Even with the soap R&D taking up a lot of my time and mental space this summer, I’ve still managed to do some knitting. In a happy confluence of events, I wanted to make a new very warm knock-around sweater for this fall and winter and Michelle cleared out some stash and passed along a whack of Blue Sky Alpaca Melange. I’ve always liked the Cobblestone Pullover pattern–it uses extremely basic stitch patterns in a way that’s graphic and interesting, but wearable and simple. The alpaca is a little lighter in weight than the yarn called for in the pattern, but I know I’d want to scale it down a little bit; the smallest size is 39.5″, which is an inch or two bigger than I wanted here. The only real change I made was to cast on a smaller amount at the wrists–even in the pattern photo, the sleeve cuffs seem disproportionately billowy. I cast on about an inch’s worth fewer stitches and moved the increases a few rows closer together so I could end up with the same number at the upper arm. Actually, that’s not true–I did make one more change. The pattern calls for five decrease rounds: a k3, k2tog; two k2, k2togs; a k1, k2tog, then a final k8, k2tog that knocks off six or seven stitches. I didn’t do that last one so the neck opening would be a little wider and more feminine.

I actually did cast off last night, but we’re having one of those oppressively hot and humid days of which we had so blessedly few this summer and the last thing I want to do, even at 8:15 in the morning, is put on an alpaca sweater. I still have about a skein and a half of this yarn left, and I’m thinking about making a pair of elbow patches. The garter stitch patches will look perfect on this sweater and they’ll help keep my elbows from poking through.