OK, y’all, here it is: A neck, a body and two sleeves. I realize the way I’m standing in some of these pics, it looks like one sleeve is shorter than the other. I swear it’s not — I’m just too lazy to reshoot. I actually wanted the sleeves to be a hair longer than they are, and hedged my bets thinking they’d get longer when I blocked it, but I’m super happy with this. See: I’m even smiling in a picture!
I’m pretty proud of how well I did customizing the fit, even though it’s really not hard (and not quite perfect). When I took that class from Barry Klein back in January, the most memorable thing he said was, “If your top-down sweater doesn’t fit you, you have only yourself to blame. Because it means you didn’t try it on enough.” I could have knit this strictly to the pattern, or even left out the hip shaping entirely, and it would have been great, albeit a different shape. But I challenged myself to make a truly custom-tailored sweater. So each time I was working on it, when I was ready to knit my last round for the night, I instead knit half a round onto a second needle of the same size, allowing me to pull all four needle ends loose and ease the sweater over my head. And that way I knew exactly what i needed to do next, session by session. That was the key to my success. Thanks, Barry!
The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Aguas, about 645 yards. Pattern is the HIGHLY recommended Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond. I’ll detail my minor mods at Ravelry. Thanks for all the cheerleading!
I’m back in the saddle, as they say. After nearly a week in which I knitted not a single stitch of anything, I finally picked my sweater back up. I’d been avoiding it because I knew I had to work out the rate of decrease for my sleeves — specifically, how to go quickly from broad-shouldered to skinny-armed without creating a puff sleeve — but more than that, there was a mechanical issue holding me back. I don’t much enjoy knitting with larger double-points (I like ’em small) and dreaded having the weight of an entire sweater pulling against them as I worked. I haven’t gotten the hang of magic loop or even the two-circulars method, so I decided to give 9-inch circulars a try. So far so good. I mean, holy moly, this thing is tiny — hard on the wrist — but it’s making quick work of the first sleeve.
Ok, so it doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but wait until you see it on! (I mean, you know, if I ever buckle down and do the sleeves …)
Correction: I did not make the rookie mistake I thought I made. Yesterday, I pulled all the remaining skeins out of their bag to see if I could figure out which ball had come from which dye lot, and the two from the second dye lot were both still in there, untouched. So that’s just how different two skeins of Malabrigo Rios from one dye lot can be. Onward ho!
Ummm … remember how I originally bought four skeins of this Malabrigo, and later found two more? The latter were of a different dye lot. Given the nature of the yarn I wasn’t too worried about it, but I did mean to set them aside and hope I didn’t need them. Instead I forgot to do that and have now managed to use one ball from each batch. Without noticing until, y’know, eight inches later. (The peril of only knitting at night, in dim light.)
I don’t know which is from which dye lot — even better! — but I’m not a big fan of what’s going on with the second ball. It’s a lot more olive green, almost none of the aforementioned unexpected violet, and it’s stripier. The first one was more pointillist. Anyway, I think I can live with it.
(Correction: I was mistaken about my mistake)
I’ve got armholes and a neck. Going into this, the only part that really worried me was the neck — picking up stitches around that curved edge. I’ve picked up stitches here and there, but either a lot of them on a straight edge or just a few around a thumb gusset. Nothing like sloping edges in a spot as visible as a neckline. So I decided early on that I wouldn’t leave that for last. (If I’m screwing it up, I don’t want to do it after a month of knitting the body and sleeves.) So last night I took a deep breath and did it. It’s pretty close to perfect on the easy parts, but a bit dodgy right where I knew it would be. Still, not bad for my first try!
I also left in a lifeline at the end of the raglan increase rounds, because I’m messing with the measurements beyond that point and may feasibly need to rip back. More about that some other time.