Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So what's your point?

All right, I admit it...I succumbed to the peer pressure put unto me by the Cable Yoke Sweater. (there's something really wrong with that statement - I just put myself on the same level as knitted animal fiber).

Wrong though it may seem, knitting really does talk. So does yarn. In the same way the Ombre Acrylic Blanket is taunting me on a daily basis, so did the Cable Yoke Sweater strongly urge me to keep knitting until I was done. And I am done! It's pinned to the floor drying as we speak and I really love it. Another note in my defense, I did sit down and knit on the blanket for an hour this morning before the urchins awoke.

The sweater was very easy to knit and moved quickly, however it was not without its issues. There were no errors in the pattern, so everything was fine that way. I love the yarn; Patons Classic Merino in Natural Mix is exactly what I love - a rustic tonal natural shade and it was perfect. I happen to really love feminine designs done in rougher hues.

The body went perfectly. I added a couple short rows to the back and sailed along until the armholes. I stuck with the pattern direction to bind off 10 stitches for each armhole (rather than put them on a holder and graft them at the end). It didn't much matter to me. The arms came together just as well as the body. I used 2 circulars until I had enough to fit onto a 16" circular.
Ready for the yoke!

I was totally pumped! The cable pattern was easy to follow, but I did have to knit back on a couple of rows because I'd lost my place. It was quick to knit though and there was no raglan shaping involved. All shaping was done by changing the needle size. The body/yoke up until about 1" past the completion of the cables were done with size 8's, then size 6's were used until the point of the neck ribbing, which was done in size 4 needles.

So I'm knitting along perfectly happy and I completed the yoke and neck ribbing per the pattern instructions. I bound off then tried it on. I was not happy.

First an explanation. After I had my kids, I could not wear turtlenecks anymore. I have no idea why. I used to love turtlenecks and I lived in turtlenecks in the winter months. However now, for some reason, any time fabric is touching my neck, I feel as though I'm being choked. That's what this sweater did. The crewneck was just barely touching my neck, but that was enough and I knew I wouldn't wear it, even though I loved the rest of the sweater, if I didn't fix this.

When I knit a sweater, I pretty much follow the pattern to the letter. Yeah, I can add short rows to a back but even if I'm using the Sweater Workshop formulas, I still follow it all to a T. I stood in front of the mirror for a while, trying to figure out what to do. My first thought was a v-neck. I sought The Sweater Workshop for guidance, but that persuaded me not to do the v-neck. I wasn't interested in performing math calculations on 1x1 rib. So I ripped.

What's ironic is the point at which I stopped ripping is right about where I took the picture above. I stopped about 1 1/2" above the end of the cables. I stuck the caps on my Knit Picks Options cables and threaded half the stitches on one, half on another. I tried it on again. This was it! The neckline was in a sort of boatneck or wide-but-shallow scoopneck shape and it was perfect! Next, I put markers at each raglan seamline and at the center front and center back. I decreased on either side of each marker all the way around (decreased 12 sts), then bound off in 1x1 rib. I didn't try it on again, but it looked good to me so I sure hope I didn't biff that neckline.
So the sweater is laying on a towel in my living room, pinned, damp, and drying. I can't wait to wear it!

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