Monday, January 16, 2012

Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan

That's right, a sweater!  After 9 years of yarn arts, I'm finally making a sweater!  I've been wanting to take this leap for so long.  A few years ago I found a neat pattern for a crocheted cable pullover sweater, bought a BUNCH of yarn and measured my mom, but I never even chained one stitch for it.  Now, with my new skills in knitting, I decided it's time to take the plunge.  But there was no way I was doing it alone.  My family generously purchased a top-down sweater making class and the necessary materials as birthday and Hanukkah presents for me, so last week, I casted on during my first class!

I chose a really cute (and hopefully simple) pattern by Stefanie Japel called the Shapely Boyfriend, available for free on Ravelry.  I like the casual look of the sweater, and I think with purple tweed yarn I chose, this sweater will really fit my personality and style.  So, with the help of Jess at Looped Yarnworks, I will be making this sweater!  I'm using Rowan Renew yarn in Garage (how awesome is it that it's recycled!) and am knitting on size 10, 32 inch needles.

I'm going to do something different and post updates of my progress as I go along, so be sure to check back over the coming weeks (and probably months) as I work on my sweater.  Hopefully I'll be able to wear it a few times before while it's still cold/chilly outside.

Update: January 17
I worked frantically last night so that I could get to the necessary point in my sweater in time for class.  I'm about 1/4 - 1/3 of the way there, so guess what I'll be doing on my lunch break and all evening (after yoga, of course).  So far, I'm really pleased with the progress.  I actually think I'm liking this one better than the original sweater I picked (see post script below), at least for this yarn.  I think this tweed is the perfect yarn for a sweater like this.  And not having to worry about resizing or measuring or anything is making it such a breeze.  I was so stressed out with my previous attempt, and now I'm having fun again (even if I am getting arthritis in the process)!

P.S. If you checked my blog at all yesterday in the last few days, you'll have noticed that I had a different sweater posted here.  I was attempting to make this sweater with modifications to look like this, but it just wasn't working out.  For my first try at a sweater, doing all the recalculations and measurements was not a good idea.  I still love this sweater and will definitely come back to it once I'm more knowledgeable and skillful, but for now I needed something for which the designer had already made modifications for different sizes so that I can just follow the pattern directly.

Update: January 26
My sweater is starting to look like a sweater!  I've been knitting like mad and can feel the arthritis building up in my hands, but it's worth it.  I created the arm holes last week, finished my waist shaping last night, and and reaching the home least as far as the body is concerned.  I still have to go back up and knit the sleeves, and then put the ribbed boarder and buttons (not looking forward to this part) along the front and collar.  What do you think?  I absolutely love how the purple tweed is turning out!

Update: March 9
After a few weeks off to work on other projects and gifts, I returned to my sweater and finally finished the body (for now, at least).  You'll remember from my last update that I had ripped out a good portion of the body because I made it too long.  Well, this time I increased a bit too quickly, which resulted in little wings at the bottom of the sweater along the seams.  I didn't notice until I tied off, but I'm not happy with how it looks, so I think I'm going to finish the sleeves, then rip out the bottom and redo it with less increases.  We shall see.  This sweater is taking much longer than anticipated and I'm a little worried I might never finish, but I think it will be worth all the time and effort once's it's done and perfect (and I'll be wearing it every single day!).

Sweater, front
Sweater, back.
My cat, Mitchell, also sneaked into this photo. 

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