Soldotna Crop

I finally knitted a cropped winter sweater and managed to actually make it cropped. In the past, every attempt at a cropped sweater is thwarted by one of two things: 1) I like what I’m knitting and don’t want to stop or 2)I’m hesitant because I don’t not know if I’ll like the cropped style on me. I do lean to the oversized and comfy.

As far as the hesitancy thing goes, I just had to get over it. Avoiding experimentation on your first several sweaters makes sense. Back then, just finishing a sweater felt novel. But after 100 plus sweaters (yeah, I realized I crossed the 100 mark. Insane.) experimenting on number 101isn’t such a big deal. Having a kit designed with only enough yarn for a cropped length sweater helped too.

I have knit cropped tops before, but they were always summer sweaters or tank tops, never one thick enough for full blown winter.  And Soldotna, by Caitlin Hunter, is thick. It’s three different strands of dk weight yarn held together for Fair Isle knitting over body and sleeves. I don’t know if you can tell but I was about to pass out when taking these photos. I’d saved up a sweater, two shawls, and two pairs of socks to photograph. It was one big giant photo shoot in early September heat and a real professional process involving quick costume changes and the wiping of my sweat mustache.

My yarn kit came from Mockingbird Fiber Co. Won’t they just love their company name being mentioned directly after my sweat mustache? Sorry, guys.

Okay! Wipe your minds of everything I just wrote. Now, imagine the following colors all together in one garment. Aren’t they lovely?

I think I could’ve come up with a combo involving Natural Woman (the natural one, duh), Night Mauves (the pink), and Dust on the Bottle (the burgundy). But I don’t think I would’ve ever thrown the Drops of Jupiter into the mix. It’s the Main body color and one of my favorites that they dye. It’s not like any colorway I’ve used before, but it is the main reason I chose this kit.

If you watch my podcast, you know that I’m not sure how I’ll wear this sweater. I have seen lots of great looks, but either I don’t own the right pieces in my wardrobe or they aren’t the right color. You can see here that my immediate solution was to just wear a loose t-shirt underneath it to get some FO photos. I don’t really like the baggy guy jeans with it. But I do like wearing baggy guy jeans, so….

Details: I used size ) needle for ribbing, 3’s for the heavy stranded yoke, and 4 for the rest of the body and sleeves. I thought, and rightly so, that the dotted stranded portion wouldn’t pucker as much and might appear too tight. That is what happened with my Sunset Highway.

The yarn was the Drops of Jupiter Soldotna kit, plus one extra skein of Drops of Jupiter, from Mockingbird Fiber Co, as I discussed earlier and it was the most fun to watch the colors work together. As everyone said, the yoke knits up fast, possibly because it’s incredibly addictive. I took it everywhere with me.

I decided to follow WoollyBear99‘s directions for modifying the neckline so it would be wider. Then, I promptly forgot and didn’t follow it. So instead of omitting the first set of decreases in the yoke, I omitted the last set. I cast on 120 stitches, knit 7 rounds of rib, then performed the short rows for a size 3XL. Since I didn’t omit the first increase, but the last instead, I ended up with 18 more stitches than I should have had. Since I’d been knitting it a bit tighter than I planned, because “eyeing it” is the new swatching, this worked out fine. I gave more of the extra stitches to my sleeves because my very muscular arms need the flexin’ room.

Hmmm, I can’t think of anything else that might be of interest, if knitting is of interest to you. I did use the Simple Stretchy Bind Off from this Very Pink tutorial. In the sleeve above, I had to use a bit of another burgundy tweed yarn for the Bind Off round because I ran out of yarn right at the end, which is completely obnoxious, but I don’t think it really shows.

I knit this as part of the Mockingbird Sweater KAL and Summer Sweater KAL 2019. Both had a lot of inspirational projects. I am completely ready to knit Caitlin’s Ghost Horses sweater soon, but first I need to finish Guthrie.

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, Flickr, and Youtube)

Discussing end weaving methods on this here and finished knit here.

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