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?

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