Of koalas and honeycombs: Andrea Mowry’s Wool & Honey sweater
As you could have read in one of my previous posts, at the start of this whole Covid-19 business, I got into knitting. After the success of my ginormous Find Your Fade shawl I decided it was time to try my first sweater. Well, I say first… I knit a couple in my teens, however, always under my grandma’s supervision and with lots of help. This time, it was all up to me, as grandma was 150 kms away.
While it tends to be a newbie knitter’s first choice, I decided a plain sweater from chunky wool wouldn’t really be my thing. For ages I’ve been drooling over Andrea Mowry‘s Wool & Honey sweater, I even bought the yarn for it when I finished my shawl, but I still didn’t think I was quite up to it. Yet in the autumn, the lovely ladies from Woolpoint, my local yarnshop, started a KAL with this sweater. Surely, I thought, this must be a sign! So I bit the bullet and went for it and I think it turned out quite well!
The mysteries of sizing
What I always found tricky with knitted garments is that you never quite know how the size is going to turn out. It’s not like a sewing pattern with given finished garment measurements. The mysterious interplay of yarn, needles, and tension may produce very different garments, even though knitted in the same size. This pattern is intended to be quite oversized and boxy. Combined with the fact that my swatch came out looser, I decided to go for size S and see how it came out.
I know quite a few people had issues with the collar being too small and the arms too narrow. I had no trouble with the collar, but I did find the arms quite snug, when I was knitting it. However, the yarn I used was merino and I was fairly sure it would stretch, and sure enough, after blocking it fits perfectly!
Learning something new with every pattern
I tried lots of new techniques with this pattern. I started with a tubular cast-on, following Andrea Mowry’s YouTube tutorial, which makes it look like the stitches are overflowing into the inside of the collar – very effective! Next came short rows (following Vlněné sestry‘s Youtube tutorial) which provide shaping at the back, making it sit higher that the front. And then the honeycomb pattern, which looks complicated, but it’s actually simple – it’s just elongated stitches you wrap around your needle multiple times, keep slipping them for a few rows, before knitting them into the pattern. Zuzka from Woolpoint did a great video showing this (private, as it is a paid pattern), which was great, as it’s always easier to see something done rather than just reading it.
It took me about two months to knit this, taking my time and going a couple of rows nearly every evening, which was a great way to wind down. I finished it at the end of November and have been wearing it a lot since then. It’s very comfy, cosy and warm – perfect for this kind of weather.
I used Anina yarn from Filcolana in the Very Light Grey colourway, which is fingering-weight 100% superwash merino I bought from Vlněné sestry. I love light grey and this is nearly the perfect shade (a touch lighter and cooler would have been total perfection!). It gets bonus points for looking great with my absolute favourite koala beanie which I got from a friend a few Christmases ago. So I’ll leave you one more picture of this koala in the snow.
Till next time,