Sunday marks my 42 birthday in these unusual Coronavirus times. To my students, I’m old, but to me, I’m just getting started. My family started asking me what I wanted to do August 1 and I kind of put it off because how do you really celebrate right now? People are dying by an invisible virus (whether it’s Covid-19 or systemic racism, both are deadly) and the world seems so upside down. But my husband, family and friends remind me that we have to celebrate just being here. So, I’m giving you another year of a birthday sweater I knit for myself, my Slouchy Sunshiny Slub Sweater.
I actually started knitting this in March during lockdown but couldn’t focus on it. I didn’t use a pattern but went off of a lot of my notes when I make top down raglans and decided I wanted a sweater that was oversized, but not too long and with fuller sleeves. I wanted this pullover to be loose and light and the yarn to be a delight. So I decided to knit with House of a la Mode’s slub yarn in Ice Pop and LolaBean Yarn Company’s Winged Bean in Key Lime. I trimmed it with a nameless leftover skein of yarn I had that pulled out the little bits of turquoise perfectly.
This combination of the bright acidic green and the fun textured rainbow slub turned out to be perfection. I couldn’t have asked for a better color combo, it just radiated happiness to me with every stitch. Added bonus with this, the slub yarn is like knitting bobbles without the pain of knitting bobbles. Bobble traumatized me after I knit an entire hat full of them so I prefer much easier ways to get my texture. Since I knew I would probably pull this sweater back out and finish for my birthday sweater I was happy to use really good yarn on myself. I know a lot of us buy expensive yarn and let it collect dust, I try to use the really good stuff to make special things either for myself of the people I love.
If you’re interested in trying a slub yarn, my suggestion is to hold it with another strand of yarn. On its own it’s interesting and usually a little too thin, but added with another yarn it makes them both shine. I knew that since I was using slub yarn this silhouette needed to be simple in order for that yarn to really be the highlight. But let me not forget about the Lola Bean yarn because it is a treat. It’s squishy and soft with yak, but still light and warm. I love it more than I probably should. Since I knit this with two strands of yarn, I decided to do a larger and loose gauge and knit the main fabric on size 10 needles.
I also love the full, slightly oversized sleeve. I usually make most of my sweaters with cropped or short sleeves but I thought this oversized sweater needed a full long sleeve. It’s so wonderfully slouchy and I can wear this as a layer over other things if I want or just on its own.
I already told my husband to be prepared to see this sweater a lot this fall and winter. We are prepped and ready for staying home through the year. I’m fortunate that we both have jobs and a comfortable home with space for my husband and I to both work comfortably (he’s got an office set-up in the basement and I’ve got an office set-up in my yarn room). I’ve already purchased more joggers and lightweight pants to pull on with my tops – who needs buttons and zippers in a pandemic? Especially when my students only see me from the waist up! So here’s to birthday sweaters during a pandemic and making it through the rest of the year. I’m hoping 42 brings me a lot of calm.