It wouldn’t quite be true to say that I planned to finish Epistrophy just as the weather turned cold, but sometimes the knitting knows what’s up even when you don’t. I started this sweater in March, knit the body up the arms and then put it aside in favour of various warm-weather projects.
After we moved to Ottawa, it came to my attention that this city is farther enough north to mean a noticeable change in the temperature as they seasons changed. (I knew this in an academic way before, but it’s something I *know* now.) I picked up Epistrophy again a couple of months ago and banged out the first sleeve pretty fast thanks to a weekend trip that involved a few hours in the car in each way. The second sleeve took a bit longer, and the yoke took longer still. My goal (articulated only to myself, as part of Slow Fashion October) was to have it finished by Thanksgiving (which was the Oct. 10-12 weekend), and I just squeaked in (though of course it took another two weeks to get photos).
Epistrophy was a bunch of firsts for me: my first steek (I used Kate’s crochet steek tutorial and it wasn’t scary at all, though next time I’ll buy a smaller crochet hook — the scariest part, really, was trimming the steek, which meant removing all my carful reinforcing), my first time sewing ribbon facings into the button bands (it took forever and I’m not sure I did it quite right as they fronts sit a bit high. I should pull it out and redo it, but I’m worried about stressing the steek and also hate the though of all the work. I might try re-blocking it), and my first time knitting a Kate Davies pattern. This last one is what really kills me — I’ve been a fan of Kate’s designs since my earliest knitting days, and I own both her books and some of her single patterns. I don’t know why I hadn’t knit them before, but her instructions are excellent, and the results really do speak for themselves.
I really, really love this sweater. Thanks to the yarn — Rowan Felted Tweed — it’s the perfect blend of lightweight and warm, and has enough ease to fit easily over long sleeves and button smoothly, but doesn’t sag or hang anywhere. I am, maybe weirdly, particularly happy with the sleeves. I find it hard to gauge how sleeves will fit when I’m knitting them bottom-up, and these ones are just the right length. They also fit exactly the way I wanted them to: enough ease to comfortably fit over a long-sleeves t-shirt (I haven’t yet tried it with the looser sleeves of a button-down shirt), but still snug enough to be flattering and easy to push up (I always push my sleeves up).
The only thing I’m not 100% happy with is the way the front neck sits up so close to my throat, and I’m pretty sure that’s my own fault for stretching out the button bands as I sewed on the ribbon. I’ll have to pull that out to fix it if it continues to bother me (maybe I’m just being sensitive), but really, that’s a minor (and very fixable) issue, and not enough to change how I feel about this cardigan: I love it!
Sweaters are one part of my wardrobe where I don’t have to worry (yet, anyway) about having too much. Winter is long and cold, and when you add spring and fall into the mix, an assortment of sweaters in various weights and styles is just sensible! I am in the depths of holiday gift-knitting at the moment, but I don’t think it will be long until I have another sweater on my needles, and while my next one may not be one of Kate’s designs, it certainly won’t be long until I return to my library of her patterns — Ursula is looking mighty tempting right now, and I suspect Asta Sollilja would find itself in heavy rotation once the weather turns really cold.
Pattern: Epistrophy by Kate Davies
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Treacle (main) and Scree (contrast)
Notes: The only changes I made to this pattern was to change the rate of the waist shaping in order to add length (I’m tall, and added 2.5 inches to the body length). I also added a bit of length to the sleeves, which reach just to my wrist bones (my preferred length). The chart was total pleasure to knit, and never have I had such an easy time matching both my button bands in length, and then lining up my buttonholes and buttons — the beaded rib pattern makes it so simple, and lies beautifully flat (and wrinkling in the above photos is due to lazy blocking). My buttons are these ones from Fringe Supply Co. Ravelled here.