Introducing Chocolate Stout, another collaboration with the Plucky Knitter. It's a new take on the Grandpa Sweater, since Sarah and I fully embrace the idea of Old Man as a style icon. Allover texture, a few fun details, waist shaping, a modified dropped shoulder and a gorgeous, sophisticated yarn take the old fashioned classic and make it modern.
The allover cable texture is gorgeous in Plucky's Rustic yarn, and adds a undeniable coziness to the entire sweater. The Rustic is soft and round and it takes texture like a champ. The motif is a simple twisted cable repeat, that has just enough detail to showcase a subtly vareigated yarn without being lost in translation. Plus, it works perfectly when paired with deep 1x1 ribbing.
Ribbing that shows up along the hems, on the collar, and in the arm shaping.
Pockets also play off of the ribbing, and are accented by smallish leather buttons.
Bigger, matching buttons run down the front, again giving the cardigan that vintage feel, but you can find these at Jo-Anns, cheap :)
Waist shaping ensures that even with a slouchy fit, there's a feminine shape to the cardigan when buttoned.
And, the modified drop shoulder really works with the cables while giving you a distinct (and easy!) seam at the shoulders. Since the drop is modified (not your giant 80s rectangle) the shape remains both slouchy and flattering. The sweater is knit from the bottom up, for minimal seaming, and I wanted to be sure any seams would be easy and not interfere with the look of the cables.
Keeping the clean line for showing off that cool secret arm ribbing.
All photos by Amanda Johnston - and the color of the yarn is truer in the top shots - we got arty by the lake here!
The Chocolate Stout pattern is available both on the sidebar to the left and in my Ravelry shop for $6.50. Some details are below and the rest of the information is here, Photos of the test knits will also pop up on here, if you are debating colors.
Sizes: 32-54 Sweater is designed with approximately 5" of ease.
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Rustic (165 yds per skein) Shown in Phantom. 1400(1500,1600,1700,1800,1900)(1950,2000,2050,2100,2150,2200) yds 9 (9,10,11,11,11,12) (12,12,12,13,13,14) skeins.
Needles: US#7/4.5mm (long circs for body and collar, shorter or DPNs for sleeve) or size to get gauge.
Gauge: 5 sts, 6 rows per 1" in 1x1 ribbing and textured pattern. Gauge calculated after blocking.
Notions: stitch markers, darning needle, waste yarn or stitch holders 3-4 large (1.5") buttons for band, 2 smaller (.75-1") buttons for pockets.
To try the drink (not the sweater) , Chocolate Stout, I found this cake, from the awesome food blog Smitten Kitchen. The cake was amazing, but I was forbidden to take cake photos since it didn't come out of the bundt pan as expected and turned into a Chocolate Volcano pile of cake. Still seriously delicious, but not so pretty - and my chef (daughter) was a bit embarrassed about the snafu, so no photo.
As for Chocolate Stout itself, I think it's fun to taste, but couldn't imagine having a whole pint of it, so I recruited a few tasters, bribed them with food and served the 4 bottles for dessert. We agreed this is a great plan after dinner with friends - and way easier than actually baking and bringing something over!
Here's the rundown of our opinions (from left to right):
Southern Tier Choklat Stout - had an element of coffee, not too sweet, but lots of cocoa - smooth. We liked.
Yeti, from Great Divide - the most complex. Dark chocolate, oak aged, with spices. It was the most bitter, had a little too much going on, and the chocolate got lost. Craig disliked aftertaste - We all agreed they may have gilded the lily. Didn't like.
Samuel Smith Organic - this one was heavy on the chocolate, and the sweetest. No bitterness, and smooth. We liked.
Young's Double Chocolate Stout - the cleanest of the bunch, chocolatey without other overtones (this one was in the cake!) Our favorite.
Bring some over the next time you're invited out. It's like a wine tasting, but different.