I did it! I completed the most challenging sweater I've ever knit. Hello Birkin!
Pattern: Birkin by Caitlin Hunter from Laine issue 2
MC: Jamieson and Smith Shetland Supreme Shetland Black 2005
CC1: Jamieson and Smith Shetland 2 ply Beige Heather 202
CC2: Jamieson and Smith Shetland 2 ply Fox Toes 1284
CC3: Jamieson and Smith Shetland 2 ply Terra Cotta Heather FC7 CC4: Jamieson and Smith Shetland 2 ply Lavender Heather 123
Size Made: Small, 35.5"
Modifications: Only went up one needle size in the body for shaping, instead of two
I cast this sweater on in June of 2017 and just finished it in January of 2019. For those of you who know me - this is a really long time. I can usually knit a sweater in a month or two. I'm also a monogamous knitter (I only work on one project at a time) so how did this happen? I'll tell you how: it was really hard.
I've never (or maybe only rarely) knit colorwork that includes three colors worked at a time. This pattern had many of these rows. They were very slow going for me, and that, coupled with a sticky yarn that required a lot of detangling, made for very tedious knitting. My love of these colors and the colorwork design itself helped me get through, and I took plenty of long breaks to knit other projects, breaking my long-standing one-project-at-a-time rule.
I wish I had some words of wisdom for working three colors at a time for you, but honestly, I'm not sure I ever really got into a good flow with it. Also, I'm not sure I'll do it again (maybe just in tiny doses). I'm glad I challenged myself and persevered though because now I get to wear this awesome sweater that I made!
A note on my yarn choice: if you're going to spend 1 1/2 years of your life knitting a sweater on and off, you can't choose a better yarn than Jamieson and Smith. It holds up to wear like a dream. I've really invested my time in a piece of clothing that I can wear for the rest of my life. The colors offered are amazing as well and you can be happy to know that we stock the entire palette of both undyed and dyed colors of Jamieson and Smith Jumper weight here at the shop.
I didn't make any modifications to this pattern except one: the slight bell shape of the lower body is achieved by going up in needle size (as opposed to increasing). The pattern calls for two of these jumps in needle size over a series of rows and I choose just to move up one size from my gauge needle, thus creating a slightly smaller A-line shape.
Overall I'm happy with this sweater despite the challenges in execution. I've received tons of compliments on IG for my color choice and thank you everyone - I too am over the moon at how the colors turned out! And now to some boring yet peacefully meditative stockinette stitch in the round.