Thursday, February 19, 2015

First Sweater

I have finally finished my first sweater! Last year I took my Christmas money and made the leap into sweater knitting. I had been hemming and hawing about it but at last saw the sweater I needed to have. It's Little Wave, by Gudrun Johnston. Never mind that the construction is a bit unusual, that there are many sections of doing two things at the same time, that it has a button band, a short row collar, and an icord bind-off. It is the sweater for me! I started it in January last year and finished it  last weekend. That said, I was not working on it all that time. For one thing, I only knit for myself from January to June, and I was making several projects for myself. Also, knitting with worsted weight and the needles it requires is more tiring for me. Fingering and lace weight are easier on my shoulders and wrists.

I made a gauge swatch and compared the measurements on the schematics to a sweater I already own that fits, but still came out with a very large sweater with very long sleeves. It's really too big to be flattering, but not too big to feel great wearing it at home, so I am mostly satisfied. I am really proud of the way it looks and the general quality of the knitting, but next time I will step down one size and also step down one needle size. Because it really has no seams a little snugger gauge will give it a bit stronger shape retention. It is designed for Shelter, which I think is a smaller worsted with a bit less stretch than the Cascade 220 I used. Shelter would have cost literally twice as much to knit, which would have been too much of an investment for my first fitted garment.

Things I learned from this project: Gauge lies. I-cord bind-off. My knitting in pattern improved over the course of the project, and my reading of a printed knitting pattern improved.

On to the next project! I am currently working on a pair of socks for myself, while evaluating a number of shawl patterns for my Christmas yarn - 600 yds of sport weight alpaca in royal blue. I should have something started in a day or two.

There's lots of knitting time to be had because we are still eyeball deep in snow. This picture was taken before the most recent 6 inches, and we are expecting more Saturday night into Sunday. That one is forecast to include freezing rain, sleet, and rain for my area, so who knows whether my piles will grow or shrink. It's hard to make plans because so many things are cancelled in the wake of one storm or another. It's not just the snow and wind, although they are plenty inconvenient. It's also the little question of how soon can parking lots be cleared and where to put the snow. Driving around parking lots is hair raising because you really can't see over or around the huge snow piles. We will probably still be looking at some of these piles in June. Of course, we have only received a bit over 4ft at my house since January 28, and Boston is up around 8 feet for the same period. We are beginning to think temperatures in the low 20's are quite tolerable.


naomi dagen bloom said...

Great accomplishment--and very attractive. Yes, indeed, gauge can be crazy-making--especially if one there's yarn you really, really want to have work with the "perfect" pattern...

Impressed that you set so many challenges in ONE garment--short row collar too. I-cord bind off had advantage of great look when I've slogged through it. Good to have this distraction from the unrelenting cold!

jaykaym said...

So impressed by your sweater. I've been looking at simple sweater patterns as my next project but nothing so ambitious as yours. I think it looks great and will be well used as a fall jacket.