Friday, June 29, 2007

Cozy V-neck Pullover is ever so cozy!

I've always been a big fan of Stefanie Japel's designs so when I picked up my copy of Fitted Knits, I knew I wanted to make something out of it right away. I picked out the Cozy V-neck Pullover because although when I started it, it was very close to summer, I wasn't quite done knitting wool.

I had picked up some Classic Elite Beatrice (Hedgerow - 2372) in the 50% off rack at Lori's in Alpine a few months ago. Despite being a fundamentally busy yarn, I liked the nice combination of warms and cools. It is 100% merino, so it is super soft and I thought it would make a nice sweater for the office. Then when I started flipping though Fitting Knits, I felt that this yarn would make a nice Cozy V-neck.

All in all, the sweater gobbled all 12 balls of yarn in my stash as well as half of one to grow on. I knit the stockinette portion of the sweater on size 10 needles and the ribbing on size 9s. My swatch had told me that my gauge was off by enough that I could knit the next size up from my normal size to get something that would fit. Unfortunately, my swatch was a nasty little lier. This led for a rather interesting turn of events when it came to finishing.

However, I will start with the modifications that I intended. First up, the V. I really wanted a deeper V, not because I found issue with the original, but rather, I just really needed to scratch that particular itch. I deepened the V by knitting my neck increases every other right-side row and reducing the width of the neck band to one inch.

Unfortunately, what this did, was actually put the end of my V right at my bust line. It looks fine. But, I think the sweater would be much more attractive on me if it was a little higher up. As it stands, the V interferes with my own bust line and minimizes the difference between my waist and my bust...something I shouldn't be doing considering I'm only about 4" inches different between those measurements as it stands.


Knitting this sweater was also a learning experience for me. This was my second top-down sweater, the first being Green Gable that met with a very nasty fate last year. So, I hadn't yet figured out that I am someone who benefits from some shoulder shaping to add a bit of room for my swimmer's shoulders (not BIG, but square). While this isn't a problem big enough to make this sweater unwearable, it is a point well noted for my next top-down project.

The other lessen I learned was how to compensate for my own errors. Now, I could kick myself for not taking pictures of the problem before I fixed it (like a good blogger should). But I was so anxious to see IF I could fix the problem, that once I did, I sure as heck wasn't going to pull it out again to document what I did. Basically, by the time I realized that my gauge was off, I had already knit ALL of the increases and had taken the arms off the needles. I thought that if I could add some subtle decreases along the sides, I could take out the stitches that were turning what was supposed to be close to a 36 inch sweater into close to a 40 inch sweater on a 34 inch bust. It seemed to have worked as I tried on the sweater as I went, so I kept going. But not until I finished the knitting and seamed up the sleeves did the gigantic bulge I had created fully reveal itself. So the fix? I simply seamed up the increases I made. There was enough room in the underarm, that I was able to hide the difference there. And honestly? Not only can you not see what I did (there is a little pocket of extra fabric inside under my underarm), I'm not even aware of it when I have the sweater on!

Now, like most problems in knitting, I had to put this one down for awhile while I got the strength to do what I needed to do to make this a wearable sweater. However, what this also meant was that I kinda forgot which needles I had been using for the ribbing. This bring me to another 'design modification' that I made. Now, I could pretend that the fun bell sleeves were fully intentional and planned, but then that would make me as much of a lier as my swatch. I knew I wanted to lengthen the sleeves before I was finished, but by knitting the last 2 inches of each sleeve with the larger needles, I unintentionally created the bell shape at the cuff - a very fortunate mistake I think.

Overall, I am very happy with how the sweater turned out. It feels really great when I wear it and although it isn't perfect, I feel like it will get a lot of use come next fall.

10 comments:

Octopus Knits said...

I think your finished product is lovely on you! It sounds like this sweater gave you a real workout...

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

I'd give my right boob to have only a 4" difference between waist and bust (the enhancements caused by breastfeeding are starting to get a little old).

That sweater looks great on you. Be proud of yourself that you were able to face it again, even knowing all the fixes in store for you. I actually did that last night, and I'm feeling pretty good about myself.

mle said...

It came out fantastic! I really love the verigated yarn for that sweater too.
And I love your creative fixes. I'm the same way, I would rather find a creative fix than rip a whole lot of work! It really looks great!

Ruinwen said...

Such a totally fab sweater! I love all the improvements you added. It really looks awesome on you! :)

amanda cathleen said...

looks so cozy! you did a great job and you should be proud of your new sweater. Lovely fabric you got too, can't wait to see what you create with it!

nicole said...

The sweater looks great -- very flattering and fitted. I may have to add that one to my to-knit list. The bell sleeves are a good look. Way to make the best of a struggle! Enjoy your upcoming vacation!

Kara said...

This is the sweater I totally had my eye on from fitted knits...Yours is so great. An amazing fit!

Theresa said...

I think the experience is as great as the sweater!

Marisa said...

Regardless of the roller coaster sweater ride, it turned out fantastic!

Cynthia Silverstein said...

I spent the evening ordering yarn online, some of it to make this very sweater from Fitted Knits. I decided to order the exact yarn used in the book, something that I rarely do. Then I noticed that in the book, the gauge is 3.5 st/inch, and on the website [yarn.com] it said the gauge is 4 st/inch on the same size needles. I've read on various sites on the web that there are a lot of errors in this book and now I'm concerned about making this sweater at all.

The discrepancy in gauge seems like a serious problem. I also read that people had trouble getting gauge for this project. I don't wonder why.

You did an amazing job, especially considering what you were up against.