Followers, who have been with me for a while, might remember that I started knitting a sweater way back in May 2017. Was it really that long ago? Yes, I’m afraid it was!
Despite growing up with both a grandma and a mother who were expert knitters, knitting isn’t something I ever took to as a child. If I’m honest, I didn’t take to any needlecrafts as a child. I learned the basics of knitting, but never actually made anything, other than scarves. I suppose it was because my grandma and mother were expert knitters actually! They could knit up a gorgeous sweater or caridgan in half the time it took me to cast on the correct amount of stitches . . . so I grew up letting them knit for me instead.
Anyway, in May last year, I decided I wanted to give knitting a whirl, but didn’t want to go spending lots of money on supplies until I knew whether I enjoyed it or not. Hence the first project, begun with a free pattern (by Red Heart) and a cheap job lot of acrylic DK yarn. Things progressed quite quickly at first, and I soon had a back & front.
Then I did what you should never do. I bunged everything in a bag and forgot about it, for a whole year! Yep, a full 12 months went by until, last week, I was browsing through my photo archives . . . realised how long this sweater had been in the making. And got back to work.
And now, it is finished – yay!
Now the reason I am “disappointed but not discouraged” is . . . the fit of this sweater (and my choice of colours, I’ll admit). The pattern only had 3 sizes (S,M, L) and, at the time I began knitting, the L seemed a good size for me. However, since it took me over 18 months to make, and I’ve put on so much weight in the last year . . . the end result is far too snug. I measured the finished sweater, wondering if it was my knitting/tension which was the culprit, but nope, I’m spot on. I’ve made a sweater in a perfect size L. It’s me. I need a size XL .
It looks more or less like the photo on the pattern: 3/4 length sleeves, sort of slash neckline, body length corresponds. But I’d feel more comfortable in something a little less snug. Husband reckons the 3/4 sleeves were a bad idea and that it makes the sweater look like it shrunk in the wash. I’m afraid I agree with him. 3/4 sleeves seemed a good idea . . . on hindsight, they don’t look so good. Same goes for the contrasting stripes which are knitted in 2 rows of knit. I liked that idea, and it’s partly why I chose this pattern. Thought they gave it a little bit of interest and texture. I’ve already managed to pull threads several times on those stripes, just by trying the thing on! I dread to think what it’ll look like in a few weeks time, once the cats have had a chance to sit on me!
Saying that . . . this project has been very valuable experience for me. I have proved to myself that I can follow a pattern from start to finish. Pick up stitches around the neckline and manage to knit the neckline ribbing on circular needles – the thought of that had me shaking at the knees, but I did it. The sewing together of all parts had me worried too. I’m not going to show any close-ups of seams, as they’re not very pretty, but they not as bad as I feared they would be. So, on the whole, this has been a positive experience. Positive enough for me to have been browsing for a new pattern . . . but not feeling expert enough yet to splash out on any brand-name yarn.
This is what I plan to make next. Pattern: “Rue”, by Martin Storey for Rowan, was a free download on Wool Warehouse. Pattern recommends a Rowan DK cotton. I’ll be knitting in a cheap DK acrylic, in a dusky pink. Size XL for this one! Here’s hoping it doesn’t take me another 18 months for this! There will be more learning curves: how to knit the button band and make button holes!