Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Sweater

Last winter I enjoyed wearing this wool sweater around the house. It kept me warm. Truth be told, it was a little roomy, but oh so comfy.

I decided a cotton version would make a nice summer sweater. Something I could throw on if the air conditioning got too chilly, or on a cool summer evening. I wanted to make another top-down raglan, but I wanted the finished cardigan to not be so loose.

I read through the design sections of Wendy Bernard’s “Custom Knits”, and followed her formula for calculating the cast on. I decided I wanted a v-neck, and may have fudged a little on getting that started, but I figured the neck and front edging would help work ease out any jogs or width issues.

Years ago, when Lion Brand discontinued their Cotton-Ease yarn (it’s since been reintroduced), I bought up a bunch of it on clearance in two shades of blue. I picked the lighter shade, and decided that I wanted a textured stitch pattern. I didn’t see any in my stitch dictionaries that said “knit me”, but I saw something similar to this one in a photo. I charted out what I thought was an interesting texture, and knit a swatch. I even tried adding a spreckled blue coned yarn I had for extra interest, but it made the fabric too stiff. I wanted soft and drapey.

As I knit, and started shaping the neck opening, I added the new stitches to the stitch pattern right away, rather than wait until I had a full 8 stitch repeat. This still gives definition to the raglan seam lines, but does not make a jagged looking wedge of knitting.

At this point, I’m still shaping to the top of the sweater, and getting to the antsy stage. I know it’s not deep enough to cover the arms yet, but I don’t want to make too deep of an arm syce. Also, this stitch pattern is actually a ribbing variation, so its tendency is to pull in, making it look like the sweater will be way too small. It makes me not trust my calculations. I’m worried that my sweater won’t fit me, but a child instead. However, I’ve been stretching out little sections, like across the arm, and when I do that, it looks fine.
As today is the first day of summer, my hopes for finishing this sweater before fall are iffy. I’m still working on the first ball on yarn! That’s great, and means that I should have plenty of yarn to make this sweater with some left over. But it does mean I have a long way to go. And with so many other projects on the needles, I don’t want to see this one get put aside. Tonight I hope to finish the first ball of yarn, and do some measuring. So far, so good!

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