All of the photos are taken from my own older posts about today's sweater.
Today is sweater favorite #3 for #projectsweaterchest! If you are just now joining me, I am cleaning out and organizing and hopefully adding to my big cedar chest where I keep all of my handknit sweaters. I have selected my top 10 current favorites.
To see me wearing all 10 of my favorites in a short five minute video click right here!
Now on to today's sweater!
Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky in Steel Gray (I LOVE this yarn!)
Needles: US 10.75 (Which I don't remember owning but I wrote in past posts that I used this size.)
I originally knit this as a pullover sweater. I knit Owls one size larger than I normally select. I made a 38-inch size when I usually select around a 36-inch size. Even with the up sizing this sweater was way too fitted for my liking. I had the correct gauge and was using the called-for yarn that the pattern suggests.
If you look at the project page you will see in the photos that this is a very fitted bulky-weight sweater. I truly felt like a sausage when I put it on even after blocking. I was pretty disappointed.
The buttons for eyes ended up being only on one owl in the front and off to the side at first and then I moved the eye buttons to the back later. These are two vintage buttons a friend gave me from her mother's collection so they are very special buttons to me.
As you can see above, the waist shaping is all done at the back and it is a pretty severe waist shaping.
If you choose to knit the Owls sweater you may want to consider both the size and the waist shaping. I have to say that I really don't like tight clothes so I may be more sensitive than others on the fit issue.
Well, this sweater was originally a clunker to me because it was so tight. I kept it in pullover form for a short while and never wore it or had any urge to wear it. I decided that the only chance the sweater had was if I steeked it down the front to make a cardigan.
The decision was made without much thought, either the sweater sits unworn or I change it. I had no worries or hesitation about the steeking. I found the center front and since I hadn't planned on steeking I had to go right through the center of an owl. I wasn't sure how this was going to look in the end.
I used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch on either side of the center line before cutting. It was a very smooth and simple steeking process.
Here is the newly steeked cardigan without the button bands.
It worked out so well! The center owl that was cut in half even looked fine and kind of disappeared after the button bands were added.
I actually had some leftover yarn to use for the button bands so that wasn't a problem. I quickly picked the edges up and knit the button bands. I planned out the buttonholes to fit 4 oval-shaped red buttons that I had in my stash. Red and gray go so well together.
Look how neat and tidy this steek turned out. It's perfection. The changing of this cardigan from a pullover to a cardigan took about a morning's worth of work. It was so worth it.
Here is the finished Owls cardigan. It is now one of my favorite handknit cardigans. If you prefer you could add buttons all the way down. The button bands gave the sweater a little more width and wiggle room on top and then by leaving it open at the bottom the fit is now perfect.
Here is the back view of Owls by Kate Davies. You can see that I moved the eye buttons to one owl in the back. I think it is so sweet looking.
I love the simple clearly written pattern. It is knit from the bottom-up, seamlessly, using an Elizabeth Zimmermann like formula with 3 decrease rounds at the top. The owl cable is so simple. This would be a really great first sweater pattern and first cable pattern. Plus it is knit on large needles with bulky yarn so it goes super fast.
The Owls sweater also comes in a kid-sizes and is called Owlet. Owlet would be a really great first sweater because it is so tiny. I have the Owlet pattern in my library and want to knit a few up to have as baby gifts in the future.
Kate Davies is one of my favorite designers. She does loads of color work, hats, blankets, sweaters, cardigans.... she is all-around a pretty amazing designer.
I'm off to The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling at the end of the week. I can't wait to teach at this retreat for the second time. It will be a treat. I'll see you on the flip side!
Take care and let me know if you are going to knit an Owls or an Owlet or if you already have knit an Owls sweater. I'd love to hear what you think of the design and how your version fits. At this point there are over 7,500 finished Owls sweaters in Ravelry so I know some of you have probably already knit one.
xo ~ susan