Tuesday, February 9

The sweater.

I fancy myself a fairly decent knitter. Not super advanced in that there are many things I have never made (like socks or a pieced together sweater) and I don't always know what to do intuitively. But I am damn good at following a pattern. Give me a well written pattern and I think I could make just about anything. (Well and the internet has to be handy too so I can look up things that don't make sense initially.)

But this sweater. Good grief.

I first saw the pattern on a blog awhile back, then again recently and since I'm taking a little break from making handbags, I thought, what the heck, I'll buy the pattern. (Because not selling my things means I have tons of money right now. NOT.) It's a fairly simple pattern and looks super cute in the photos. I'm all for top down sweaters since there is no seaming involved. And this pattern has sleeves unlike the top down vest that I made last year so I figured I'd kind of be learning something new. Kind of.

Okay. Next, the yarn. Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is easy enough to find and it knits up super quick. But oh yeah, it costs money, doesn't it? Lucky for me, it was on sale the day I was at Michaels so I purchased my 3 skeins for under $15. I also bought the needles that I thought I needed.

I cast on and started working on the sweater this past Saturday. I got the increases done before we left for ABQ and on the way to ABQ, I managed to finish the body of the sweater.

But something wasn't quite right. The sleeve holes looked really small. And the length was way too short. I mean, it's a bolero type sweater, but still, after the 16 rows directed, it was still super short. I kept fussing about it, trying to figure out what was wrong. Did I read the pattern wrong? No. Am I crazy? Maybe. I tried it on my nieces shoulders and it kind of worked, but no, something was wrong.

Finally I got on Ravelry to see if there were any notes about the pattern. That's when I realized that I had read the needle size incorrectly.


The pattern clearly states "15mm - 32-inch circular needles". But I stopped at the 15 and started the project with US 15 needles. Um, big difference. On Ravelry, it says "US 19 / 15 mm" which is what finally made my brain snap about my mistake.

This kind of bummed me out because I don't have that size needles and they aren't super common. And the pattern calls for the longer size circular as well as the 16-inch circular so now I was looking at spending more and more money. I did some research online and found both sizes for a cool $26.50 each. Um, no. Not going to happen. I finally gave up and we headed out to meet my brother and his family for dinner.

The next day we stopped at Michaels on our way out of ABQ and lucky me, I found cheapo plastic needles in the longer circular size. Not a lot of fun to use as far as knitting goes, but hey, for $4.99, I can't complain. So I cast on again and went to work. Right off the bat I didn't like the bigger holes in the knitting, but whatever, I pushed on. I skipped the sleeve part since I don't have that size yet and went ahead to add the body border and collar. It was definitely the right size now. Also very baggy and saggy and kind of too big.


So do I knit on, order the needles I need for the sleeves (which I finally found for a slightly better price) and make this sweater that I will probably never wear?

No. (When I first started knitting, I made a ton of things that I never wore and I refuse to do that anymore.)

I keep the body intact to use as size comparison and cast on yet again with size US 17 / 29-inch circulars which I actually already have. (This is a size difference of 15mm to 12.75mm.) I start off by knitting for my right size and after I get past the armholes, I realize it's too small. So I rip back up to the end of the increases and start following the directions for the next size up. As I knit, I keep measuring and comparing with the other sweater and it seems to being going well.

Right now I have just finished the body border and need to start on the collar. It's much smaller than the second version I did on the jumbo needles, but I think it's actually the right size. So I am going to keep going. And order the needles I need for the sleeves. (Oh, one other benefit to top down sweaters is that you can try them on as you go.)

I suspect it still may end being gifted to someone else, but after so many freakin headaches, I am going to finish the damn thing.

And next time? Next time I am knitting a sweater in fine yarn that will take me forever to make. But it's going to fit me perfectly. Just you wait.

(And for the record, I did numerous gauge swatches and they were all so close that it was hard for me to decide what to do.)

1 comment:

  1. don't give up on the sweater!!!
    can't wait to see it when it's all done. xoxo


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