The Best Sweater I Ever Made

The Best Sweater I Ever Madefeatured

Rowan Magazine 32 Braid

Do you have a favorite sweater that you reach for every time the weather gets cold?  So do I, and I made it.  Can you believe I made this sweater more than 10 years ago?  It preceded my first child, that’s how old it is.  I used to be really obsessed with knitting sweaters—I ended up making about 15 of them.  But this is the only one I really wear.  And this is why:  it’s classic.  I’ve worn it through a roller coaster ride of weight gains, weight losses, and 3 pregnancies.  It always seems to fit (sometimes tighter than I’d like!)

I’m planning to knit more sweaters, but this is what I’ve learned:  DO NOT be seduced by the brightly colored, fuzzy, sparkly, variegated, thick and thin—or whatever-spunkiness-you-can-think-of yarns.  It’s so hard to resist them, I know!  Believe me, I knit more than a dozen sweaters using those yarns!  But I NEVER wear them.  If you are going to spend that much time and money knitting a sweater, pick both a yarn and pattern that is classic and timeless.  Think cables, neutrals, and Irish inspired sweaters.  It might seem boring when you decide to go with that tweedy ivory yarn with gray flecks or that charcoal gray or black (when that neon fuzzy pink is calling you from across the store):  but do it, and you will still be wearing that sweater 10 years later.

My pattern is from Rowan magazine 32 from the Autumn/Fall issue published for 2002/2003. This old issue seems to have so many classic patterns—which Rowan used to be all about before they ventured into a lot of too-trendy patterns (in my opinion, somewhat ruining their brand).  I used the Rowanspun chunky yarn (all wool) it called for, which appears to no longer be available.  You can substitute any chunky yarn which calls for a size 11 needle.  (Chunky yarns are one size up from worsted weight).  I suggest something wool and tweedy.Rowan magazine 32 BraidRowan Magazine 32

I wore this sweater to the Oregon Ducks football game yesterday, where we tailgated before the game.  Luckily, the green color stayed in sync with our University of Oregon colors.  I stayed warm with only 3 layers (no jacket), despite the temperature of 35 degrees F.  I styled this with a cowl neck thermal shirt (brand is dee elle) that I received from Stitch Fix, my gray quilted skirt, and sunglasses by Tom Ford.  We had a great day, and the Ducks claimed the victory!Rowan Magazine 32 BraidDSC_0022DSC_0013Rowan Magazine 32 BraidDSC_0020Rowan Magazine 32 BraidDSC_0044Rowan Magazine 32 Braid

Photo credits to John Strother.

About the author

Stephanie Koski

Stephanie is a retired physician, mother to three boys, and an avid gardener with many hobbies and interests. She lives outside of Salem, Oregon, in the mid-Willamette Valley. Stephanie does all of the photography and writing for this website, and all content is original and copyrighted.

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