Recently in M's Sweater Category

Holiday Sweater

sweater sweater

I took these photos a week ago (or more), but I didn't get a chance to get them up before we left California for the holidays. M's sweater turned out great (I think). I hope she likes it - and I hope it fits. Because it sat around the house in pieces for so long awaiting zipper insertion, I didn't get a real good look at the big picture for a long time. And, honestly, in the rush of getting things finished and together for our trip, even after I put the zipper in, I didn't really take time to appreciate what I'd finished. The day before we left, however, when I was still trying to decide if it was worth lugging it all the way to KY for her to open when she already knows about it, I tried it on. And I fell in love. It turned out great, and it was a really easy knit. I did feel like there was a lot of finishing and seaming, especially with the high-neck doubled collar, but the end effect is wonderful.

The zipper... I know you're wondering about that. I was terrified, I admit. But, it turned out great. I basted the fronts together with a contrasting yarn, as suggested by a ChicKnits tutorial. Unfortunately, my first pass at sewing in the first side of the zipper on machine ended up catching that waste yarn over and over again, plus, I didn't get the sweater as neatly over the edge of the zipper as I should have. All of that was revealed after I sewed the second size and turned the sweater inside out to take a look. After some ranting, I carefully and painstakingly seam ripped the one side of the zipper back out, repinned it making SURE that the front edges of the sweater matched neatly and covered the zipper, and resewed. Turned out great. I did go with a traditional zipper - not a 2-way. That was the recipient's request.

Of course, before ordering my zippers from ZipperStop, I checked JoAnne's. I was ecstatic to find zippers to match both this sweater and my Ribby Cardi. I brought them home and then got everything out a few days later only to realize they weren't separating zippers. Sigh. What a pain. So, I logged on and ordered. Painless. Great service. Confirmation by email when they shipped. Zippers were exactly as ordered, and the colors matched perfectly.

I'll have to fill in details on the pattern once I'm back home. It's from a British pub. The yarn is Rowan Chunky - something from our stash that we picked up back when we first started knitting. It was perfect for this project!

Lovin' Chunky Cables

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sweater

I've got just a few more rows on the back before binding off on the sweater for M for Christmas. Then it's just the sleeves to go, and I'll actually be ahead on my holiday knitting. When I started this project, or more accurately, when I started contemplating this project, I feared it would sink my holiday knitting. On the contrary, it's been fun and mostly painless. Plus, it's really pretty. I'm assuming it'll block out okay. Right now, the cables and rib really pull in, but otherwise, this is turning out to be a great knit. After the initial problem with the rib on the left side (I thought there was a problem with the directions for both sides, but it turned out to just be the left that was incorrectly written), it's been smooth and speedy sailing.

Sweater Underway

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m's sweater

The "requested" holiday sweater is underway! I'm a little iffy on the size - afraid it might be a tad too big, but the next smallest size would be too little. But, it could be that my gauge will run just a slight bit off, making it perfect. I swatched originally on 10 3/4's, which is what the pattern called for, and the tension was a bit loose. I ended up dropping to 10's. (Hmmm. Now I'm feeling like I should go recheck the gauge carefully since I can't remember why I went to 10's and not a 10 1/2! I know I thought it through at the time. I know I did a swatch on the 10's and it worked. But as I typed it in here and realized I'd taken a jump, my heart started beating too fast. It does look little bunched up on the needle, but I think this is a rib/cable combo that really will need some blocking at the end to keep its shape.)

I got started and immediately ran into a problem. The pattern, from the British Knitting magazine was wrong for the two row ribbing pattern. It's wrong for both the left and right front. Neither is right, and neither is wrong in the same way. I compensated, and set off knitting. But, alas, I didn't think far enough ahead and figure out how the ribbing needed to line up with the panels above it that make up the body of the sweater. So, after 4 inches of ribbing, it seemed clear the flow was off.

I grabbed some graph paper and plotted things out. Indeed, my correction for the ribbing had caused problems. So, I had to start over. But, the plotting of the first 21 rows was really helpful. There's not a good photo of the front of the sweater, so I didn't realize there is only one cable on each front, a few columns of ribbing, and then a large stockinette portion (much like Ribby). Plotting helped me get an overall sense of what was going on, which was a good feeling since I'd been feeling like I was knitting a mystery sweater trying to sort out some of the directions.

Now, I'm off and running. It's knitting up super fast, and the big bulky cable is just that - big and bulky, but cool. The rose colored Rowan Chunky (that's been sitting in our stash for at least 5 years) is working up beautifully. I'm hopeful all will go well from here on out! So far, it's going so smoothly and seems to be one of those patterns that your mind keeps saying, "Just one more row." So I've been knitting it instead of the other project I had been working on in the evenings. I told M this morning that the good thing about it going so quickly is that if it's too small, I'll know. I can have it, and I'll have to regroup and replan my holiday knitting. Of course, the bad thing about it going so quickly is that I'm not good about saving things, particularly when the recipient already knows so it's not a 'surprise' that's coming. I'm hoping to not let her get a good look at it from here on out so that there will be some level of surprise.)

In other bags... I've been working on the sleeves for my Must Have Cardigan. They're coming along, although I feel they've got a long way to go! My Ribby Cardi is languishing waiting for me to give it a steam and then piece it together before tackling the bands, collar, and zipper insertion. (I am going to try to sew it in by machine. Any strong warnings against it?) And, I have two shawls in the closet still waiting to block... the Flower Basket Shawl and my Falling Leaves from first of the year. Ahhh, it's all about process for me. I'm trying to get more into "product," but once I'm done with the knitting, it's easy for me to let something lie for weeks or even months before taking care of the final details. After all, my Oriole Vest that I made last year has been hanging on a hook on my closet door ever sense. I have maybe three ends to tuck in... Crazy.

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