Tealeaf Sweater: Nothing Sweeter
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Took the plunge on Bristol Ivy's Tealeaf Sweater with the online Craftsy tutorial, and the whole experience made me wonder why there aren't more tutorials exactly like this one?? Something so reassuring about watching the pattern being knit before you — conveniently at 2am...
In general, I find Bristol Ivy's designs very interesting, to the extent that I have a prioritized list of what's next in line (starting with the Sharman or maybe the Yayoi ...) And if you haven't seen it yet, do look at "Knitting Outside The Box" a great read with 15 gorgeous patterns.
For this project, I was lucky enough to find ummmm "just enough" sweater quantity of Julie Asselin's Leizu Worsted in a high-end sale bin in a gorgeous shade of blue. Whaaaatttt??? Yeah, that happened at my wonderful LYS. HOWEVER, "just enough" was not actually enough, which I concluded early on due to some serious gauge swatching and a very exacting yarn predication game that I call: "Am I willing to play yarn chicken on this thing: Yes or No?"
The answer was no. However unbeknownst to me, Leizu Worsted is much harder to find than Leizu DK — even online! Which forced me to retrace the path of the NYC yarn crawl before I found a passable replacement for the pocket liners. Not ideal, but also, done and over with.
Notes about this pattern: Like in a previous post, I cannot stress the importance of marking every lace repeat, no matter how tedious that is. In this pattern my lacework was spot on, from go, and this is solely due to the copious markers. The lace itself is a nice ride, especially because it's a worsted. Much easier to navigate than fingering – not to bash fingerweight lacework, it just is what it is.
The video tutorial is so worth the extra $$ because BI herself explains every step, and in fact demonstrates them in a nice, well-lit studio. She also offers little "nerd tips" along the way, which are illuminative either way. One thing I did NOT do was employ my gauge swatch AS the final pocket liners. I found this confusing for some reason so I gauged normally — but then ended up unraveling the gauge swatch and knitting that same yarn in, due to the aforementioned yarn shortage. Even with that I needed supplemental pocket liners!
I also found the saddles to be a serious b*itch in the beginning, and something one definitely should not attempt for the first time sitting middle seat coach on a red eye flight from NYC to LA. I ended up beating it though, to the delight of my seatmate — a 75 yr old crocheter. What can I say in conclusion about knitting saddles? Go into the light, completely. That is the only way. Anyway, due to that redeye flight, part of this sweater was knit in Yosemite National Park. Here, to be precise.
Last note: Chaigoo needles. Chaigoo Twist Interchangeables are worth every penny, even if the cord has snapped at the join for some people. (Or so I've heard; this has never happened to me.) In all honesty, that red cord is like a best friend as is the slip-no-slip texture of the metal needles. Currently, I am doing a fingerweight lace project on Lykke Driftwood Interchangeables and the difference between both knitting control and cord behavior between the Lykke and the Chaigoo is noticeable. I have not given up on the Lykkes yet though. We'll see...
If you haven't considered the Tealeaf Sweater before, check it out. Feels like a million bucks on. Probably because it's about a million stitches.