Monday, May 14, 2007

L'il Black Riding Hoodie.

No, it didn't take me weeks to install a only took a couple weeks to get up the courage and motivation for it.

I think it turned-out well, no?

Pattern: L'il Red Riding Hoodie, from DomiKNITrix, size XS (34" bust)
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky in Jet, 16 balls
Needles: KnitPicks Options Circulars, Sizes US 10 (for body, hood) and US 9 (for zipper bands)
Notions: Needles, Black polyester sewing thread, and a custom 20" black 2-way separating zipper (aluminum-finish) from Zipperstop
Date Started: April 3 (I think)
Date Finished: Knitting/construction finished April 19, Zipper installed May 11 (d'oh)

Added a bit of length to the body (maybe 1 inch).
Did a slip stitch edging on the zipper bands.
Moved the pocket decreases in by a couple stitches (the edges roll inwards slightly this way).
Used a shorter zipper than called for (20" instead of 24" -- I put the finished hoodie on and measured the opening before ordering a zipper), used a 2-way zipper as well.

I freakin' love this sweater. Seriously. I am going to wear this until I kill it (kill it with love!). My only complaint is that the elbow patches seem to ride a little low, but sitting here at the computer with my arms bent, they are covering my elbows, so it's fine.

The yarn is great (bled a little in the wash, and took ages to dry), and it didn't really grow or shrink in the wash (a 20-minute soak in Eucalan in my bathtub).

I sewed the zipper in a way to camouflage the teeth...yes, a plastic zipper would blend-in better, I know. I did order one from Zipperstop, but looking at the two side by side? I vastly preferred the aesthetics of the metal zipper. The zipper pull pushes the knitting out of the way when I zip/unzip, so I'm not too worried about the knitting getting caught in the zipper.

I only had to sew the zipper in once -- yay! Okay, I basted it in twice. I read a lot of online zipper installation tutorials, but in the end, I largely followed one in particular. I did buy a length of grosgrain ribbon to sew over the zipper, but in the end I decided it wasn't worth it (in time, I may change my mind). Tacking the outer edge of the zipper tape with whipstitch to the knitting made a huge difference in making the zipper lay flat and smooth.

I've already commented a lot on this sweater, so I don't have much more to add in regards to the pattern. I'll just repeat that it's awesome. If you knit it, just remember to visit the DomiKNITrix site before you begin to get the errata.

Lastly, a lot of you are probably already familiar with Zipperstop, but I feel the need to tell everyone that they're great. True, I only needed a black zipper so I didn't have to match anything, but the turnaround time for getting two custom-length zippers was amazing (I got them the day after I ordered them, and I placed my order rather late in the day).

And now? I'm going to spend the rest of my day strutting around in this thing like the big ol' doofus I am.

ETA: Well, it's Sunday now (May 20th), and we've been blessed (cursed?) with some of that fabulously unpredictable New England weather...I've worn this hoodie every day this week, with one exception. So, I can give a little update on how the Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky holds-up. I do have some pilling, but only in those high friction areas: where the underarms/body rub up against each other, and the cuffs. There's a slightly fuzzy haze over other parts of the sweater as well. Compared to other garments I've knit out of merino, I'd say its holding-up pretty well. I think a sweater stone would get this back to looking like new without much effort (mental note: get off behind and buy sweater stone).

This sweater is absolutely perfect for that 40's-50's temperature range. The hood is great, too -- fits well and doesn't want to slide off my head.


Cyn said...

That is so the sweater that I keep looking for in stores and can never find. Such a perfect basic black sweater. It's lovely and now I want to make one too!

jenna said...

It's perfect!! I hope you get to love it a lot before you kill it!

danidocrafty said...

This is the pattern I bought the book for, but I'm still psyching myself up to actually starting it because it seems so daunting. Yours turne out great, and thanks for the heads up on the errata. :) (p.s. I don't know you, but I followed your link from


lekkercraft said...

love love love it!

Dipsy Doodle said...

Wow, this looks absolutely and totally fantastic! Really, this seems to be the perfect sweater indeed, and I'm really impressed by how perfectly it fits! Yay also for installing the zipper so well, I sure know what a scary task this is! Congratulations on a really awesome accomplishment!

Dipsy D.

Amanda said...

Thank you everyone! I have no reservations in recommending the pattern to everyone -- I really enjoyed making this and I love the finished hoodie.

Amanda said...

I saw this over at Ravelry, and I loved it! I've been waiting to find the perfect yarn before I cast on for it. I really like it in black!

R a i n said...

OMG I love this! It's gorgeous! I've been drooling over this hoodie of yours for some time now, since I desperately need a sweater. Been stalking it at Ravelry, heh.

Damn if only I had the book to knit this!!!!

But...kudos to's simply perfect!

Susie said...

Thanks for all the info about the hoodie - you did an awesome job! I have had my eye on this pattern for awhile but couldn't decide what yarn to use. Your recommendations for the Jaeger yarn are great and I think I'll take the plunge while I can still get it.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about this pattern, I've decided to knit it, and I was doing fine until I came across to pg 155, just after the decreases. When it says to knit in st st until the piece is 5 inches from beginning, does she mean the beginning of the piece, or beginning from the st st?? I'm sure I know the answer somewhere in my head, but it's hiding, lol. Thanks!

Amanda said...

Knitting Faerie,

I don't have the book in front of me (I'm out of town), but I'm assuming this is about the back, right? If I remember correctly (no promises!), I think she means from the beginning of the piece -- this is where you begin the increases in the body, right?