Monday, June 11, 2007

Something Red.

Or, well, not. But "Something Brown" just sounds....ugh.

Pattern: Something Red, from Knit and Tonic, size XS (32" bust)
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in Espresso, 5 skeins (I have about 1/5 skein leftover)
Needles: KnitPicks Options Circulars, US 7, one US 9 needle for binding-off
Notions: One button (courtesy of Windsor Button), needles and thread (how lovely that the color name of the thread matching my yarn is "Cloister Brown." Yay, it's a nun sweater!)
Date Started: May 31
Date Finished: June 9

I altered the increases for the waist of the sweater -- I used a lifted increase instead of an M1 (I also did this with the neckline increases), and placed them inside the other knit stitches instead of at the edge (ie, between a knit and a purl). I think, given that I was using a cotton yarn (which is less forgiving than wool), it made my increases look a little less noticable. I did place my increase rounds in the specified location, though.

When the body switches from stockinette to ribbing, I knit 3 stitches on both ends instead of just 2 -- this way, when I picked-up stitches for the button bands, I'd have two knit stitches bordering the bands instead of just one.

I picked up far more stitches than called for when knitting the collar and button bands -- I followed my general habit of picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows of knitting, and that's how it turned-out.

I made 3/4 length sleeves (okay, they're not quite that long, but I never hear people talking about 2/3 length sleeves), as I'm not a big fan of sweaters with elbow-length sleeves (they just don't look quite right on me, and I don't live in a climate where they're all that practical). I knit in stockinette down to the elbow, then switched to ribbing, starting my ribbing with an increase round (*K2, P1, M1P, P1* repeat to end), and knit in K2,P3 ribbing for 3.5 inches before binding off. This makes the sleeves bell out a little, which I like (it echoes the body of the sweater).

I think this pattern is brilliant. It looks so flattering (even unbuttoned, which surprises me!), it is so comfortable, and it was so quick to knit...though, I had some insomnia issues in the last week, which probably contributed to finishing this in under 10 days. I wanted a sweater that I could wear with jeans or a summery skirt, that could look both casual and a little dressy. Lovely.

Even better, this yarn can handle a brief tumble in the dryer. I didn't throw it in there soaking wet, mind you, but 10 minutes in the dryer fluffed it up nicely. I can tell this stuff is going to fuzz-up a bit, but the softness is worth it (this is, by far, the softest cotton yarn I have ever handled).


Stef said...

It came out great. I really like the 2/3 length sleeves-- my problem with half-length sleeves is that the cuff gets all distorted from being right next to my elbow. I bet your solution sidesteps that problem nicely.

Octopus Knits said...

Great job! I love the sleeves.

itsjustmeghan said...

i love it! adding this one to my list of knits i need to make. any suggestions on how to get the gage and fit done right? i'm having issues. last sweater i made WAY too big. this new tank i'm knitting is WAY too small...i just can't seem to find that happy medium! any suggestions or tricks of the trade would be fabulous!

Amanda said...

Thanks everyone!


I feel terrible admitting to this, but I almost never knit gauge swatches. I'm pretty lucky to almost always hit ballband gauge when I knit. But, even if you have gauge issues, with sweaters like this one, there's a big advantage: you can try them on as you knit! That's what I did here. I'm not an expert by any means...but I think learning about the characteristics of different fibers (ie wool, cotton, etc) and about ease in garments is pretty helpful. So is being painfully honest about your measurements and what looks good on your body (for example, I will never look good in long tunics, anything strapless, or sweaters meant to show off my bust). Unfortunately, I started this blog around the time I finally managed to make most of my garments fit don't get to see all the stuff I made that didn't fit!

I wish I could be more helpful. Trust me, I know how much it stinks when you put so much time into something and it doesn't turn-out the way you had hoped it would.