Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time to Make a Sweater Again!

I made my first sweater when I was 18... and haven't made a sweater since then (I am 27 now.) It is time for me to give it another shot. I haven't been scared to make a sweater, but I have been afraid of my fluctuating weight and being unable to wear something I worked hard to finish. Enough worrying... Here I go!

6 balls of Swish DK yarn in Indigo Heather. (CotLin DK was recommended, but Swish has the same yardage/weight and I wanted the sweater to be wool.) but in both of these, 16 sts/4 inches is really loose gauge.... Both recommend 5.5 st/inch on size 5 needles....

My bust measures 35/36 inches, so I'll have to see how my swatch goes before I select which size (M or S) to make.

First swatch: Size 4 needles - cast on 28 sts . While I started knitting this I read that another knitter had to go up to size 10.5 needles to get the gauge (also not knitting with cotlin yarn). My gauge was 6 sts/inch; 8 rows/inch. (vs. 16 sts, 28 rows/4 inches.) Too tight. Switch to larger needles.

Second swatch - size 6 needles. Cast on 24 sts. 11 sts/2 inches; 7 rows/inch. still 1.5 st/inch too many.

Third Swatch - size 8 needles. Cast on 20 sts. Gauge: 14 sts/3"; 13 rows/2 inches. Could be blocekd to be 4/4.5 sts/inch 6.5/7 rows/inch. I don't want to go to much bigger needles... so I think I'll go with this one. Therefore, since I'm in between two sizes, I'll go with the M version.

I don't want to be afraid to rip out this project and start over if I'm not happy. On round three of the lacy neckband. It is a little loose for my liking, but it is hard to say how it will actually be since I am not that far in. If I am unhappy with the neckband once I'm into the yoke a bit, then I will cast on in smaller needles for the lace, and the switch to bigger needles for the rest of the sweater. Thankfully, the lacy neckband is essentially a thick rib, so once I got into the sweater a bit more it became a reasonable size.

I LOVE the swish DK yarn. It is so unbelievably soft, it is an absolute pleasure to knit with.

The yoke of the sweater.

It was a little hard to get into the rhythm of the lacy ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, but after the first round it was easy to keep track of the pattern. If I were to make this sweater again, I would start this ribbing higher up (maybe just after increase round 4... making sure I had the right number of stitches, of course.) I stipped the lacy ribbing after 6 repeats of the pattern because the sweater had reached the length I wanted.

It has been really easy to try on this sweater as I went, and I've been amazed by how nicely it fits!

I finished the main body of the sweater on 11/1, but I was too tired to start the armholes, even though it would take a short amount of time to finish the whole sweater. Better to let the project take an extra day than to make some big mistakes! I did take this opportunity to weave in all of my extra loose ends.

34 g remaining of the 6th ball. SO therefore I used 266 g of Swish DK yarn to complete this project.

Finished dimensions of my sweater. The measurements are closer to a small than a medium, but this is what I wanted. Thank goodness knit fabric is so stretchy, because this sweater fits me PERFECTLY!

I cannot articulate how happy I am with this sweater. I have so much more knitting confidence now, that I am ready to go off and knit more garments.

I could have made the sleeves longer, but I really love the cap sleeves of this sweater.

Today is the 3rd year anniversary of ChemKnits! Thanks for sticking with me for so long.