8 months, 2 days to make the simplest sweater ever

First off, woo hoo to finishing a knitting project! Knitting is by definition not instant gratification, but this project ended up taking too long. So thank heavens it’s done.

Wispydone

This is the Wispy Cardigan from Knitbot Essentials. In a stunning burst of creativity, I made it out of the exact same yarn, Quince & Co. Finch, in the exact same colorway, Glacier, as shown in the book. I really stretched myself here. The color is just a little paler than I would normally choose, but I like it.

Wispyback
Wow, look at those wrinkles!

This project was not especially difficult other than getting bored with the endless amounts of stockinette stitch,  and I love that the directions were very clear. I’m a novice at knitting, so having a pattern tell me to definitely pick up two out of every three stitches is very helpful. Projects that tell me to just pick up X number of stitches usually end up looking bad because I suck at distributing those stitches properly and evenly over the area supposed to be used. What I find frustrating about that is I’ve looked at reference books, Ravelry, and such and still have no better of an idea what a pattern designer means than when I started. So I appreciate a pattern being unequivocal on the matter.

Alas, now time to put my sewist hat on. This pattern consists of a tube surrounded by ribbing for the arms and collar with a bottom draped section. Cool if your arms/upper back are a straight cylinder, but mine aren’t and neither are anyone else’s. If you look at the back right below my neck you can see where the excess fabric stands away from the body. This is exacerbated by the fact I made a medium for a 38″ bust (my measurement). It’s too big.

Wispyside

I washed it upon finishing, and I think I stretched the wool both in the sink and getting it to the towel for removing the excess water. It’s bigger now that it was coming off the needles. I don’t know if wool stays stretched out or if the next time it gets washed it will spring back. Guess that’s for Future Me to worry about. What I do know is it was too big to start with and is worse now. It wants to slouch off the shoulder and the ribbing no longer hugs. Looking at the picture in the book, it seems that the ribbing is supposed to be that way, but I liked it better when it snugged the top up a bit around the front of my arms. Live and learn and all of that.

The yarn was lovely to work with so I’ll definitely use it again, especially as it’s American made and dyed, which my local yarn shop doesn’t offer me. The fact that it’s not superwash initially concerned me, but something like this isn’t getting washed every time I wear it and I have enough hand wash cashmere sweaters now that it is less of a big deal to do a whole bunch of hand wash at the same time. Not everything needs to go in the washing machine, right?

The best part of finishing this project? Now I get to pick out something else to finish eight to nine months from now. I got three different summer-y yarns at the LYS earlier this month and now I’m just trying to find the right pattern for one of them. This will be my first foray into cotton yarns, exciting!

Summeryarns
Look at all the pretty blues! (l-r) Berroco Linsey, Berroco Modern Cotton, Knit One Crochet Too Cozette

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6 thoughts on “8 months, 2 days to make the simplest sweater ever

  1. Ugh! How frustrating! Some yarns don’t grow much at all, and some grow like crazy! I know people typically recommend blocking your guage swatch to see how the yarn acts after blocking. You can definitely re block (and next time you’d could try a gentler method like steam blocking- hover your iron over it with steam on, then lay out on a towel and arrange it so it is the size you want). I’ve seen people recommend the following for tightening up a stretched out sweater: get it a little wet and pop in the dryer for a few minutes! Stand right there so it doesn’t go too long and felt. Good luck!

    • So my only issue with steam blocking is that at some point the garment is going to get thoroughly wet for cleaning purposes so why not do it at the get-go? The only yarns that have grown on me in the past are superwash wools that once popped through the dryer are back to normal size. I like the idea of using the dryer to tighten it up. I may have to do that, thank you!

      • I guess you’re right! …I don’t think I’ve washed any of my knits that are finicky like that. But my cardigan that I knit with a mad tosh yarn isn’t a superwash but grows like “mad” when wet. I have to lay it out carefully and kind of un stretch it on the towel…scrunch it in on itself lol. If that makes sense 🙂

    • Thank you! I guess if I plan correctly I can have a winter sweater just in time for winter 2015/16. I wish I were a faster knitter, but every time I try a speedier technique I wreck my tension, and I’ve decided that I’d rather be slower and less frustrated. After all, these are just hobbies, thankfully, my family doesn’t rely solely on my abilities in order to be clad.

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