Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Knit Wit

How could my camera run out of juice just as I was putting together the Kristin's Book of First Sweater Photos??? Is there no justice???!

Fortunately, I managed to get the following shots before it all went south:

Admit it, that proto-Inuit knit closure is genius! I got it at Lettuce Knit for 25 bucks. Handmade! And because I had one extra ball of yarn to return (they take your extras back, peeps?!), the price was only $14.00 for me...

Not the most artful shot of the back but it's the only one I have. Trust me when I say it fits very nicely.

I grafted the centre back neck. To y'all who don't knit (i.e. me three weeks ago) that means I took 2 rows of "live" stitches and knit them together with a thick sewing needle from stitch holder. It was kooky but not very scary. Also, those are my mattress stitched seams. They may look like crap to advanced knitters, but to me they are a thing of beauty :-)

Another gratuitous shot...

And another still, that proves I'm working on those Jalie jeans (see left background)...

Here's that grafted back neck area from the right side. It's totally neat and aligned in real life. In this shot it looks a little wonky.

And here's the sleeve. Took me 3 hours to do each sleeve as I invisibly mattress stitched the front and back shoulders - much harder than it sounds in light of all the decreased stitches I was working around. At the top of the shoulder, I matched the horizontal shoulder sleeve to the vertical body sleeve. That was a trip.

I am very happy with this first effort but it's not perfect. For starters, the sleeves are too long and there ain't no way I'm going back in to fix them! Also, as I suspected it would be, the wool is thicker than my preference. I can tell I'm going to be a fingering weight knitter (despite the time involved in working with very delicate, slim wool). It hasn't felted, and it's very soft and luxe, but I do find it a bit fluffy for my liking.

What you can't tell, since the camera conked before I could take a shot of me in the sweater, is that it fits (sleeves notwithstanding) perfectly. In my opinion, good fit obfuscates a myriad of other challenges. And the fit, my friends, is fine.

I'd like to thank all of the wonderful knitters and sewist/knitters in the beautiful blog community who supported me through this adventure. You have been invaluably helpful and I am so appreciative.

I'm waiting on the yellow wool to start the Jan Sweater. Till then, I've got some jeans to keep me busy.


  1. Good for you! I like your choice of Inuit closure too . . .

  2. You must be a strong contender for most impressive first knitting project! What a beautiful job you've done -- I know what you mean about the thickness of the wool. It's hard to turn from my Club Monaco fine cashmere grandpa cardi to something I've knit in worsted. Still, as you say, there's fingering. And teeny-tiny 2.75 needles. And time, lots of time. . . .
    But that's in the future. For now, toast your stellar achievement. Yay, you!

  3. Miss C: Thank you! In truth, I don't think the Inuits had anything to do with the closure. I just like to say that cuz it sounds exotic.

    F: Thank you!! It is weird to wear something so sturdy. But I actually found it very cozy. My next project is done in size 2 and 3 needles. Hmmm. I realize that's kind of crazy. But I want fine gauge. I'm so pleased you like it, given your status as expert knitter!

  4. Beautiful! Love the colour. And I prefer that closure to the band.

    It's worsted weight yarn? It'll be great for the fall.

    Short row shoulder shaping
    I don't know why I didn't think of showing you this sooner. Now you know for next time!

  5. Wow, I'm truly impressed that you tackled a sweater for your first project. The finished product is beautiful. Bravo!

  6. Raven: Merci! You know, given our spring, it's just the right amount of cozy, but in fall I know it will really hit the spot. And thank you so much for that link. Will check it out tonight...

    Audi: Awww, thank you!!!

  7. This is just stunning. I bet it's fabulously flattering on. The clasp is amazing!

  8. Wow! It is GORGEOUS. The clasp is perfection. If this is what you can achieve with your first knitting project I stand in awe of your awesomeness.

    I see those jeans back there!

  9. Wow! This looks so good, I doubt anyone would suspect it's a first effort.

    You're inspiring me to try knitting again, and to pick something I really love, with a wool I really love, and to just be patient, carpal tunnel and all.

    Hope to see a picture of you in it soon.


  10. I am truly in awe: what an AMAZING achievement! You, as a creative (and determined!) person, ROCK!!! I'd like to say you inspire me, but I can tell I'm not even in the same league ... But, you do inspire!

  11. Congratulations! what a great first sweater! Your seams look fantastic and I can't believe you use Kitchener stitch (grafting) on your first sweater. This is about 3000 times nicer looking than my first sweater, well done.
    (and thank you for the nice comments on my blog, I blushed)

  12. Fabulous job. When you jump in, you jump in.

  13. Well, I've always said that even a beginner should make what they love, that the inspiration and the desire will fuel the learning. And here you are, the poster woman for that attitude.

    I think this must be one of the most awesome first projects also, both in beauty and in time to completion. I agree that I am probably heading more to finer weights in terms of sweaters, but I also have a collection of heavier yarns to use, so I am not abandoning them least not as long as I still live in a drafty castle (ie. mid-century modern house) on a windy cliff.

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

  14. That looks fantastic! I've had my eye on that pattern for a while, but wasn't sure about the obi-esque belt. The pin is such a chic solution.

  15. Wow, truly gorgeous, K! Well done indeed!

  16. You are my hero! Wow, you did a STUNNING job!!!! Congrats! I can't wait to see your future projects!

  17. Sewn: I do feel it's flattering - which I'm so pleased about because it sure was a lot of work :-)

    Susan: Don't mention the jeans!! They are taunting me at this point and I have this work thing to do this weekend so I have no idea how to fit it all in...

    Wendy and Gail: Thank you!

    Christine: Go on and try it again! You can go slow and take stretch breaks. I had to take a lot of stretch breaks...

    C'est Chic: Thank you! You are far to kind. Seriously. And I'm sure, if I can do it, so can you. I am not a crafter by pedigree. I just stick with it. Give it a go. I promise you'll be thrilled with what you can accomplish.

    Farah: Thank you! Wasn't that insane to do the Kitchener stitch?? :-) I just had to try it. And it was a very small section.

    Myrna: Thank you! I hear you on the jumping in. It's a bit intense. But hey, I have a sweater :-)

    Mardel: Thank you so much! As you are a very accomplished knitter that is quite a compliment. I think working on something you want to do is the key to getting through serious learning curves. I really wanted this sweater. So I had to keep on through all the iffy moments.

    Jane: You know, as soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I was going to get one of those pins. Secretly, I've always wanted one and this was the perfect excuse!

    Sally: Thank you! It's not quite your fair isle, but I'll get there someday :-)

    Victoria: Thank you! It's because of the philosophy you espouse, about putting in the time to develop the skill, that I push through when things get rough...

  18. It turned out great! I'm so impressed that this is your first project!

    Also: there are several weights of yarn in between fingering and worsted... I recommend trying DK or Sport. They're quite light but will speed things up significantly!

  19. Kim: Thank you!

    Ms. M: I'm totally going to have to look into those wools. Are they 4 ply? Gonna check.

  20. I'm not actually sure! Ravelry can probably tell you (although word to the wise: check the yarn description and not necessarily the Ravelry category. The category will be named with a certain number of plys but that's not always the case for every yarn within that weight category. If that makes sense?)

  21. Ms. M: I'll keep that in mind - I'll be sure to look at the description.

  22. I don't know, looks pretty perfect to me :D