#WIPWednesday: Sloane's Raven-on-Fawn Kuffel

Just after Chart B...

After doing zero selfish knitting for...years, I seem to have caught the bug! I started my Kuffel while I was blocking the body of my Cozy Classic Raglan a few weeks ago, and I'm now finished with the second colorwork section and cruising through the final sets of short rows and increases. I'll own a little bit of "widest point of the yoke" fatigue over the last day or so, but I'm so excited to actually *wear* this one that I'm still getting through it pretty quickly. 

I have been in love with this sweater since the second I opened Alexis' email with the design proposal, and it's been a blast to make one of my own. I've flipped the color scheme from Alexis's original sample here, using Raven as the CC and Fawn as the MC. While I loved the light-on-dark approach in the original, I tend to wear a lot of black or dark denim, and I like a little more contrast between my top and bottom halves, so I wanted a lighter background color (and let's be honest: I've wanted a Forge-in-Fawn sweater of my very own since the first skeins came out of the Mill and promptly sold out before we could even get them on shelves). One of the things I love most about this motif is how clearly it reads regardless of whether you've chosen a lighter or darker MC, and I'm really thrilled with how it's come out in this dark-on-light variation. 
My able assistant and I trying on the sample.

I had a chance to try on the sample (which is knit in Size 2, the 48" bust) before the shoot this winter (my 5-year old son made a great wardrobe assistant, rocking his Christmas PJs and commenting on neckline positioning). That size has about 11" of positive ease on me at the bust and at the high hip, which makes for a sweater that drapes to a noticeable swing about my hips and midsection, but isn't super exaggerated. The neckline and sleeves generally fit pretty well, so I knew I wasn't likely to need major modifications there to make the sweater work. I did, however, have one modification I knew I wanted to make, and fortunately, it didn't take a great deal of math to execute.

I tend to favor a fit that's a little closer through the yoke and armholes and then a little less fitted through the body. This is a little bit about my personal figure-flattery goals, but it's really as much about functional reasons as aesthetic ones. While I do have days that I spend mostly at my desk in my office, there's generally a lot of moving around and picking stuff up in my life (boxes, children, yarn, horse stuff, etc., etc., etc.), and I find that the super-low-armholed, swoncho-y sweaters, as popular as they are these days, just don't work as well for the actual life in which I wear my sweaters, and I'm constantly fidgeting with them. 

So, is there a cure for my low-armhole phobia? Fortunately, yes, and Alexis has brilliantly and conveniently provided one right here in the pattern: I'm just going to separate for the sleeves before working the third colorwork section, rather than in the middle of it. That will shorten the yoke by a few inches, giving me an armhole that still has plenty of ease for an underlayer and to give me a bit of that swingy-oversized vibe, but anchors on my body a little better for the pressures of everyday wear. I sanity-checked this approach by comparing the number of rows I'll have worked on the front side of my in-progress yoke (because I've been working short rows throughout, so the front is shorter than the back) at my blocked row gauge with the yoke depth of my favorite circular yokes (hand knit and ready to wear), just to make sure I wasn't wildly off. And, as I do with all of my top-down sweaters, I'll put it on waste yarn and wet block it after I've got the sleeves separated later this week, to make sure everything's fitting how I'd like it before I commit to the plan for the body and sleeves. 
What's on your quarantine needles this week? Let us know in the comments or tag us in a project post on instagram @hudsonandwestco!

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