Amber’s Blaithin — Finishing, Finishing, Finished!

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My Bláithín. It is really and truly done!

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In fact, it is so done, it has already been worn several times as of this post. It passes the comfort+snuggly-ness test, hands down!

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Overall, I am very happy with how it came out, especially with it being a sweater of several firsts for me — first “big” colorwork, first steeking, first time actually measuring myself correctly…

As with anything I do though, there are a few problem areas I’m not thrilled with. The absolute worst is that I bound off my original neck stitches too tightly and ended up with that pucker you see in the picture above. It won’t kill me, but I am feeling extremely self-conscious about it when sharing the project among people who can see what it was supposed to look like, you know? Also, the i-cord bind offs on the pocket fronts are attached really poorly. I will probably redo them at some point actually. And finally, as you can see in the picture below, I got really sloppy when I closed the ends of my steek sandwiches.

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But back to happy times! Those little puckery areas in the i-cord are button holes. Applied i-cord buttonholes are the easiest kind I’ve ever done and I not only love the way they knit up, but also the way they look around buttons.

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And speaking of buttons… Picking out buttons is usually somewhat of a daunting task for me. I generally have a pretty specific idea in mind and sometimes feel a little distraught when my vision doesn’t magically appear before my eyes on the store shelf. I lucked out this time because even though these little wooden beauties weren’t exactly what I had in mind, I am very happy with the feel of them and I think they’re a great fit with my color scheme, and the rustic nature of my sweater.

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And just like that –all ends long since woven in, a good washing and a nice light blocking a thing of the past, and buttons attached– it was done.

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I quietly snuck a few finished photos up on Ravelry when it was officially 100% done. I expected a few people to stumble across them before the big reveal here on the Juniper Moon Farm blog, but not enough that the surprise would be too diminished, you know?

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What I was NOT expecting was to log in to Facebook on the morning of the 23rd and find a message from my friend Lyn telling me my sweater was featured on the front page of Ravelry. I faintly remember taking a few fortifying sips of coffee before opening a new tab to see this for myself, and sure enough, there it was (and in the most excellent company!)

My sweater (HowdyPandowdy's Blaithin) was featured on the front page of Ravelry!

That day was a blur of comments and messages, new Ravelry  “friends,” a few awkward attempts at Tweeting (mine) — you name it. It was just an all-around very exciting and sort of surreal day. :)

But hey. You came to see a finished sweater, yeah?

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I already miss working on this project a lot, but I plan to make another one for myself someday that is more true to the original pattern. I love the changes I made as a means to showcase two very lovely yarns, but the original design is what I fell in love with and I’d like one of my own just like it.

As far as I’m concerned, wanting to knit the same thing more than once certainly speaks well of the pattern in question, but perhaps the greatest personal testament to how I much I enjoyed knitting Bláithín is that I immediately cast on a Bláithín Jr. for my daughter Lydia.

for Lydia's Blaithin

Her body will be done in Juniper Moon Farm Cormo Rusticus like mine, but the yoke design will be done with the colors shown above (all JMF yarns). Click on the link above to be taken to my Ravelry project page if you care to see my progress on that one as well. As of today, I am just starting the second sleeve.

Lydia's Blaithin

I cannot thank everybody enough for following along with my knitting, and for keeping me company here as I made my way through what has turned out to be one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever knitted. I hope to have a new project to share with you in the near future!

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Amber resides in sporadically idyllic Berks County, PA with her husband and three children.

She can most often be found knitting, making soap, sewing, or puttering around in her garden. She should probably leave her house more often.

35 Comments

  1. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing, Amber!

  2. Every time I see your FO, I fall a little bit more in love. It rocks, and so do you!

  3. It’s just lovely! You should totally put it on the Kate Davies finished projects thread:

    http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/kate-davies-love/2464630/576-600

    • Thanks Kathy! I will do that then. I shared a picture or two in the Blaithin/Blaithin Jr. thread there, but not the finished projects one yet.

  4. What a beautiful sweater! Thanks for the inspiration…something else for my to-do list.

  5. Maltese parakeet

    November 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Beautiful!

  6. SQUEEEE!!! It’s just perfect! I can’t wait to see little miss Lydia’s tiny version! Great job, Amber!!!

  7. Great looking sweater, Amber. I actually prefer yours to the original. I also love the way the steek sandwich makes the front edges a little thick–it seems as though that would work great w/a zip closure (just leave off the I-cord part). Congratulations!

    • Thanks Linda! I also like those thick sandwiches. Certainly wouldn’t work on just any garment, but I’d use them again for sure. I did see one Blaithin project that used a zipper. She didn’t have notes, and there’s only one picture, but you could at least see that the zipper did indeed fit with the sandwich edges. She used the i-cord as well, which served to partially conceal the zipper quite nicely.

  8. Incredible !~! I’m speechless; personally I think it’s the prettiest one on the cover of Ravelry. You did an amazing job of it and the I-cord really is distinctive. Congratulations, may it bring you years of warmth and fond memories of the journey to get it made.

  9. What a beautiful sweater!!

  10. Oh, so lovely!

  11. I like the little puckers at the neck. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. It’s a lovely, lovely sweater and you are one brave cookie to do so many ‘firsts’ at once. Congrats and you should post it on the finished project’s thread. Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks so much Fran! I’m glad the puckers look intentional. Maybe I should have pretended that was my intent all along… ; )

      I will definitely share it in the finished project thread soon, thanks!

  12. Amber your sweater is gorgeous! :) Beautiful work.

  13. You are amazing and adventurous, and I love love love your gorgeous sweater. I think it suits you PERFECTLY and your worries about the “imperfect” details just make it (and you) more charming!! I try to think of things like that as “design features”… if you tell people you planned it that way, they’ll believe you ;)
    SO glad that your project made the front page and got all the attention it deserves!!!

    • Ahhhh, thank you friend! And I must internalize this “design features” concept for future use, thank you. ; )

  14. Brenda aka blendab1

    November 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I creaking love this!!!! You did such a beautiful job and you have inspired me to try the I-cord button holes on the project I am working on right now.

    • Hahaha, Brenda, I creaking love *you*! Thanks so much, and yay to i-cord button holes! Can’t wait to see what you think!

  15. It is too beautiful to carry wood in but you look like the most beautiful wood carrier I have ever seen! What a wonderful job you did. Thanks for sharing it with the world.

    • Thank you so much!! I probably wouldn’t have planned on wearing it for yard work and other messy things, but if wearing it automatically makes me the most beautiful whatever I’m doing at the time, I may never take it off. ; )

      Thank you again!

  16. Just gorgeous Amber! Beautiful job!

  17. What an accomplishment. It is absolutely stunning.

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