Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm So Damn Proud of Myself

I have reached a new pinnacle. I have completed my first sweater. {Insert fanfare here.}

From smile and nod

I cast it off the needles earlier this week – the Owls Sweater by Kate Davies, knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky blend (a merino and cashmere blend that was a dream to work with). It was the perfect first sweater for me … knit entirely in the round, it starts at the bottom of the body and knits up to the armpits, using increases and decreases for the shaping at the waist, and short rows for the shaping near the shoulder. Then the sleeves are knit separately from the bottom up to the armpits, and it’s joined together at the yoke. The Owl cable is worked repeatedly over the yoke (mine is the small/medium size and has 18 owls around), and then a few more short rows for the shoulder shaping, then the ribbing for the collar, and *poof* your very own Owl sweater. I learned a couple of lessons on this –

1. Joining the arms to the body of the sweater pulled the arm pit really tight on the needles and stretched it out a bit. I can fix it with some creative seaming, but in the future I recommend casting off a couple extra stitches where the armpit seam is to avoid this, and to make it easier to join the arms to the body. (The pattern called for a total of four cast offs on both the sleeves and the body – I’d up it to six or eight.)

2. The back decreases could have been higher on the back. It’s not incredibly noticeable, but there’s a little bit of back pooch towards the top. I’m hoping this can be fixed with some more creative seaming, but I need to ask my wonderful seamstress/ master knitter friend Janet her professional opinion.

So all that really remains is to seam the underarms closed and add the buttons for the Owl eyes. Buttons are purchased from High Fashion Fabrics … they unfortunately did not have enough in one color for me to do the whole sweater (turns out 36 is a lot of buttons to buy at once), so I did half blue and half white. Final pictures coming next week!

In the meantime, I purchased the yarn for my Mom’s Christmas present. MOM IF YOU’RE READING THIS THEN STOP RIGHT NOW OR IT WILL GIVE IT AWAY. Unless you want to know. I purchased some fancy yarn from Knitting in the Loop (don’t want to tell exactly what in case my mom continued reading, giving away the fiber content gives away half the surprise), and found a great pattern from Wendy Bernard (go here to see the sweater I chose). Problem with knitting gifts is it’s hard to post about them, lest the giftee be reading. So stealth updates will be forthcoming.

I also purchased the yarn for Tina’s brother-in-laws socks. These are a Christmas gift for Tina’s hard-to-buy-for brother-in-law who apparently has everything. Everything except hand-knit socks! I’ll be using KnitPicks Stroll Sock Yarn in Russet Tweed.

Here is my gigantic list of things I have to/ want to knit before January 2010:
~One fingerless glove to complete pair to be sent to Hazel
~Aforementioned Mom’s Christmas sweater
~Aforementioned Tina’s Brother-in-Law socks
~Continue Big Brother’s afghan
~Baby Booties for pregnant co-worker Jennifer (due in January)
~Baby Surprise Sweater for lovely pregnant Paula (also due in January)
~Fingerless gloves for Bill (mom’s boyfriend)
~Humping Bunnies hat for Valerie

Holy shit. It’s really scary to see them all written out like that. Wish me luck!

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