Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sweater Regeneration

I loved this pattern (Amy Herzog's "Jackaroo" on Knitty First Fall 2013). It is hard for me to find ready-to-wear sweaters that fit well, let alone knitting patterns that result in fitted garments, but this one, with all of the increases and decreases, and the super specific measurements, and multiplicity of size options, resulted in a perfect fit.

There are some things that I would like to fix. The pockets are slightly off-kilter, and the button band needs some kind of support to keep it from getting pulled out of shape. And, in the future, I need to learn a neater cast-on. This one looks rather sloppy.

The yarn came from an old sweater--I've never deconstructed a store bought sweater, and it was definitely an experience--a long, fuzzy experience.  The sweater itself was fine.  I bought it a few years ago, and I love the gray tweed with tiny flecks of pink, blue, and yellow.  The problem is that it is a turtleneck pullover, which means that I am constantly pulling it away from my throat as though it were a noose.  I used to be able to wear turtle necks, but then whatever curse affects most of the women in my family took over and I just can't handle them anymore.
So, a cardigan is a much better option.

Below is the original sweater.

I wound the yarn around my laundry drying rack, after measuring the circumference so that I could basically keep up with how many yards I was getting.  I was afraid it was going to be a close shave, but I ended up with quite a bit leftover

Below are the hanks the sweater yielded.

Overall, knitting the sweater wasn't hard--just lots of increases and decreases to get all that shaping.  Set-in sleeves, which weren't too hard.  The neatest thing I learned was mattress stitch.  It seems excessively geeky to get excited about sewing seams, but mattress stitch seems almost miraculous--just watch the video:

It's almost worth knitting sweaters just to sew up the seams!

Building Blocks Hat

My little guy needed a new hat for this winter, and I improvised the design--the first time I've done so with a knitting project.  It is incredibly basic--just a bit of ribbing, then a checkerboard pattern, with decreases to the top, with a pom-pom--somehow, baby hats always need a pom-pom.  I wrote the pattern out and put it in a PDF to put on Ravelry.  Check it out.