Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've been so patient, keeping all these pics in my computer for the past 3 months. Believe me when I say how happy I am to finally be able to show you this entire sweater - front and back and sides! Keeping things under wraps is not my strong suit.

Mulled Cider is a rustic sweater coat, knit in an heavy worsted/aran weight 2ply yarn from BartlettYarns, which is a historic mill that's been spinning wool in Harmony Maine since 1821. They make gorgeous sheepy tweeds in amazing colors, and I first discovered them at New Hampshire Sheep and Wool a few years back. Since then, their booth is a go-to for me whenever I'm at an event. They do sell online as well, at the link above - but the festival purchase is my favorite way to go, so I can touch all of it and see the groovy, amazing colors in person!

(Don't worry if you can't get your hands on Bartlett. My test knitters worked it in Berroco Blackstone, SHELTER, and a number of other substitutes. The design looks great in an interesting heavy worsted or aran wool, of which there is NO short supply out there.)

Moving on from yarn choice, though:

Mulled Cider is a classic sweater coat with a few elements that make it interesting to knit and to wear. The body is worked in reverse stockinette, which I think adds to the rustic feel of the coat. A leaf and stem motif runs up one side of the back, meets at the shoulder and comes down the front. The stems from the motif are echoed in reverse seams at the shoulders, and the vertical lines of the leaves and stems also give the sweater coat a nice slimming visual element. I especially love the leaves since they add a touch of femininity to the coat.

The body has a subtle A line shape, and the fronts overlap to fasten with twisted toggles and large, off-center buttons. Once the sweater is finished, additional shaping can be added by adjusting the length and position of your toggles for less or more overlap at the center, bust or hips. My center toggle is a little shorter than the others, and it adds a subtle touch o' waist when fastened. Sneaky, right?

The collar is deep, generous and folded over in a somewhat "notched" shape. I love the statement the big neckline makes, and the balance it adds to the other deep ribbings throughout.

However, I know it isn't for everyone. With that in mind, notes are in the pattern to modify either the actual size of the collar, or to tack it down so it lies flat against the neck. (I played with this in the photos above, if you look closely!) Both modifications are simple and can be done just prior to finishing, so you can see what you think and choose when you have the entire coat done.

Additional information and actual specs are on Ravelry, and the pattern is available for $6.50 US. It can be bought on the sidebar above or on the Ravelry page.

Below are a few of the basics:

4sts, 5 rows per 1" in stockinette, blocked.
The pattern calls for two needle sizes - #7s, and #8s. Gauge is on the larger needle.

Pattern is available in sizes 32-50

Size 32-1100 yds, 34-1200, 36 -1300, 38-1400, 40-1500, 42-1600, 44-1700, 46-1800, 48-1900, 50-2000

Yarn Notes
As I mentioned, this looks best in a heavy worsted to aran weight yarn with a little visual interest. I think something rustic is best. Wooly. A tweed is gorgeous, and a subtly vareigated yarn would also work nicely. You definitely do NOT want too much drape, as it may stretch out over time and not remain closed. A yarn with a little mind of its own is good, and something that knits up densely makes a great warm coat!


As for the cider itself, I'm a fan of mulling spices, the cider AND a little added something.

The drink photo will have to wait. It's easier to make and take pics of one glass recipes, as I'm not going to down an entire gallon of cider while reading back Maya's science flashcards tonight. But, we're having a few friends over on Saturday, and it'll be the perfect time to make it and take a few pics over the weekend. In the snow, again. Perfect cider weather :-)

In the meantime, here's the recipe only:

Put the following into a large pot and let it simmer on the stove. I like putting it in a big Le Creuset. The spices can be put into a teaball for easy retreival. If not, you'll have to use a strainer when serving so nobody gets a glass full of cloves.

one gallon of apple cider
cut 4 large sections from one orange, take off the peel
8 oz dark rum

add the following spices, either free floating or in a teaball:

8 allspice berries
10 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
7 pods of cardamom

Let spices, orange, rum and cider simmer on the stove.


Just prior to serving, slice one apple into thin slices and float the slices on top of the pot of cider.

I also like to leave out the bottle of rum, plus a bottle of Cointreau and one of Calvados next to the mugs so people can add a little extra of whatever they prefer if they want! Mods aren't just for knitting, are they?


Chris said...

Very lovely, Thea!!

Turtle said...

gorgeous gorgeous!

Dorothy said...

I love it-just the sweater/jacket I've been wanting but am not talented enough to design myself!


april said...

i am not grown up enough in 'knitting years' to make this yet, but i LOVE it! i am saving it for when i am a better knitter.

Zonda said...

Yay! All the pics finally! I really love it. Yummy cider!

Hilary said...

Keeping those gorgeous pictures secret for 3 months would have killed me! They really are is the sweater. Wowza. This is such a great design. I think I've said this before, but I LOOOOOVE those toggle fasteners and the design on the back. I want this so badly!

Sophie said...

Nice work! I love the little details at the back. I wish I can make one of those. I'm planning to make this with my own, home-made yarn. I'll buy wools with different vibrant colors to test out my new drum carder and drop spindles. If it turns out good, I'll try using the new yarn to make something similar to your new coat!

Gayla said...

I LOVE it! Gorgeous classic shape with beautiful details.

Kathleen said...

Congratulations, darlin'! It looks so lovely and cozy.

buying runescape gold said...

Maintaining those stunning images key for 3 several weeks would have murdered me! They really are is the jacket. Wowza. This is such an excellent style. I think I've said this before
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