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February 7, 2006

Pre-Olympic Butterflies

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Posted by shannon at February 7, 2006 3:05 PM | For related posts: For Me!, Olympic Knitting


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