After finishing my first knitting project following a pattern surely my goal of hand knitted sweater and cardi goodness was a step nearer? I'm pleased to say that it was. I have now even conquered the giddy heights of an Andi Satterland pattern but for now I give you my first hand knitted sweater. Here are the pictures taken today.
I used the January Cropped Sweater pattern from Tara Miller. It's a free pattern and I made the medium. I used the recommended yarn, King Cole Magnum lightweight chunky, 75% acrylic, 25% wool.
I learned so much making this sweater. The pattern unfortunately had loads of errors (with stitch counts being wrong and the like) so I had to re-write the numbers on most of it.
The pattern recommends 8 mm needles for the neckline and body. I used 6.5 mm needles for the neckline (as well as for all the ribbing as the pattern recommends). It's a top down sweater so you start with the neckline. My rookie errors are laughable now. I tried to cast on and knit the neckline on a 21 inch circular needle. Not surprisingly I didn't get very far. After a lot of swearing and frustration I posted a question on Ravelry. The only solution I could think of was buying double pointed needles.
I got a few responses from Ravelry members, such as knitting the neckline flat and seaming it later. A few posts in one lady nonchalantly suggested I look at the travelling loop or magic loop methods. Magic what? Well that lovely lady saved my sanity. A couple of You Tube videos later my project was saved! I am also a magic loop convert and have used the method over double pointed needles for sleeves ever since.
This sweater knitted up really fast, despite all the errors in the pattern and thinking time that went with it. I cast on on 8 March 2014 and it was finished and blocked by 29 March 2014.
I love the sweater and despite the problems with the pattern I think it was a good pattern for a beginner. The bias detail on the sleeves made the project interesting. The bind off for the body recommended Jenny's surprisingly stretch bind off. I love the method. As the name suggests, it really is stretchy, perfect for a sweater. I liked it so much that I used it for the sleeves. I don't think it was a great idea for the sleeves. My wrists are small, the sleeves are a tad big, so I didn't really need a stretchy bind off. It has added an interesting fluted detail to the sleeves. If I were to make the sweater again I would make the arms narrower and use a normal bind off.
My knitting addiction continues. I have just finished a cardigan and I am currently knitting the Myrna from Andi Satterland. The only downside is that my sewing is suffering. I can only sew at the weekends and it has been hard tearing myself away from the knitting.
I hope I can get photos of my second sweater soon.
See you soon.