Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gathered Pullover.

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.


Anonymous said...

It's really, really flattering on you. I've had this in my queue for over a year now and I was just looking at yarn for it today!

Clumsy Knitter said...

Super cute sweater--it looks great on you! And congrats on the job!!! :-D

Kate said...

Cute sweater and cute hair style. Ultra alpaca is one of my favorite yarns, I'm using some of the light weight now and i love it.

Team Knit ! said...

Love it!!!I wear my gathered pullover more than any other sweater in my wardrobe, and mine's pretty scratchy, too. but I tend to wear camis under everything in the winter, so it's all good. I love the colour you chose- that foresty green looks perfect on you.

And I agree with the others- your haircut looks so chic!

- Julie

LEO said...

Great sweater, and HOORAY for getting a job! That is no small feat right now. I hope you're doing okay otherwise.

Virtuous said...

Nice and I am luvin' your hair! :o)

Noelle said...

LOVE IT! Seriously, that looks like something I'd buy to wear to work. I love the longish sleeves, too. Almost makes me wish I could knit. That's one of the many things my mom has not been able to pass on to me. (That...and sewing.)

jen said...

Such a beautiful sweater! Congratulations on the job.

Lissa said...

fantastic, amanda. it looks great. i'm personally stuck in baby blanket land (2 are fast approaching - none are mine - no worries) but am looking forward to getting back to something challenging (and maybe a bit selfish) soon...
happy to hear that there is some metaphorical sunshine arriving alongside the actual spring. congrats on the job and i'll be joining you to say goodbye to a long dark winter. looking forward to more posts soon!

crochetgurl said...

It's beautiful and looks great on you! One day, I shall have to make this. :-)

Is the pattern written to do it in the round, or did you modify it to be in the round?

heidi said...

it's look great on you! I really like the casual impression it makes:)

itsjustmeghan said...

SO cute!!!! i love it!
are you growing your hair back out? oh man. you were my pixie hair idol. hahahaha. either way, you are adorable!
man, now i want to knit this sweater now...hmmmm...
off to look up pattern and think of what yarn i have in the stash.

i'm glad you finally got a job. it's VERY stressful. VERY. believe me, i understand. i'm glad you found something, and i hope you aren't having to commute to far to get to it.
if you're coming out to the west suburbs, let me know! we could do lunch!

lekkercraft said...

LOVE. IT. I used almost the same yarn in mine, but just the plain Ultra Alpaca. I bet it's really nice at a finer gauge. I think the neckline turned out great - which is the part on mine I'm not too fond of...

Denise~ said...

Beautiful! I've had this in my queue for a while too - waiting on a second fleece of llama to have enough yarn.

YOu've made me want to move it up to the next sweater I knit!