Again, it's been a long time between posts. I still have many projects to post, some of which were completed 6 months ago, and here I am, posting the sweater I finished last weekend. Well, what can I say? I was wearing it, and my mom was there to take pictures.
It's been a rough winter for me, the details of which I won't bother you with. As with many such things, give it enough time and enough effort, and things will turn around.
Meaning, I finally managed to get myself a job. Finally. A good job, even! Life may not be perfect, but this takes such a load off of my shoulders, I cannot even begin to describe it.
Anyway, time to stop talking about (or alluding to) messy life issues and on to something more interesting...
Pattern: Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason, IK Winter 2007, modified 32" bust
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, Peat Mix, 6 skeins (exactly -- I only have a few yards left)
Needles: KnitPicks Options Circulars, 24 and 40", US7
Date Started: January 2009
Date Completed: March 21, 2009
The majority of modifications I made to the pattern were in changing the stitch count/spacing in sleeve shaping due to the gauge I had with the Ultra Alpaca Light. In the end, the stitch/row counts I used were most similar to those used in the instructions for the next size up (36 1/4").
In addition, I:
Added waist shaping (in the form of darts for the waist decreases, though I did the shaping along the sides for the bust increases, as I didn't want darts close to the center cable...uh, and I wanted it to be less obvious if the placement wasn't perfect).
Skipped the increase/decrease rows in the cable pattern, as I wasn't a fan of how they looked, and didn't feel that I needed the additional shaping.
Used short row shaping and a three-needle bind-off for the shoulders.
Knit the neckline in the round (starting at the back neck), with decreases placed at each side of the point of the "v," as I had no desire to deal with a seam (however small) at that location. I also picked up far fewer stitches than called for (even though I picked up more than I normally would).
Added length to both the sweater body and the sleeves. The sleeves came out slightly long as they grew a bit in the wash (more than my gauge swatch predicted...I still can't believe I knit a freakin' gauge swatch), but I'm still happy with them (I'd rather have them a little long than a little short).
I'm very happy with this sweater. It isn't particularly flashy, it isn't super-sexy (since when did I dress that way anyway?), but I made the conscious choice to go with something a little more casual. It's fitted, but not tight -- I was aiming for zero ease and got it, more or less. It is truly comfy. Warm, but not hot. Ultra Alpaca Light makes a really warm fabric, but the looseness of the gauge allows everything to breathe nicely. Washing the sweater took away any scratchiness I noticed when trying on the sweater during the knitting process. The fabric is a little hairy due to the alpaca, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend this yarn if you really want your stitches (or cables) to "pop," as the fuzzy haze obscures the details a bit (I will say that we didn't have the best lighting for these photos, and that the cable shows up much better in real life).
This is also an incredibly quick knit. Don't let my start/finish dates fool you -- I knit the vast majority of this sweater in a week. Stockinette in the round, with minimal finishing, is fast.