March 30, 2017

Afmæli Sweater | 4th Annual Summer Sweater

Now that spring is in the air and winter is finally over, I've got a sweater to share! I am quite stoked to share one of my favorite projects ever. Introducing Afmæli, my fourth annual summer sweater!

Just like last year, I've had to wait quite a while to share the knitterly focus of last summer. Perhaps the tradition has turned into knitting sweaters in the summer and waiting for the spring equinox to share them! I hope not. 


I'll spare loquacious details and excuses, but yes, I did actually knit this sweater last July and August. Ever since I saw the free pattern on Ravelry by Ístex, an Icelandic lopi yarn company, I dreamed of knitting this sweater as my magnum opus of my teen knitting career. While not technically challenging, the indulgent color work shattered my $40 per sweater budget. I also had a hard time justifying so much wasted yarn and half-used skeins from this project.


Luckily, by the time I was ready to purchase materials for the project, I was also preparing for my colorful Semester in the West hat project. I decided to kill purchase two birds with one stone by buying the same yarn for the hats and this sweater. In a way it was really three birds, because all the yarn was on sale, too! I bought DROPS Lima yarn for Afmæli, a wool-alpaca blend, and DROPS Karisma Superwash, a superwash wool, for the SITW hats. While the two yarns aren't identical by fiber, they are still the same color intensity and gauge; I can vouch that my fellow Westies couldn't tell the difference! Needles used are US 4 and US 7.


I knitted everything but the yoke while inhabiting the backseat of a car during a family road trip to the northern Rockies. I'm still keeping up my backcountry and seat-of-a-moving-vehicle niche knitting! This sweater was knitted in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, British Columbia, and California--four American states and two Canadian provinces! Of course, the pattern designed is from Iceland, I bought the yarn from a Norwegian company, and the actual yarn was made in Peru. A global sweater indeed!


As far as modifications, I changed the neckline because I am not a fan of turtlenecks (also I didn't have enough yarn). I decided to try a new technique and do an i-cord bind-off. As a result, the neck hole is barely sufficient to get my head through. And that was after reknitting the i-cord as loosely as I could! If I ever knit this sweater again, I'll probably cut out one or two of the last rows to limit possibilities of choking or having the sweater stuck on me for eternity.


All in all, I love everything about this sweater--knitting it up, wearing it proudly, and the rainbow color scheme, however abstract. It's also scrumptiously warm.

Now to plan for the 5th annual summer sweater...

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

Find this project on Ravelry