Monday, November 30, 2009

NaKniSweMo 2009: Completed

I did it!

I finished my February Fitted Pullover in time for NaKniSweMo. The knitting was done on November 24, it was put out to block on November 26 and final seaming was done November 29. See? One day to spare!

And you should not be surprised to hear that I wore it the very next much critical acclaim. (One friend declaring it "best ever.")

The fit is really nice; the wool is very warm but ok to wear every day because of the lace pattern.

I love the dark burgundy colour (even if it is difficult to photograph) and it will "play well" with the other things in my wardrobe.

I do need to find some shirts with 3/4 length sleeves to wear under it, but that'll just be a nice excuse to shop around for some clothing!

The lace is nice; the sleeve length is nice; the garter edging is nice; but I think the feature of the pattern that really sets it apart is the scoop neck:
Amy (the designer) did a great job of producing a very even and smooth scoop shape. You had to use a lot of markers (non-knitters, you can think of markers like bookmarks) around the neckline as you knit, but she made it clear as to what you had to do.

Here are a couple more shots that are a little over-exposed to show more of the lace detail:

As to modifications I wish I had made, I should have made it a touch longer before the waist shaping. I recall I went a little longer than the pattern called for, but it could have used more. Next time I wash/block it, I'll have to see if I can stretch it out a little more.

I'm also not terribly pleased with the waist shaping. The pattern removes a full lace repeat (7 stitches) on each side over the course of several rows. This allows you to cleanly continue the lace pattern as you knit about an inch even at the waist size. On paper, it's very elegant and appeals to the purist in me, but in practice it just didn't quite make it. Project Stats
: 1 Nov 09
Finished: 29 Nov 09
Pattern: February Fitted Pullover by Amy Herzog (free)
Materials: Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica (colour 54), 5 skeins $32.50

The shaping is quite sudden and comes out blocky. I'm not sure how I would fix it though...maybe take the same idea but just do the increases/decreases over more rows.

The thing about the construction that bothered me the most, however, is that the pattern instructs you to start working the left and right fronts and the back separately as soon as the neck shaping starts. This results in having to sew about an inch of the side seam together.

Ok, so this sounds minor, but it would have been so easy to continue to knit all of these pieces as one while shaping the right and left front neck edges and then working them separately when the armhole shaping begins. I'm still kicking myself (a little bit) for not reading ahead and seeing the problem sooner. If you're knitting in the round, you shouldn't have to sew side seams. That's the whole point.

But these are just little things I can't help but look at as I evaluate the project and try to learn things for next time. In all, this pullover is a breeze to make and a dream to wear.

As to the 50,000 stitch goal, I didn't make it. This pullover took 26,967 stitches. I knew it would be low (bulky yarn, small size, 3/4 length sleeves, and large open neck were all working against me) but chose to focus on the Knit a Sweater in a Month part of the challenge.

I have wondered about stitch counts on previous projects, but have never had the tenacity to actually keep track or even to estimate it. I have to tell you the Woven Cables Sweater I'm working on for Troy would have several times that many since it's knit with DK (much thinner) and is much larger. But need I say it? The more time I spend counting, the less I have for knitting.

For the really curious, I have included a chart of stitches done per day:

It was interesting to keep track, but unless there's some good reason I'll take knitting over counting any day.


  1. Your sweater looks awesome. I really love the color. And you wore it the day after it was complete. You rock! You are giving me inspiration not to give up on mine, and make it through the final stretch. I started my scoop neck today. Pretty soon I will join you at the finish line. I have Thanksgiving to thank for missing out on those last few productive days.

  2. Thanks, Shameka. Yours is looking good too. (Funny we both picked a red colour instead of the blue shown.) The scoop neck shouldn't take too long, but I *would* recommend blocking it! -christina


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