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25 November 2009 4,911 views 6 Comments

Owls detailAt the very last minute before Rhinebeck this year, I decided to knit a Rhinebeck sweater. For those that aren’t familiar with the tradition, basically you knit a sweater to debut at the New York Sheep and Wool festival. In true Caro procrastination fashion, I ordered my yarn 10 days before Rhinebeck. Crazypants, right? Then when the yarn didn’t ship right away,  I panicked for a minute and then just zipped over to my LYS to grab two skeins of Cascade Eco wool to cast on right that second (exactly  7 days before.)

Cascade Eco is a bulky weight and while not a perfect gauge match for the project, with a little math it was close enough.  I think it’s somewhere in the 3-3.5 sts per inch range. The project:  Owls.

I had to upsize the sweater for my measurements which was mostly easy math. Someone on Rav asked me what I did, and here’s the reply I gave her.

Going by my notes, I cast on 136 since I was aiming for a sweater with zero ease. As long as the first number is divisible by 4 for the ribbing, you could cast on whatever number you want. The back shaping all takes place by dividing the back into thirds and decreasing (and increasing) at those two mid points.

Once you work out where the short rows go to dip the yoke (I think it’s 2 stitches away from the side seams if I remember correctly) you can just insert your own numbers.

The only real firm number you need is once your sleeves and body stitches are added up, it must be divisible by 10 to accommodate the owl chart.

I didn’t finish in time for Rhinebeck (not a shocker since I only gave myself 7 days) but I did finish the following week.

o w l s

If I were to knit this again, I’d make a few alterations for a better fitting sweater:

I had changed it to a 3/4 length sleeve, but I should have made them about an inch shorter than I did. I also think the waist shaping hits me too high and as a consequence, the sweater keeps riding up.

yes, I am a goof

Too much ease across the lower shoulder blade that means I put in one too many increases at the upper waist.

back wrinkly fit

The waist shaping decreases and increases are not symmetrical and while I have no problem with that, the side seam markers are never adjusted. This means that the middle of the underarm is now closer to my back and it pulls in the front in the underarm.

tight underarm

Overall though, I love it and wear it most mornings when I drive The Husband to the train.  For a sweater that took just over a week to knit, I’m not really going to complain.

A few more details over on Ravelry.


  • julia fc said:

    you know you are aa cute as a button, right? so adorable you and your sweater together. I lurve that neckline.

  • Manise said:

    It looks gorgeous on you despite some of the fit issues you had with it.

  • New England Girl said:

    I’ve looked at a lot of owl sweaters (Owl sweaters, February Lady Sweaters…what’s with all the viral sweaters?) and I think yours is one of the nicest I’ve seen. Don’t know if it’s the color, the button eyes or the way you wear it but I really like it. It’s one of the quieter owl sweaters I’ve seen (if that makes any sense). Nice work.

  • janna said:

    That sweater is absolutely adorable on you!

  • Janice said:

    It’s a great sweater and looks fantastic on you, congratulations!

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