing that maybe you can help me with?

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

See how those button bands fold inwards? It’s driving me crazy. I really want them to lay flat. I’ll admit I haven’t actually blocked this sweater (yet?) but I don’t feel like that would solve the problem. Am I wrong? Should I do it?

I hesitate mainly because I am happy with the fit as it is and I don’t want to block it and accidentally ruin that. If it will help the button band situation, though, I’ll risk it!

Knitters, what do you think I should do?

The Details

Pattern: Sea Stones by Melissa Schaschwary.

Yarn: Brooks Farm Yarn Tierra Blend

Needles: #7 and #5 (I went down a size to get stitch gauge, although my row gauge was still off. I had 5 rows/inch instead of 6.)

Modifications: To make up for my different row gauge, I knit about 20 fewer rows in the body, and 1-2 less in the edgings. Also, the pattern calls for patch pockets, which I didn’t do (although I am considering it now).

See my project on ravelry.


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Posted on 23 Comments

23 thoughts on “Hudson River Stones

  1. I love that yarn! Soooo pretty! If you don’t want to wet block it you might try steam blocking the button bands only. I haven’t really tried it, but I’ve heard of other people using it. Since it is all natural fibers it would be OK to try – at least you know it would not affect the rest of the sweater. Can’t promise it will fix it though. Sometimes those just want to curl.

    1. I’ve never steam-blocked anything. I hesitate to try it on something I like so much, just in case I mess it up 🙂 I did a little wet blocking of the button bands yesterday and it is much-improved. I suspect over time, they’ll curl back to where they were, but for now it’s good!

      1. So glad the wet blocking helped! Perhaps we should all steam block a swatch as a learning experience!

  2. Wet it, but not sodden. Lay on a bath towel, smoothing it out and making sure the button band is flat. Roll the towel from narrow end to narrow end. Let sit for a good hour. Unroll. I then let it sit on top of my dryer while it is running for a day, that dries it nice and slowly.

    Using this method, I had a u turn of a bend smooth out and lay flat.

    1. Thanks, Kim, I tried this yesterday (wetting only the bands and the area around them) and it worked like a charm.

  3. I just looked at the original on Ravelry (because you have inspired me)and it almost looks like those button bands fold under also.

    1. I noticed that. I don’t mind it as much on hers as I did on mine 😉

  4. steam block it or wet block it. Once you have done that, pin it flat and let er dry. The button bands won’t curl in (or at least not as much) blocking allows the fabric (aka yarn) to create a memory of how it should be.

    1. Thanks, Kathi. I did a little wet-blocking and it seems to have done the trick for now!

  5. You might try single crochet around the edge. I have found that sometimes helps. You can probably do just a section to see how well it works, then do more if you like the result.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I decided to block it, but I agree that single crochet around the edges has been helpful to me in a few situations in the past!

  6. Your sweater is beautiful. Blocking will probably help. Have you ever done reverse single crochet? That might help and be pretty along the edges. It kind of twists along an edge.

    1. I’ve never heard of reverse single crochet, but it sounds pretty. I’ll have to look that up!

  7. I would wet block the whole thing. It will even out all of the stitches and help the button bands to lie flat. Since you have already wet blocked it a little, then wait until you have worn it a few times and then wash the whole thing in your sink (if it fits). Gently squeeze out the water, roll between towels and dry flat. You could also spin it in your washer to get out the excess water.

    When I first started knitting I was very reluctant to wash my knits, worrying that it might ruin them. But come to realize that wool can be washed as often as it needs it as long as you don’t agitate it or use hot water. It should last and last.

    1. In my mind, I know it’s fine to wash woolens. Still, I have hesitated. I should practice on a few of my older sweaters. At least if I screw something up, I will have gotten plenty of use out of it already!

  8. It is gorgeous! Nice job! Sometimes sewing in elastic thread just through the bottom hem works for me.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for the tip.

  9. […] for your nice comments on my sweater post the other day. I’m always so happy right after a big project comes off the needles – I […]

  10. Hi Lisa, You did such a beautiful job on this sweater. I love the color and admire your ingenuity in changing up the pattern as you did. It came out great. Whenever I wash a handmade knitted item I’ve made, I always lay it out to dry (sometimes right on the top of my washing machine) and position/shape it in the way I’d like it to be. It seems to hold that exact shape as it dries. Enjoy your lovely sweater and a great fall season! All the best, Karen

    1. Thanks, Karen! (for the complements and the tips.) It’s nice to see you again 🙂 I hope all has been well with you.

  11. […] NOW it is finished. Pockets duly […]

  12. […] Tierra Blend from Brooks Farm Yarn, which I bought years ago at Rhinebeck, and originally used in my Sea Stones cardigan. I hardly ever wore that sweater (for several reasons), and so I unraveled it and reclaimed the […]

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