Staff Picks! Here is where once a month the staff picks a product that is either new or a favorite and reviews it!

So I thought we could start with Sara! Sara is the amazing woman who runs easily half of everything and has the desk to the right of mine. Sara knows nearly all the answers to anything yarn related and has made more sweaters than I knew was humanly possible. She is not a spinner or weaver but comes to work every day with some cool knitting project in her bag.

When asked about her staff picks she wanted to pick an entire book of patterns but she settled on a sweater pattern and yarn that she is working with right now!

Sara’s project is the sweater Antrorse by Shannon Cook, published in JOURNEY. It is a lovely pattern that pares with a perfect yarn Hikoo Simplinatural in Grey Flannel.

She picked Hikoo Simplinatural because of how soft it is. “LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn! Soooo soft!” When asked to expand she added that, “the twist is visual interesting. Colors are really great, a little bright because I don’t wear color. See all of my grey sweaters and the texture is amazing.”

Simplinatural is so soft because of a blend of baby alpaca, fine merino, and mulberry silk. Visually the silk adds an element of highlight to your yarn creating an almost stripe of shining color, while the alpaca is so soft and the merino adds an elastic and spring that makes the yarn sweater worthy. The yarn has a rounded 6 ply stands, giving the yarn a softness but still maintaining stitch definition which make the pattern she choose work so well!

Journey’s Antrorse Sweater

Sara can just look at the Antrorse pattern and know how the pattern written and where to pull the information of how to perfectly size her sweater to herself. I however, was left wondering about how a pattern could have a fill in the blank element! But once it was explained there was a key at the end of the pattern for sizing the pattern to perfectly fit it made a lot more sense.

Keeping updates with her project she says it is going quickly, and the fit of the body is perfect not too tight and not too big or overly slouchy. The chevrons are quick and the yarn leads to clear stitch definition.

There was an odd hole in the armpit of the sweater that was worrisome until the stitches were picked up and pulled tight, as Sara used some magic technique when I was not there to witness her super-skills. The sleeves are ¾ length and she loves them!

Sara, how hard would you overall rate this project?

“I always enjoy knitting simple, top-down sweaters and this one was no exception!  I love the interesting design elements like the patterning down the front and the off-center buttons.  Knitting sweaters from the top down is really easy!  There’s no seaming and the only stitches you pick up are under the armpit.  Don’t worry if you have a gaping hole in the armpit either.   When I picked up my stitches there weren’t ones on the end I could pick up, so I left it until I finished the sleeve and then just stitched it up.  It does cause quite a bit of panic amongst your friends and coworkers who freak out when they see the hole as you’re knitting. 😉  I found this to be a really well written pattern and am looking forward to making the other sweater from this book soon.”

Check out her other amazing projects on Ravelry- ParadiseGrrl