Because I've never knit with pencil roving

Back in October when my wonderful local yarn store, Sheep's Clothing, hosted a trunk show from Imperial Stock Ranch, one of the things that piqued my interest was their pencil roving.  Pencil roving is un-spun wool.  I think you could spin it, or use is for thrummed mittens, or you can carefully knit with it.  I've never knit with pencil roving before, so I more or less looked for an excuse to knit something from it.  Knitting for someone else is always a good excuse, so I bought the yarn and pattern for the Evening Dusk Bolero, designed by Leigh Radford.

I just finished knitting it for my daughter last night, and wove in the last ends and sewed on the button this afternoon.  Since she's going back to school tomorrow, I did a quick wash and a dry on my dryer rack so we could do a photo shoot. 
She wasn't sure, from the pattern picture, how much she really wanted this little sweater.  And I was prepared to pass it on, if it wasn't for her.  But it turns out, we both like it quite a lot.
Knitting with pencil roving is an interesting experience.  An absent-minded tug as you're knitting easily breaks the strand.  But it's nearly as easy to spit-splice it back together and keep going. A cake of this yarn has about the same weight and yardage as a yarn like Cascade 220 - but it's knit at this big gauge, so the garment is thick and warm but very light.  The pattern called for size 13 needles, but I needed size 11 to get gauge.  Knit in one piece, top-down, I finished it in a few evenings.  This was also my first top-down sweater.  We decided to add an inch and a half to the length, which we both like a bit better. 

Evening Dusk Bolero

  • Size 34
  • Size 11 needles
  • Imperial Stock Ranch Bulky 2 Strand Pencil Roving, Kingfisher Blue, color 25 - 2 skeins
  • wooden button from my button box, backed by a smaller plastic button.  (I think this button is leftover from a Philosopher's Wool kit I knit as a pullover years ago.)
  • designed by Leigh Radford
  • 6 rows added to the length (before the bottom ribbing)
  • On Ravelry here.


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