In German, we call people like me a Frostbeule. That is, literally, a chilblain – and means a person that is always cold. That’s why I use four blankets in bed, coupled with a lot of pillows and knit socks. That’s also why I love this sweater, made from gloriously warm and cozy super bulky alpaca yarn. You guys. I feel like I’m in heaven when I wear it.
To get to such a religious experience like this, I had to experiment a bit, as the pattern originally calls for cotton yarn. As someone from a non-anglo country knitting with mostly English/American patterns (respectively, as a poor student who can’t afford to use indie yarn all the time), I have to substitute yarn quite a lot. Usually I try to stay close to the type of yarn recommended, but here I just knew I needed to use alpaca. (Plus, DROPS Garnstudio has a sale on all alpaca yarn till the end of the year!)
The texture and form of the finished sweater is definitely different from the original because of that switch. The hem at the back rolls up more than it does with cotton, even after rigorous blocking. I could take a iron to it (through a wet dishcloth, of course), but I’m afraid that’d just hurt the yarn. If I were a person to think ahead, I could have used a garter stitch hem like in the front, but oh well. There are worse things in life than a rolled up hem. 🙂
In fact, I actually prefer the different texture of the alpaca yarn, especially it’s subtle halo.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Amy Christoffers’ patterns. After knitting this sweater, I can only confirm them. This pattern had clearly written instructions, with text design that made reading it easy and pleasant and helpful schematics. In fact, I liked it so much that I went and added another pattern of hers to my Ravelry queue, something I rarely do anymore given it’s already ridiculous length.
While I wouldn’t say this pattern is especially difficult, I did enjoy its little challenges. The cuff piece is knitted by itself, then turned 90° to pick up the stitches for the sleeves. My favourite part was the collar, though. When you knit the front pieces, you continue the pattern after binding off for the shoulders. These extensions are later grafted together and then sewn to the back piece. Fun, yes?
Overall, this was such a great and enjoyable knit that was well worth the 8$ for the pattern – especially after trying and failing to understand a Kim Hargreaves pattern! Amy Christoffers’ Long Sands Cardigan: A++, would knit again.
Pattern: Long Sands Cardigan by Amy Christoffers
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Andes (Super Bulky, 65% Wool/35% Alpaca), 0519 Dark Grey