Monday, October 26, 2009
I know I've said this before about other knits, but truly this is now my favorite sweater. I'm sure I'll have a hard time beating this, because it just happens to be perfect for me in so many ways.
First of all, it's gray, brown and dark red, probably three of the colors I use the most so this blends right into my wardrobe (my inspiration comes from this wonderful version, I just changed the dark gray for brown since it was more appealing to me that way). Then it's this pattern, of which I loved every detail. I mean, it has paper dolls in it, how could I not like it ? And the yarns I used were very, very nice, especially after blocking when they bloomed to perfection.
It was the first time for me for a lot of the techniques used here. It was my first colorwork project, my first time with corrugated ribbing (love that detail) and even my first time with i-cord cast-on. I was a bit daunted by the colorwork and the many mistakes that could happen, but in the end it turned out not that bad. I stranded the yarns when they were more than 7 stitches long and tried really hard to keep my tension even but most likely I didn't. So before blocking it seemed like the doll design was a bit crunched and tight in some areas but afterwards it was almost flat. It's a miracle what a good soak and pin drying can do.
The only intentional change was to add some hair to the dolls, as I'd seen on previous versions on Ravelry. But my main change was actually not planned. I'm a bad knitter in the sense that I hate swatching and therefore rarely do it. Besides, it seems that even when I do swatch the actual knitted piece always turns out at a slightly different gauge from the swatch itself so it's actually not a big help (I knit more loosely on the round, or when I'm distracted, for example). So I only swatch when I want to make sure of a certain texture, or fabric weight or drape.
That said, my usual size is 32'' for bust, so that's what I invariably cast on for. This time it was no exception, even when I discovered I only had 3.25 mm needles and not the 3 mm the pattern asks for. After the ribbing I knitted a couple of rounds of the stockinette portion and quickly realized it would probably turn out too large if I didn't make any changes. So I switched to 2.75 mm needles and added a couple more decreases and less spacing between them.
So I don't swatch but I always try my garments on at every stage possible to make sure they're going to be exactly as I want them. About 2/3 into the body I saw that even with those changes the bust and yoke would come out too large, so decided to make less increases in order to match the 30'' size instead, which is what I also cast on for the sleeves. In the end, as I said, it turned out perfect.
Pattern: Paper dolls, by Kate Davies
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 Ply (6 skeins in Grey mist), Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop 4 ply (0.5 skein in pomegranate and 1 skein in brown)
Needles: 2.75 mm, 3.25 mm, 3.5 mm (for cast-on)
It seems, though, that I'm not the only one who is enjoying this sweater ...