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January 19

The (very green) Owl Sweater

As I’m in the season of finishing up a few loose ends (like here, here, and here) whether it be sewing or knitting, I pulled out an old project from my knitting closet (aka linen closet) last week, determined on finishing it up.

And finish it I did:

It’s sooo green!  I’m really not certain what I was thinking at the time when I bought this yarn.   I like green, but don’t think I would have bought quite this same shade today; I feel like it’s the same exact shade as Kermit the Frog.  My only guess at my color choice is that I bought it in the middle of winter last year and I must have been longing for some color in the dreary winter and also longing for springtime (that or I had Kermit on my mind).

As you may have gathered, I’m really just “mehh” about this project which is why I haven’t finished it before now.

I love the pattern and the owl design, I’m just not a fan of the chunky-sweater on me.  At the time I didn’t know any better.  While I’m still learning about fabric and yarn selection, I think I’ve learnt enough now to not make the same mistake in the future.

That being said, I think chunky sweaters are essential for really cold weather.  And this sweater will be the perfect lounging outfit while I’m at home when my apartment’s heat hasn’t kicked in yet.

I love the little owlets that this cable stitch creates at the yoke of this sweater.  I decided I didn’t want to overdo it with the owl-eyes and only stitched on buttons for every other owl and on the front of the yoke also.  (That and I did run out of buttons.)

I choose this Owl pattern by Kate Davies for the owls, but I also wanted to learn how to knit cable stitch.  Since the cables are only at the neckline, I figured it would be an easy, quick knit…. which it was!  When I began this sweater I didn’t even know enough about pattern sizing to alter the pattern in any way.  As a result, it’s quite long on me.  But like I said before, it’s perfect for a cold day.

When I began this pattern, Kate had a free chunky-knit version for free on Ravelry, which is what I used.  But unfortunately she has since removed the free version and only has a pay-version up online ($6.20).  As a plus, the pay-version does have lots of additional sizing now, which wasn’t the case before.

The pattern was easy to read and quick to knit up.  I feel as though I can recommend this pattern to you all, if you’re looking to learn how to cable and like owls.  But only if you like chunky sweaters…

  1. Melizza / Jan 19 2012

    Adorable!I I love the green and it looks great on you.

  2. Paunnet / Jan 19 2012

    Ooh! I remember seeing this pattern so long ago and wishing I could knit to make it! Now I’m learning and it’s on my wishlist, although it’s a bit sad that now I have to pay for the pattern…
    Your version is adorable and I love the fun green. I’m sorry that you’re not too convinced about the yarn, but it’s so lovely!

  3. Charlotte / Jan 19 2012

    I think it looks great on you – a perfect fit, really!

  4. Lindsay / Jan 19 2012

    How cute! The tapering (or whatever the correct knitting term is) at your waist on the back is so flattering! I agree with only sewing buttons to every other owl. I think it would be too overwhelming with eyes on every one. Congrats on completing another half-finished project!

    • Liz / Jan 19 2012

      Thanks Lindsay!
      The tapering on the back at the waist is a technique called “short rows“. Short rows add shaping to the garment without increasing your rows of stitching. They kinda serve as darts in knitting. I usually use short rows when I knit up the shoulders to my garments in order to do a 3-needle bind off.

  5. Dee / Jan 19 2012

    I think it’s adorable. Kermit would concur, it’s not easy being green! But seriously, I think the green flatters you. It’s especially nice on the fair skinned. I’m a redhead and it’s one of my best colors.

  6. Lauren / Jan 19 2012

    Whoa, I LOVE this!! I’m not a big fan of chunky sweaters either (I think they make me look bulky in all the wrong places) and I think owls are pretty overrated these days (sorry!), but I love everything about this sweater! Even the owls lol. The color is great – I think that shade of green does suit you, and it looks so springy and cheerful :) And it definitely is flattering on you, especially that neckline. Totally adding this to my neverending knitting queue. I do need to learn cables… :)

    • Liz / Jan 19 2012

      Every time I see a bird/owl on a garment I can’t help but think of the Portlandia skit of “Put a Bird on It“. I relayed that info to my sister who loves birds and she laughs everytime she buys something she thinks is cute, but now realizes it’s just because it has a bird on it. :)

      I do have another chunky sweater that I have to finish seaming up, but for some reason it doesn’t feel as akward or chunky as this owl sweater. Once I finish seaming I don’t think I’ll do another chunky knit for a while… although they do make for instant gratification knitting projects…

  7. Qui / Jan 19 2012

    oh my goodness, that is the cutest sweater ever!! I love it, and the color is awesome!

  8. Shana / Jan 19 2012

    That’s a great pattern and a great sweater. I think it looks fabulous on you and it really doesn’t hurt that it’s my favorite color :-) I have the pattern in my library and plan to make it one day too. I seem to be knitting mostly in fingering weight these days myself just because I love the drapey fabric that it produces but there’s something to be said for the speediness of knitting a chunky sweater. Wear it well!

    • Liz / Jan 19 2012

      Thanks Shana. :)

      I just switched back to my fingering weight cardigan yesterday and it feels really wierd to be working with such slim knitting needles again after using 19’s and 10.5’s.

