FO Alert: Steel Magnolias Sweater

More and more recently I've been looking at my sweater projects as an opportunity to try out new skills by adding embellishments to my favorite basic sweater recipes. For this sweater, I tackled intarsia cables - a bold move since it was my first ever intarsia project! For this project I used Lolodidit Loriginal yarn in the colorways Blue Suede Shoes (main color) and Steel Magnolias (contrast color). I have lots of the latter left over, so you may see this one come up again in future FOs!

Intarsia is a colorwork technique that uses individual strands of contrast color yarn for each stitch group, rather than carrying a contrast color across the back of the main color, creating floats. This makes it an excellent method for cable knitting since the strands are crossed back and forth repeatedly throughout the piece. 

I opted to do a different cable pattern on the front and the back of the sweater, with an all-over cable pattern on the back. I ended up with around 30 individual strands of the contrast color yarn on this back panel! It was a lot to manage and the overall knitting took a lot longer than my normal sweater knitting time, but it was a lot of fun using this new technique.

Yes, I am about 8 months pregnant. Knit fabric is forgivingly stretchy!

I also used a new base sweater formula this time around - instead of doing inset sleeves, this pattern has drop shoulders. This means that my elbow-length sleeves that I prefer knit up a lot faster than my normal sleeves! Using this drop-shoulder construction is super useful with colorwork on the top part of the sweater, because it doesn't incorporate shaping past the armholes. It's a handy construction to have in my arsenal as I continue my experiments with new knitting techniques!

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