Friday, October 14, 2016

Sweater Woes and Triumphs

One of my personal knitting goals this year was to knit a full-size sweater, so I recently knit a sweater for myself. I needed a success after so many failed sweaters and not-quite-right sweaters. Most of the sweaters that don't work are those I intend to keep for myself--at least I think the sweaters I've sent to other people are successful and fit well.

I tried knitting two sweaters from Knit One Crochet Two's Cozette, which creates a tissue-tee type fabric. That fabric was completely and utterly wrong for Element, which I couldn't admit to myself until I had knit the whole thing. The first sweater was a plain Custom Fit sweater that I frogged after knitting the back because I had measured myself incorrectly. It would have been okay if I'd wanted a crop top. The yarn isn't delicate, but I hesitate to rip and try again. If I do, I want to knit a pattern intended for the yarn. I think it will be a really nice sweater.

I tried to make Tiny Rocky Coast again and again. It wasn't an adult-sized sweater, but I just couldn't get it right. I messed up the increases on the yoke, then I screwed up the cable pattern. When I couldn't get the cables right a third time, I just gave up. The recipient wouldn't have fit into that size anymore anyway.

Since 2008 I have knit 48 sweaters and tops. Of those, I've frogged 9 adult sweaters, one kid's sweater, one baby sweater, and one baby dress (turned into cowl). I also gave a sweater to a 7 year old that I had made following the adult small size. Plus I've donated three sweaters and have given away two sweaters meant for me. The last sweater I made for myself that fit was finished in 2011.

So you see why I needed a success. And success it was. I love this sweater! I was nervous because I'm not very skilled at substituting yarns, and I was coming off the major fail that was Element. Using the Cestari Old Dominion Cotton for the Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond was perfect. I wasn't getting gauge, so I did the "knit a size bigger" trick, and it worked! I probably should have used a smaller needle on the ribbing, but I'm so happy with this that I don't care if the collar looks stretched out. The pattern was well-written and worked well with the cotton. I've even gotten compliments from strangers!

I like knitting this so much I considered making another one, but I didn't have enough of the yarn. I may break down and purchase some more of that cotton. It didn't hurt my hands, and the knitting moves along quickly, even though it's listed as a DK.

So now I want more sweaters of my own. I am working on Woodstove Season by Alicia Plummer. The yarn I'm using is from a frogged sweater, so it has some weak points. It has a little bit more drape than a wool would, and the collar is somewhat floppier than I'd like, but I think it's working out. Believe me, I've learned my lesson about knitting through the end when I know it's wrong.

I have some other cotton and non-wool yarns in sweater amounts, so don't be surprised if you see more sweaters for me on my projects page. Maybe I'll even try using the Cozette again. And don't expect many knitting presents either, because I'm quickly turning into a selfish knitter!