  9. Emilie / Jan 19 2012

    Wow! I don’t think the sweater looks chunky at all! It looks so nice on you, even the green, although I know what you mean about those bright colors as I sometimes have the same reaction myself.
    The owls are such a great addition and I think you made a wise choice to only put eyes on a few of them.
    Great job!!!

  10. Elizabeth / Jan 19 2012

    You know, I totally agree about chunky knit sweaters, but that is SUPER CUTE and super cute on you too. Yay owl sweater!

  11. Elisalex / Jan 19 2012

    This jumper is amazing! I’ve had the pattern in my favourites list on Ravelry for ages and can’t wait to finally get around to making it. The colour is perfect on you – what a beautiful make!

    • Liz / Jan 19 2012

      Thanks so much Elisalex.

  12. Clare S / Jan 19 2012

    And again you’ve made something I’ve been eye-ing up for a while! I love this owl pattern and yours looks great (kermit or not!) – very cosy.

    Will also say: thanks for the heads up on the chunkiness – that is exactly the kind of thing I wouldn’t have thought of when looking at this pattern, if I had the knitting skills to attempt this jumper I would just be squee-ing at the owls rather than thinking about whether or not I can deal with wearing chunky! I’ll have to decide when I’m a much better knitter…

  13. Stephanie / Jan 19 2012

    I’ve been wanting to knit up something with this cute owl design on it. And yay for finishing a UFO! :)

  14. Marie / Jan 19 2012

    OMG, I love this so much! Only today did I just add this pattern to my queue on my Ravelry account…how weird that you posted this on the same day! I’m very new to knitting and I don’t know how to cable knit yet, but your words of encouragement have definitely boosted my confidence!

    • Liz / Jan 19 2012

      What a coincidence! Totally try out cables, even if you’re a beginner. The short rows on the back of this sweater were more tricky than the cables, honestly. But both of these skills are great to learn, and aren’t too bad.

      As soon as I did the first cable, I was like… that’s it?! I had it built up in my head as harder than they really are.

  15. Sarah / Jan 19 2012

    Ooh, I love it!! I think it looks great on you!

  16. Rochelle New / Jan 19 2012

    Holy cow that’s AMAZING! *Sigh* I really need to learn to knit one of these days…

  17. Stacie / Jan 19 2012

    This is such a cute sweater. I love the owls and the button eyes and the color….I could go on and on. I think I need some lessons…

  18. Suzie / Jan 20 2012

    I LOVE this and I actually think it looks fantastic on you!

  19. Meagan / Jan 20 2012

    I love following your blog Liz. This jumper is not kermit the frog, he’s brighter! I love it, the colour is gorgeous and it is very slimming. Beautiful job. And well done on sew weekly, the buttonholes are beautiful, I am inspired.

  20. Elise / Jan 20 2012

    Love it! The green is really nice on you, altho it’s not a colour I really look at, slightly wondering why now! I have this pattern too and I’m keen to learn cable knit so may give it a go… :)

  21. Karen / Jan 20 2012

    I think it looks really really really great. It makes me want a fireplace, a good book, and a mug of hot chocolate:)

  22. Ginger / Jan 20 2012

    Ooh, I think this looks cute on you! I bought yarn to make this ages ago without thinking it through– it’s a rusty orange color that I thought was soooo cute at the time but, uh, it will look like a Halloween costume! Oops. I haven’t figured out another way to use that yarn yet, and I haven’t made my owl sweater… sigh…

  23. Kristen / Jan 21 2012

    Lovely Owls! I knitted one for my sister in law last year and have been wanting one for myself ever since! Great pattern & such a fun design!

  24. Sarah / Jan 22 2012

    I agree that this sweater is not easy to wear — but I think that you look terrific in it! The design and length are both very flattering for your figure, and the color is so confident. It looks snuggly, to be sure, but with some wide-leg black trousers, heels, and fabulous earrings, it is a look for out & about anywhere! Love it!

  25. Sophia / Jan 23 2012

    I looked at the pictures before reading the post and was surprised you didn’t like the sweater that much. It looks really great on you and those owls are absolutely adorable. There’s a subtlety to them that someone may have to look twice to see them rather than just a pattern. Also, the green is beautiful and I definitely didn’t think Kermit until reading it :)

    I could see this skirt looking adorable with a skirt and tights. Maybe that would help offset the chunky sweater look by adding a bit of looseness to the outfit.

    Good job! I don’t knit, but definitely appreciate the skill.

  26. Meg / Jan 23 2012

    OH! I absolutely love it – such a fantastic sweater!!! The owl eyes are a perfect touch :)

  27. GypsyWarrior / Apr 2 2012

    absolutely gorgeous! I just made the kids version of this, my very first sweater! I didn’t dare to experiment with an adult sized yet, and I have as 5 yr old niece…I think the sweater is beautiful on you, not too chunky, not too long, and not too green. Anything shorter would ride up and expose your kidneys! It really looks fabulous on you. I might be inspired to make my own owl sweater now :)

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