Friday, September 25, 2009

My Lil Black Sweater - Completed

I'm back with a second post for today. Still feeling a bit sick, but that won't stop me from posting a review.

This is my favorite sweater. Funny. I seem to say that to each and every new knitting project I complete. Seriously, I had a blast knitting up this cute little sweater. I would have been done sooner than the 2 weeks it took me. You know how it is when I have to spread my knitting time across several projects, do some housework, get in some computer time, and go to work.

Here is my latest and cutest project:

My Little Black Sweater in Vintage by Sirdar Denim Chunky

Name of Pattern:
Little Blue Sweater

Designed by:
Simona Merchant-Dest for Interweave Knits

Published in Interweave Knits, Fall 2008. Available online as a single pattern purchase.

Pattern/Garment Description:
Short sleeved sweater with scooped neckline. Eyelet and cable pattern in the body and sleeves. Long ribbing pattern from hip to midriff area and short ribbing at bottom of sleeves. Ribbing around the neckline.

Finished bust circumference: 30, 34-1/2, 39, 43-1/2, 48, and 53 inches

I made a size 34-1/2 inches.

Yarns Used:
Sirdar Denim Chunky (discontinued) in Vintage color. It's a black and charcoal heathered yarn. Beautiful. I used 3.5 skeins of yarn. Each skein has 171 yards.

This yarn is a cotton, wool, and acrylic blend. Machine washable and lay flat to dry.

17 sts/4 inches

I was right on gauge in pattern.

Knitting Tools Used:
- Circular needles: 40 inch in size 10 (for the K2/P2 ribbing @bottom and sleeves)
- Circular needles: 40 inch in size 10-1/2 (for the eyelet and cable pattern)
- Circular needles: 40 inch in size 9 (for picking up the neckline)
- Circular needles: 16 inch in size 9 (for knitting the neckline)
- Cable needle
- Bent tip tapestry needle (seams and weave in ends)

Techniques I used:
- Used long tail cast on
- C4B, C4F
- YO
- SSK, K2tog
- p1tbl on WS
- Mattress stitch for the seams
- Knit the neckline in the round
- BO in pattern

Used mattress stitch for the seams

Changes I Made to the Pattern:
- I omitted a few rows while knitting the sleeves. I wanted my sleeves to end above my elbows.
- Instead of picking up and knitting 100 stitches around the neckline, I picked up 88 stitches.

Knitted fewer rows in the sleeve, but still ended up with the correct measurement within the sleeve cap area. BTW, this is the true yarn color

What I Like About this Pattern:
I love the shape and design of this sweater as well as the scoop neckline.

I enjoyed knitting this beautiful sweater. The eyelet and cable pattern made the knitting an enjoyable experience. Knitting with bulky yarn made this a fast knitting project.

The eyelet and cable pattern

What I Dislike About this Pattern:
Nothing to dislike at all

My Pattern Rating (Beginner, Easy, Intermediate, Hard):
I rate this as Intermediate. There's a lot going on with this sweater.

Conclusion/Additional Comments:
What can I say? This was a fun knit. Love the pattern, love the yarn I used. Perfect match. That's what made this project an enjoyable knitting experience. This is what knitting is all about.

Too bad this yarn has been discontinued. This is one of my favorite yarns. I ended up buying some other colors (on sale) for future projects. This yarn is machine washable and lay flat to dry. I wouldn't put this through the dryer as the results are horrible.

Personally, the only problem area I encountered was knitting the front armholes and neckline at the same time. I made sure I had a block of knitting time (peace and quiet) in order to do the BOs and decreases. I did end up writing out parts of the instructions. I'm getting pretty good at "reading" my stitches and not relying on my "counter" or my "tick marks".

When I finished sewing the seams, I tried on the garment. I noticed that the neckline was wide and loose. I could barely keep the sweater on my shoulders. Gut instinct told me I needed to make some adjustments on the fly. I used my 40" size 9 needles and picked up 88 of the 100 required stitches. I did one row of K2/P2 in the round and then switched to my 16" size 9 needles. Yes, that's what I did. Even though, my 40 inch needle fit around the neckline, I wanted to be sure that the neckline would not stretch out or become wavy while knitting. It was a bit tight knitting and purling 88 stitches on 16 inch needles, but it worked.

Picking up less stitches around the neckline, guaranteed that I would have a neat and close fitting neckline

This pattern is a winner! I love the design of this garment, the neckline shape, and the eyelet and cable pattern. I plan on using this neckline for other future garments. It's not too low and not too high on my neck.

This is definitely a TNT pattern for me.

I really do need to put more padding in the back of SusieQ


Rachel said...

That is absolutely gorgeous!!! May I ask why you picked up 88 stitches around the neck instead of 100? I am still a new knitter and am just interested in learning why.

2BSewing: said...

Hi Rachel...When I tried on the garment (before finishing the neckline), I noticed the neckline was big and loose. The sweater kept dropping off my shoulders. I knew I would have to pick up less stitches and also, I decided to use a smaller needle to make sure the neckline would lay flat. I've learned to pick up less stitches from previous experience. I would say 80% of the time, I don't follow the pattern's number of stitches. Personal preference and it depends on the yarn and neckline shape.

BTW...great question. ;)

Trina said...

A great FO - you did an awesome job of the neckline, Scoop necks are my favourite!