Ninilchik Swoncho - The Making Of
I must confess, it took me a while to decide to go ahead with this project, because I wasn't convinced it would be "wearable". Turns out it is one of the cosiest, most comfortable things I've ever made.
By now you have probably grasped by love for the designs of Caitlin Hunter. Her designs are modern and traditional at the same time, compliment a wide variety of body styles/ages, and leave plenty of room for personal interpretation.
For my Ninilchik Swoncho, (available on Ravelry), I decided to go outside my usual comfort zone of colours -- the more subtle shades of yellow and pink are not typical for me, but I found them very soothing and appropriate for this project. The three contrast yarns are High Fibre Shop Merino Wool DK. The main colour is The Yarn Collective Bloomsbury DK in Sand.
Working in DK was a welcome respite from all the 4 ply sweaters I've been making...this project was actually fairly quick to make. The colourwork has a nice rhythm that never left me frustrated or wishing it would end. Once the colour work is finished there are just a few inches of the main colour and then the body is complete.
You probably also know my aversion to sleeves -- my dirty secret is that I have at least five sweaters completed except for the sleeves -- so believe me when I tell you that these sleeves were a breeze because you essentially start them at about the elbow. I know some of you hate to knit ribbing, but I really don't mind it at all, so that part wasn't a negative either.
Blocking the swoncho really makes it all click. Mine relaxed a bit lengthwise, (as anticipated), and the colourwork all fell nicely into place. The stranded knitting makes for a thick but not constricting fabric that will keep you toasty in the coldest of weather.
In an unusual move for me, I pretty much followed the pattern exactly, although I did cut out one row near the end because of yarn supply. I do wish I had made a turtleneck -- I'll only be wearing this on the coldest of days and I do love to keep my neck warm. There was a temptation to make it longer, but I resisted and am glad I did. I don't think most of us need that kind of bulk in the hip area...as written the swoncho has just the right amount of swing and swagger.