Friday, April 20, 2007

Progress Report: L'il Red Riding Hoodie.

Well, here it is, in all its zipper-less, pre-blocked glory:

You know what? It is really hard to get a good picture of a black sweater. Even more so when you're stuck using the iSight on your work computer...

I've seen a lot of comments about this hoodie on the web, but very few pictures of it (that aren't already on the DomiKNITrix site). Seems a lot of people are either waiting for cold weather, looking for an inexpensive alternative to Karabella Aurora Bulky, or waiting to see how it goes for other folks. I can help out with two out of three...

For anyone looking for a good yarn substitution, I used Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky. This stuff is lovely. And on clearance at Webs. It knits-up at a gauge of 15 stitches and 20 rows per 4 inches on US 10 needles, according to the ball band (I got 22 rows per 4 inches, but that's pre-washing). Even on clearance, it isn't cheap, but it's still a great price -- and better yardage than the Karabella, too: I ordered 22 balls (pattern calls for 20 in my size, I believe), and have 6 full balls left over (and a few partial balls' worth, too).

So, since it's going to be at least a week before I've finished this (waiting on the zipper, etc.), I figured I'd post a few thoughts/comments on the pattern and the hoodie.

The pattern is pretty well-written, though there are a few bugs in it -- check the DomiKNITrix site for errata before you begin. On top of what's currently posted, I found some errors (I think) in the hood section of the pattern, but nothing major and nothing you wouldn't notice yourself. I also think a slip-stitch edging is left out of the zipper band instructions, so keep that in mind -- it'll result in a much cleaner and more attractive finish on your hoodie should you make it for yourself.

While the pattern is rated "Apprentice" in the book, I'll be honest: the knitting is the easiest part of this pattern -- it's quick and not particularly complicated. There's a good amount of construction involved, and this is probably the most complicated sweater I've made (in terms of assembly). If you hate seaming, this is not the pattern for you. Then again, between Starsky and the L'il Red Riding Hoodie, I've developed an odd sort of affection for mattress stitch. I actually find it soothing now (!).

This is also not the pattern for you if you hate grafting. Getting the pockets done...well, let's say it got a little ugly there for a bit. It took me awhile to really get the hang of grafting live stitches to an already-knit piece of fabric -- though, once it "clicked," it was relatively simple (unfortunately, as I just cannot get myself to work from left to right, the book instructions on grafting weren't of much help to me...d'oh).

Whining aside, I adore this hoodie. I can't wait to get a zipper on it, despite my "I've never installed a zipper ever" worries. As long as I don't have any horrible blocking or zipper installation mishaps, I can see myself wearing this all the time. It's such a great silhouette, and the little stylistic flourishes, such as those elbow patches and the central strip on the hood (which my coworkers have compared to "a mohawk" and "a skunk" -- yeah, the skunk bit is a little weird, but he was so enthusiastic about it!) really make it unique.

Of course, now that I'm nearly finished, spring has finally arrived in Boston. Figures.

1 comment:

living dead girl said...

Looks great! Good job!