The very first thing I did after opening my eyes this morning was to pick up my latest project and start knitting. This sweater pattern has been quick and easy and is now nearly finished….and I CAN’T WAIT!
This is the best part of knitting, for me. By this point in the process, I’m usually sick of the thing (I would never be mistaken for a process knitter!) and I’ve gathered at least three other patterns that I’m champing at the bit to get started on; so now I’m more than ready to tidy up the bits and pieces, wash, block and dry the item, and finally admire my FO.
This project, a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn, is entitled Radiant Sweater, and it looks like this:
Isn’t it pretty? I really like the ribbing at the top. At 16 stitches and 22 rows per 4 inches, it’s a fast, easy knit. Basically mindless, in fact; the kind of thing you knit while watching television. (Well, the kind of thing that most people knit while watching t.v. With my one-track mind, I can’t do both. If I’m watching t.v., my hands wind up just sitting there keeping my knitting warm.)
[A quick aside: I'm such a sucker for intricate patterns like aran and lace because - although they do take longer - they keep me on my toes while I'm knitting.]
[Sorry, here comes another aside: When I learned to crochet, I practised on doilies, and when eventually I was ready to strike out on my own, I began churning out dozens of exquisite doily patterns, simply because I was so enchanted with the intricacies of the patterning. The designs were beautiful, as such things go.
The problem was, I don't use lace doilies in my Danish modern lifestyle. They eventually went to live with folks who would appreciate them much more than I do. But oh my, how I loved making them!]
Okay, back on track.
So yes, I adore patterning, but a girl needs some simplicity in her wardrobe, right? So this sweater’s styling appealed to me enough that I decided to bite the bullet and suck up the fact that I’d have to do some boring stockinette.
I had decided that, although I was willing to leave the neck as is, I wanted a picot edge at the bottom of both sweater and sleeves. When I began knitting several years back, I found out that I’m clearly congenitally unable to follow a pattern from start to finish without messing with it somehow.
Come to think of it, I cook like that too! Add a little soupçon of this; remove that, substitute something else. And of course - as can happen with food and knitting - the result can be either something unexpectedly good – or…um, not so much.
I never learn, though.
My colour of choice was grey, since my wonderful old grey cotton boyfriend sweater is, at the ripe old age of twenty, finally beginning to disintegrate. I wasn’t interested in another boyfriend sweater as much as I wanted something grey, and this pattern looked right: simple and casual.
As usual, I ordered my yarn online. The only drawback to online buying is that you don’t get to see the real colours, and I have to admit that I’ve been disappointed a few times. However, compared with the hundreds of orders that were exactly what I wanted, that’s not too bad, I think. After all, there’s always something you can make with yarn that wouldn’t be your first choice – and the bargains are worth the occasional colour surprise.
But that turned out to be no problem, because I also used some white mohair/polyamide lace-weight yarn with a touch of sparkle to it that lightened things up considerably. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the before/after combining yarns in the shot below:
I used just the grey yarn for the inside of the picot hems and then joined the white yarn to continue the sleeve after the row of yarnovers. Because I won’t sew the sleeve hems until after I’ve finished knitting the sweater, I was able to get this shot of the contrasting shades. A little white makes a subtle but obvious difference.
Below you see the work in progress as I’m nearing the end of the project. The finished picots look the way I wanted them to,and I’m happy with the colour.
A Little Grey Cloud on my Horizon:
I have to admit that I’m a bit anxious about how this sweater is going to fit. I’m knitting exactly at gauge, and I have followed the pattern decreases as written for the ribbing even though they looked a wee bit short of what I would have considered right; however, I don’t think it’s going to be long enough from armhole to shoulder.
Of course it looks worse in the photo because all my stitches are scrunched into the circumference of one small circular needle near the neck; but even taking measurements hasn’t erased that unsettled feeling that something isn’t quite right. I may wind up frogging it to the start of the ribbing and doing it over my way, but we’ll see….
I was a bit surprised that the pattern, knit on circular needles to the armhole, didn’t include sleeves knitted on circular needles. But I decided to keep things the way the pattern illustrated, figuring that since it’s been awhile since I sewed any kind of seam together, the practice would be good for me.
Now I’m wishing I had done it my regular way instead of the “seam afterward” way, because the open sleeves make it harder to actually get a sense of what’s happening in the area that concerns me.Ultimate Sweater - well, identical except that Ultimate has sleeves knitted on circular needles the way I’m used to knitting them, and the only seaming that needs to be done is a little under the arms.
So if you like the design but hate seams, you’re all set. Just click the link to get the pattern.
Next installment soon….