Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Knitting Progress

I need sweaters.

When I moved out of Texas, I had no concept of winter clothing. I had a few long sleeve shirts. They were light weight cotton. Moving north in January with no concept of winter clothes was a learning experience by fire (or trial by ice). I've had more than a few cold winters since and I tried to figure out what was meant by "winter clothes."

As a knitter, I feel that being cold through the winter is a shame, because I can take two sticks and some wool yarn and make warm, cozy things. But alas, as of the end of this past winter I only had two wool (blend) sweaters that I'd gotten at a second hand store and one short sleeve summer sweater that I'd knit.

No longer!! Earlier this year I knit a beautiful sweater from a yarn that a friend gave me and I over dyed with Kool-Aid. It is a lovely, warm wool/mohair/silk blend yarn, it fits like a dream, and feels wonderful next to my skin.

So, the count is now at 3 warm winter sweaters. Last time I checked, though, there are more than three days in a week. I decided I needed more sweaters.

Enter another fortuitous gift of yarn from a dear friend. This one is a lovely wool/soybean blend in a plum-ish color (my friend calls it "raspberry" but I don't like the idea of a color that I'm allergic to :-P). I immediately set out to find a sweater to knit up before fall term starts up.

After much careful consideration, deliberation, and polling of my knitting buddies, the pattern winner was the Braided Pullover from the fall 2008 Interweave Knits magazine.

The talented designer of this pattern is Alina Khasanova. I love the sweater design because it is simple, sophisticated, and unique with the asymmetry of the cable and neck band. It also called for a yarn of similar gauge to what I had been given.

The only issue I had was with the given final length measurement from shoulder to hem. 25.5 inches would provide me with a sweater that ended below my derrier. Not the most flattering length on a petit figure. The cleaverness of the slanting cable meant that I couldn't just whack some length out of the body (my typical MO). After much very hard thinking, I decided to simply eliminate the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, which shortens it by 4.5 inches. Also, I'm not a fan of ribbing at the bottom of a sweater. I'm curvy, and ribbing just makes things ride up and bunch at my waist.

I started casting on for this sweater on August 19th, but didn't finish casting on until the following evening. As of last night, this is the progress I've made so far.

I've finished the main body, and I'm nearly done with the right front. Knitting sweaters while not also doing course work goes much faster. The last sweater took 8 weeks to finish, and it was knit at a larger gauge (on size 10.5 needles whereas this one is on size 6 needles).

Ok, I'm having some issues with the internet so I'm going to post this before it crashes completely. Stay tuned for the next update of A Day in the Life.

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