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Little Foxes, Big Frustrations

Hi all, this week I’d like to share some more of my latest knitting forays, including yet another self-drafted sweater (are you getting tired of these yet?) and my take on the very popular Tegna sweater.

I’ll start with Tegna.

It was so frustrating.

I guess before I dive into that in greater detail, I will say that the finished product is beautiful, and I do love the way it came out. I wish I could keep it! I made it as a sample for Candice of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers, to show off her lovely hand-dyed yarn, and show it off it does.

But folks, this is not a pattern to be taken lightly. I was continually grumpy for the two weeks that I worked on the lace hem. No joke, Anna noticed an actual change in my general mood, and it took us both a while to discover that it was due to the damn lace work.

But it wasn’t over yet – next you must slog through miles and miles of stockinette. Don’t forget, you’re making an adult-sized garment with fingering weight yearn! * evil laughter *

Even once you’ve reached the split point for the front and back of the sweater, your travails have not ended. You must now work several more miles of stockinette for each the front and the back, and then shape the shoulders! And if you mess up, it will be terribly visible because of the yarn weight and the looseness of the fabric! HAVE FUN!

Then you must pick up the neckline and work it separately. Don’t do what I did, kids – there is an option to leave stitches live or bind them off. Just bind them off. It’s so much less messy that way.

Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You pick up the sleeve stitches.

Acting like it was totally easy to make this.

At least, once you have picked up the sleeve stitches successfully, it’s smooth sailing from there. When I bound off those sleeves, I felt like Frodo on Mt. Doom after the One Ring had finally been cast into the fire. It’s over. It’s done.

Only several months behind schedule.

Anyway, designer, if you’re reading this, please don’t take offense – it’s not that the pattern isn’t beautiful, or clearly written, or very doable. It is just a long and frustrating journey mostly because of the yarn weight required.

I am almost crazy enough to say I might make another one, this one to keep. Almost.

On a lighter note, I’ve finished the little foxes sweater that I was working on for my other cousin’s daughter. She’s four, and she wanted a sweater “with animals.” I had to take the opportunity to make an Icelandic-inspired sweater with little foxes on the yoke that I had been imagining for some time. I’m really pleased with the result.

The construction is just a basic bottom-up round yoked sweater with colorwork at the hem, cuffs, and yoke. Working out the colorwork charts to account for decreases as well was a big challenge, and it didn’t come out completely perfect, but I’m generally really happy with it.

I first did the fox faces using duplicate stitch, but they started coming out looking kind of…evil? So, at the suggestion of Anna’s mother (another avid knitter), I tried French knots. That came out looking much better!

First fox faces: evil
Final fox faces: cute!

More (better) photos and info coming in a future post!

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  1. The Tegna is beautiful — I have yarn for it in my stash but I’m not looking forward to all that stockinette! If you do decide to make one to keep, I hope you find it more enjoyable on second knitting!

    And that fox sweater is so cute!

    • Flo Flo

      Thank you! It really is a beautiful piece, in the end, and very well-designed. I recommend getting hooked on a TV show for the stockinette part πŸ˜‰

  2. Victoria Victoria

    Haha evil foxes 🦊 😑
    They look much better in the second version. Whilst it may have been a mare, the sweater does look lovely. If you make it again perhaps slightly longer?

    • Flo Flo

      Thanks! Yeah, for myself I would make it a bit longer. The pattern calls for it to be sort of cropped, and since it was a sample I followed the pattern exactly. I don’t really wear cropped tops though…not my style! πŸ™‚

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