Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The first sleeve is finished and it took exactly 2 balls of yarn.  It's a nice, arm shaped sleeve.  The cuff is super fat, which is charming in its own way. How fat? Well, the gauge for this bugger is 19 stitches/4 inches, and the cable pattern is 24 stitches wide and yet only about 2.5 inches.  That means about 2 inches are sucked into the "depth" of the cuff, if you will.  It's probably about a centimeter thick, but I didn't bring my calipers, so it's just an educated guess.  I slipped the 1st stitch of every row, and have a nice, even line on both sides of the cuff.

The main modification I made to the sleeve involves the cast on and bind off.  The pattern calls for a regular cast on edge which is sewn on top of the bind off to create a visible seam in an otherwise seamless piece.  This does not fly in my land of seamless knitting, and so I did a provisional cast on and a three needle bind off.  The cables don't match but the overall effect is, in my humble opinion, much cleaner, especially since I already explained that the cuffs are about a centimeter thick (that's a fat seam).

I'm currently waffling on where to put the extra 2 inches in the bodice.  Part of me thinks that I should put it in right away, and then work the short rows.  The other part of me says that is a stupid idea, and I should do the short rows, calculate out the distance remaining, start the button band early, and then work the 2 inches prior to the armpits.

The decision really rides on how much I want the arc below the bustline, and I don't have a clearly formulated opinion on that subject yet.  I am a wee bit nervous because everyone seems to think this pattern is riddled with errors and that vogue has been negligent on the errata front, but so far everything seems to be working out fine.  I suppose we'll see later.  I'll post sleeve pictures next time around.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Cropped Hoodie: Phase 1

This pattern has been living in the back of my skull, rolling around, and waiting for yarn and ingenuity ever since I first saw it... so rough three years.  The pattern is Mari Muinonen's Cropped Hoodie, and it speaks to me every time I see it.  Unfortunately, like many women, I have boobs and a fair amount of them at that.  Additionally, I have been blessed with a large tank of a rib cage which means that even if I gave up food altogether for the rest of my days, I would never fit into anything smaller than a 6. Which is what I wear. 

Would someone please explain to me how the largest size this is written for is smaller than a 6?

Anyhow, the sweater I adore is 4 inches smaller than I am, 4 inches of negative ease is a... a bit much for my tastes.  Additionally the sweater itself only comes 5 inches below the armpits.  5 inches means that we are going to get a startling amount of underboob, which is really just as inappropriate as it sounds.  Lately, I have been looking for a challenge; something that will cause me to grow in my knitting and give me more tools so that I am able to customize my knits to my own personal quirks (hint: shoulders like a milk maid).

So--here's my list of modifications I am making to the cropped hoodie and the results I hope to achieve.
1. Increase the bust by 2-3 inches by adding stitches to the front pannel. My cross-back measurement is fine for a 34" sweater, so I will only modify the front for the time being.
2. Increase the bodice length by 2 inches.  This will put the sweater pleasantly below the bust line and making it...socially appropriate. 
3. Increase the shoulder depth through the addition of a few short rows.  In the original photograph, the model's shoulders are stretching the sweater.  After knitting the leitmotif cardigan I discovered the joy of short row shoulders.  It's a good thing.
4. Replace the hood with a better one.  I'm not a fan of pointy hoods on anyone with a double digit age (though they are unbearably cute on the wee ones).  They remind me of elves.  Instead, I'm going to work a rounded hood that's a mixture of short rows and strategic decreases.
5. Slip the 1st and last stitch of every row on chart A.  This is clearly done in the modeled version.  I haven't the faintest idea why it's omitted from the directions.

I'm knitting the piece in KnitPick's Wool of the Andes, and the colorway is Mist, which is a very blue-purple grey.  My husband says the color is pretty, and he really doesn't care about colors so it must be nice.  The yarn itself was a gift from a college friend, and a handsome one at that (the gift, that is). How often do you receive enough yarn for a sweater from someone who doesn't knit?