Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Knitting on Wednesday: Sweater Quest

So I was thinking I'd pause with the new knit stitch a week posts while I catch up on some new and old knitting projects. And I don't have a catchy phrase that rhymes with any day of the week, so I'm going instead with "Knitting on Wednesday." :)

I went on a sweater quest recently, not unlike last year's quest for a blanket. My Log cabin blanket, by the way, has grown quite nicely, and I'm almost finished with it... pictures soon. My sweater quest was long and arduous because, quite simply there's A LOT of ugly sweaters in the world. No really, not misunderstood or naturally beautiful - ugly, ugly sweaters. When it doesn't even look good on the nice-looking model, I have to think twice about it. :)

My inspiration was this beautiful sweater, from Late Summer:

I don't know a ton about sweaters, but this looks to me like a simple crewneck (?) sweater with an open, lacy knit pattern. Since this is my first sweater, I considered only beginner patterns I could easily keep track of...

1. Cropped Sweater by Andi Satterlund

I love this style of sweater and the scoop neck, but I think I'll save it for a later project with a tighter weave...

2. 3/4 Sleeve Classic Pullover

I like the 3/4 sleeves, since I always push the sleeves up my arms, anyway, and it looks like a looser fit. I just wasn't sure I could adapt it to suit a more open knit...

3. Alcina Sweater
This sweater already has a lacy, open look and I love the neckline - I just wasn't sure if I could figure out how to knit it without the ruching at the waistline (total beginner, I know).

4. My First Raglan Pullover

In the end, I decided to take the My First Sweater class on Craftsy, and work along with their free pattern, above. I'm intimidated by complicated knitting directions, so it's comforting to have a visual to follow along with. I don't love that rolled neckline, but I'm thinking I may be able to modify it if I don't get too lost. Also, I'm not sure about that eyelet design on the raglan sleeves, but I'll give it a chance, or modify it.

I started with a sport-weight yarn on size 9 needles, which would make for an open look, but not quite as open as the movie version:

Knitting my first sweater... first start.

The color match was fairly close, but all in all it didn't inspire me...  then I dropped some stitches at the beach, and had to totally unravel it.  Bummer. :(

Then I found this magical yarn:

working on my first sweater...

I'm knitting on size 11 needles for a more open look and I love the way the striping pattern works its way over the fabric, kind of a rainbow-y, tie-dye effect. I did a swatch test and worked out the math (I think) to make it work. And no, it's not the smallest sweater on earth (though the finished sweater might be fairly small) - it's very stretchy! :)

Here's a closeup of the yarn, the color name is Stained Glass, and it is quite gorgeous in person:

pretty yarn
pretty yarn

So what do you guys think? Have any of you knitted a sweater before? Any knitting tips for me would be appreciated! :)

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