Looking for the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day post? It’s here.
National Knit A Sweater Month 2009. Something to do in November for those of us who can’t write fiction (or take photos).
I thought that I’d try it again this year. I had made abortive attempts in the past (like that Rogue that got to the hood, but never any further), but this year was different. I needed the sanity-inducing (or distraction causing) scope of a Big Knitting Project. I had a number of ideas floating my in my head and in my queue, and I started with Thermal in a green sport weight yarn I bought at NHSW a few years ago. By using sport instead of fingering weight called for by the pattern my gauge was off enough that I basically had to rewrite it. That turned out to be to much of a hassle (and too much math) for me to deal with in the midst of the craziness that has been my life. So I frogged it.
I managed to score 10 balls of Patons Classic Wool when it was on sale at Michaels, and that yarn matched what was needed for the February Fitted Pullover. It was fate. 10 balls of yarn for $25? And a gorgeous free pattern? I cast on for that sweater on November 15. Sure, I can knit a whole sweater in 15 days. And do Thanksgiving. Of course I can. Why are you looking at me in that funny way?
So I started knitting. The pattern is very easy to follow, and the lace was dead simple. TV knitting until I came to the shaping, but even then, not that difficult. I tweaked it a bit to work for me, but that’s not surprising. I made it longer in the body, increased the sleeves at the elbows for a fuller upper arm, and raised the neckline.
I had the body done by Black Friday. I spent the day at home knitting and recovering from three Thanksgivings the day before (two dinners and one breakfast). The sleeves were the trickiest bits, with the fitting and re-fitting, but I ended up doing M for the lower arms and the L for the upper arms, and did I mention that I went for full sleeves not 3/4 sleeves?
The neckline went smoothly, until the end. It’s 1130 pm on Noveber 30, and I’m thinking I can do this. I can finish this. I have 3 more rows to knit on the neckline, sew up the side seam, and insert the sleeves. I can do it—.5h to go. No problem. There’s nothing in the rules that says the sweater has to be blocked and dry by the 30th, just finished knitting. Maybe I can get away with not sewing in the sleeves. As long as all the knitting’s done, right?
Then my needle breaks.
I’d been using my Bryspun 32″ US5/3.75mm circs, my favorite needles, for the body (I’d been purling the straight rows with 2.5mm circs to correct my gauge, but they don’t count, my sweater was knit on those Bryspuns). The point snapped off one of the ends about 2″ down, leaving a jagged plastic stub connected to the cord. Thank the knitting gods that I was on the garter stitch section and not doing lace. I took this as a sign to stop knitting and go to bed. Probably a good idea. I wasn’t going to complete the sweater during November. I could live with that.
So I got up early the next morning and finished it. I had about 15 minutes of knitting and sewing and then I washed and blocked it. The blocking scared me because the sweater grew. Exponentially. I thought I’d messed up my gauge, because even though our relationship has improved tremendously, math is still not my friend. So I threw the sweater in the dryer for 30 min. It’s ok, because my new apartment has a front-load dryer that has more computing power than my desktop. I was able to set it for delicates, extra low heat and about three other things. It felted the wool the teeniest bit, and stopped the exponential growth. And it helped dry it enough so that I could wear it today.
Even if I didn’t finish it in the month of November, finishing a sweater in 17 days is still an accomplishment.
- Pattern: February Fitted Pullover by Amy Herzog
- Size: 36″/Medium. Increased to Large for upper arm and sleeve caps.
- Yarn: Patons Classic wool in Old Gold, color 00204 (total cost $12.50)
- Needles: 32″ US5/3.75 Bryspun circs (RIP), 40″ US1/2.5mm for purl rows when worked flat.
- Worked garter stitch rows for 10 rounds
- Added 2″ to body lenght
- Full length sleeves (11″ to elbow, 18″ to sleeve cap shaping), made larger sleeves Knit in pattern for 11″. Increase from M to L sleeves using this formula:
1)@start of round (one lace repeat): k2, yo, (k1, yo,)x3, k2 (11 sts), work in established lace pattern to end of round.
2)Knit one round
3)k2, yo, k4, yo, k3, yo, k2 (14 sts), work in work in established lace pattern to end of round. 7 sts/one lace repeat increased.