a lichen-moss knitted top . . .

by mulberryshoots

lichen moss sweater 2

Watching the Swedish mystery series, “Wallander” on my laptop and knitting a wrap tunic at the same time occupied some (a lot!) of my time during this past week. Last Tuesday, I went to Noho and traded in some yarn I didn’t care for so much for some beautiful lichen-moss colored yarn by Berroco called “Blackstone Tweed.”

When I got home, I envisioned knitting a loosely-fitted cropped piece to pair with lightweight turtlenecks that would not be too warm to wear indoors in the wintertime. I made a seed stitch border edging and knitted the rest in a vertical garter stitch – knitting sideways across the sweater rather than from bottom to top. I used to have a brown tunic designed by Eskandar years ago that had a crisscross asymmetrical front that I loved and this design concept inspired me to knit the fronts as fraternal rather than identical twin pieces.

I knitted the back so that it was about three inches longer than the front. And by serendipitous happenstance (and to my initial chagrin,) I had sewn the right front pieces by mistake to the bottom of the elongated back piece instead of midway as I had already done on the left side. But, trying it on, I realized that the loose fit I was looking for would be accomplished by doing the same for both sides (too hard to follow?)

After careful pulling out the left side lest I cut into the knitting which has happened to me before (grrrrr. . .,) I realigned it and reattached it to the bottom of the back, resulting in a floppy kind of fit that was exactly what I wanted but had no idea mentally how to do when I first set out to knit this little piece. I guess the Helpers were standing by even though I didn’t know it. I also knitted two side gussets that I had done with a previous Japanese-designed vest that I had made for C. a few years ago. This design feature allowed the back and front to float on their own and to allow for a cooler fit (pun intended.) The result was just the kind of graceful floppiness of a medieval-looking piece that I had in my mind’s eye when I started the project a few days ago.

The other thing that I did, unable to let this little project go without obsessing over the details, was to knit a narrow band of stockinette trimming that I sewed as a covering over the rough edges of the back collar seams. Having done that, I was satisfied that the sweater was truly finished and complete.

Actually, it even looks pretty good on and I’m thinking of wearing a black plaid shirt underneath it for some contrast.  Vive la difference knitting from scratch and groping one’s way to the end! I guess I lucked out on this one — thanks, Helpers!