February 7, 2006
This is my favorite sweater. Isn't it lovely? It's been a workhorse, surviving nearly weekly wearings and washings for three consecutive winters -- and until a few weeks ago it was still fit as a fiddle. But now it's starting to pill and fray and feel a little thin in spots. (It's surprising, really, that it held up this long -- after all, I paid less than $20 for it at H&M!)
I spent the weekend measuring and sketching this sweater and its pieces, because it is this sweater I will be attempting to recreate for the Knitting Olympics. Here's two things about my old faithful that surprised me:
- It has negative ease -- like four inches worth around the bust. I would never have guessed this, since I don't think of this as a particularly form-fitting sweater. I spent an inordinate amount of time tugging on the sweater to see how stretcy it was (very), and trying to decide if I should assume equal amounts of stretchiness from my own knitting. The juy's still out on this.
- It has waist shaping. It's subtle, but it's definitely there. The wear and tear on the sweater has made the stitches really blurry, so I had to do some guessing on the direction of the shaping in a couple of places ("is that an increase or a decrease?"). I'm pretty sure I got it right, but I might use the waist shaping from Mango as a model since the gauge is similar and I know it works.
When my yarn arrives, I'll swatch and test for stretchiness -- and then I'll get out the calculator and get down to business. And yes, I said when my yarn arrives. I got great input last week on possible cotton blends; that list will definitely come in handy for a long time to come. There were especially good recommendations on warm-weather cotton yarns like Cotton Plus and Lara. But when I made up a comparison list -- I didn't need a spreadsheet, but it was close! -- I kept coming back to the GGH Samoa in red (color #23 here). So that's what I ordered.
Here's the kicker -- I'm leaving for DC on Thursday afternoon. I've got a work thing all day Friday and we're spending the rest of the weekend with friends. I've been a bit bummed that this trip means I'll miss the Team Boston Opening Ceremonies shindig, not to mention the fact that I might not get very much "sit and knit" time during the crucial first 48 hours of the Olympics. Now, a new source of agita: my yarn hasn't arrived yet and I'm starting to have visions getting on that plane empty-handed on Thursday.
It's enough to give a girl nightmares, I tell you.
I think that you made the right choice! I'm so excited to see this sweater--I love it!
Negative ease, yeah, that's the way to go.
Posted by: Colleen at February 7, 2006 7:20 PM
That sweater is great! I can see why you want to copy it. You should write up the pattern so we can all wear your favorite sweater! :)
Posted by: alison at February 8, 2006 11:07 AM
Yikes, hope the yarn arrives in time!
Posted by: Wanda at February 9, 2006 8:36 AM