Tuesday, November 17, 2009

River Folk Boatneck Sweater

James is a barista at Prospect Perk Café. A "barista" is some one who serves coffee,  not a member of a Guatemalan resistance group. He's serving up a hot panini with a half-caf latte to some cranky old wizard guy. That's the boss man in the red vest.


James is modeling another LOTR-inspired pullover that I designed called "River Folk" — a boatneck sweater with half-moon pockets. I bought this yarn last winter from Stitch Therapy but had no real plans to do anything with it until recently. Elsebeth Lavold "Silky Flammé" is a highly textured yarn with an untwisted core wrapped into various thick and thin plies.

River Folk is a typical box-cut sweater with a few extras. Ram's horn cables travel from front to back flanking each side. A bucolic Garter stitch trims the neck, cuffs, and hem. Sleeves start with a 2 X 2 garter rib leading into a plain stockinette on the arms.



The hem is vented, the back sitting lower than the front. Vents are a convenient feature, expanding on command for those beer 'n' pizza nights at the Green Dragon. They also make it easier to grab your wallet without exposing your beer gut to all at the table.

I knit flat pieces separately to get the most texture from this yarn. It almost looks like a well-worn tweed. I found that when I knit in the round I get a "hairy puff ball" pattern, which is more suitable for Orcs. The gauge is 22 sts wide by 28 rows deep over a 6" square on US 10 1/2 needles. This made for a quick knit.

The front pouch isn't very functional, but very roomy. It works better as a hand warmer. I wouldn't put my keys in there. The construction isn't complicated. Stitches are picked up through the middle of the garment, knit downward, and knit in with the body at the hem. The pouch sides are sewn to the body making them appear almost "invisible."

It takes a total of 984 yards of Old Gold (12 balls X 82 yds) to make this medium men's sweater. "Silky Flammé" is spun from Peruvian wool, alpaca, and silk which makes it feel light weight and warm. The silk gives the yarn a burnished sheen like autumn oak leaves. Overall, I think this is the quintessential "messy guy" sweater that no Halfling should be without.
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