Saturday, January 17, 2015

Definitely not Grey: Wool-Aid Sweater 1

I finished the pink sweater I made to thumb my nose at all the grey I had been using, and it was a nice colour oasis in the winter dreary that's going on right now. Last time I mentioned it, I was just getting cast on. Progress went smoothly and I had it completed in about a month.

I liked the pattern and will probably use it again. I really like the collar and it fits perfectly with the Wool-Aid guidelines: the neck opening is wide enough to allow almost any size head to get through it easily and the collar fits close enough around the neck for warmth.
The only change I made besides working it flat instead of in the round was to keep the centre front stitches live when I divided it to work around the neck opening. Casting off those stitches can leave a tight section that doesn't stretch and causes unsightly puckers.
You can see that I left the stitches on a stitch holder. When the collar was knit, I overlapped the bottom edges of the right and left sides and Kitchenered them to the live stitches. It didn't work out exactly stitch for stitch, but I think you can see in the second picture above that it came out pretty well.

You may recall that I knit the body of the sweater from a provisional cast on in case I didn't have enough yarn. I figured I could always knit the cuffs in a contrasting colour. But I did have enough.
The last thing I knit was the sleeve cuffs, doing them two at a time to make sure I wouldn't run out on the second sleeve. As I was working them, it became obvious that I would have enough and then I started to wonder if I could have made it a little bigger, or a little longer in the body. But I let it go.

After I finished seaming, I was very happy to have as much left over as I did. I had forgotten (or not anticipated) how much yarn it takes to sew a sweater together! At the end I had 6 grams left out of 350. Close enough for me!

Something I tried for the first time was to Kitchener the shoulder seam. Mattress stitch works very well for side seams where the direction of the knitting is parallel to the seam, but not as well for shoulder seams. I didn't Kitchener the live stitches, however, because the shoulder seam needs to be a structural element of the garment. If you don't have a cast off edge, the weight of the sleeves can pull the sweater out of shape and even affect how the neck fits. So I cast off as normal, and then Kitchenered the front and back together using the stitches of the last rows and ignoring the cast off edge.
I think it came out well! (Can you even see the seam there? It's a little bit thicker.)

I have friends with daughters about the right age and the girls were willing to model the sweater for me to get some pictures.

The older sister was very professional:

Her younger sister, not so much:

I had a lot of fun taking the pictures (when I was fast enough)!

It was also fun to see older sister trying to get younger sister to "pose nice":

Not going to happen!! :)

The girls are a few years apart and although the fit of the sweater was very different on each of them, I was glad to see that it will work for a variety of ages. I'll be sending it to Wool-Aid and so I don't know who will be getting it. I think with this sweater and a couple socks I haven't shown yet, I have enough to send in. They're preparing a shipment for Syrian refugees right now and the need is great.

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