Friday, March 3, 2017

a journey into knitting sweaters

I would love to call myself a serious sweater knitter. But the truth is I'm just not there yet.

Throughout my knitting "lifetime" I've knit four sweaters. (For myself- I've also knit a baby sized sweater and cardigan for C, but I won't touch on those today.) It's not a lot, believe me, I know. And it's nowhere near the number I'd planned to be at by now. 

But in looking back at these sweaters, there's a real journey- a story of my growth and improvement as a knitter. I thought I'd share a little bit more about each of those sweaters today: the good and the bad, the mistakes made and lessons learned, the serious successes. 

So without further ado, here are the four sweaters I've knit:

Pattern: Oatmeal sweater by Jane Richmond. 
(see my Ravelry Project Page here)

Yarn: Lion Brand thick & quick in the Oatmeal colorway

date made: December 2013

mistakes made & lessons learned: oh the mistakes I made with this sweater... I did not understand about gauge and the finished sweater (although you can't tell from the above photo) was so SO tight. I also didn't understand about substituting yarn and the yarn that I chose was not the weight that the pattern called for at all. So I learned a lot about the importance of these two elements in a pattern. However, this pattern is clear and concise and really helped me understand the technique to knitting a top down sweater and for that I'm grateful! 

final verdict: I didn't wear this sweater so I frogged it last summer. 

pattern: Lila by Carrie Bostick Hoge 
see my Ravelry project page here

yarn: Drops Lima 

date made: January-February 2015

mistakes made & lessons learned: I really really enjoyed knitting this sweater. I don't think I've ever taken as many WIP photos as I did with this project because I was having such a blast that I wanted to document every stage of the process. This was my first bottom up sweater and again I learned so much about sweater construction while knitting this. This was also my first try with short rows- they turned out quite sloppy actually. As did the neckline and the spots where I joined the sleeves at the armpits. I also didn't do a great job of finishing this and it's quite obvious where I wove in my ends. So I'd say I definitely learned about the importance of finishing. 

final verdict: I actually wear this sweater quite often, despite my sloppy knitting. I did the best I could at the time and am actually quite proud of the result. I wear it mostly with dresses or skirts but occasionally with jeans and a long top. I'd like to reknit this in a different yarn, maybe from the top down and add a bit of length to the body.

pattern: Lesley by Hannah Fetig (from the book Home and Away)
my Ravelry project page here

yarn: aran weight yarn from my Grandmother's stash

date made: July-August 2015

mistakes made & lessons learned: I LOVE this sweater. Not only was it so fun to knit while home over the summer in Canada but the end result is by far my most successful sweater. This was a retry of the top down raglan sweater style and I really hit my stride with this project.

final verdict: Though it's a little bulky I do wear this in both the Fall and early Spring where it's warm enough to go without a jacket but some extra warmth is still nice. I'd like to make a sweater like this again with maybe a dk weight yarn...

pattern: Tamborine by Julia Farwell Clay (from Pompom Issue 12)
see my Ravelry project page here

yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers (colorway Purple Brown)

date made: Winter 2015-2016

mistakes made & lessons learned: This was for sure my most challenging sweater project. A cardigan with embellishments and set-in sleeves, which were totally new to me. I'm very proud of this sweater, though I did make a few mistakes- the seaming on the sleeves isn't great and is quite visible when I don't wear my hair down to cover it, haha. Also I need to re-block this as the button band still rolls and a few of the button holes are missing (I blame pregnancy...) 

final verdict: I knit this in the first few months of pregnancy and by the time I finished there was no way I could button it up so I never sewed on any buttons. Though I do like wearing it open, I think it would be nice to have the option to at least partially button it (from the top or bottom...both sound fine) so I'd really like to get to that. 

Alright. There you have it. It's been over a year since my last sweater and I honestly don't really know why. I will say that I struggle with yarn affordability and access here in Marburg. But I'd really like to make plans to knit a few sweaters coming up. Top of my list is the Rosemont Cardigan (also from Home and Away) and a Fort sweater for Waldi. I'd also like to try Strokkur as my first serious colorwork project and (although it's not exactly a sweater) I'm also loving the Kinton top for Spring. 

1 comment:

  1. It was nice to read about your journey knitting sweaters. I love the way they all turned out and I think they all look so cozy. I am knitting my first sweater now and I am sure I will make my own mistakes a long the way and will learn from them like you did. Thank you for sharing!