I decided to knit myself a red sweater to wear during Christmas around this time last year. I settled on Wendy Bernard's "Favorite Cardigan" from her book Custom Knits. I picked Knit Picks' Andean Silk in cranberry red and got started right after the yarn arrived in the mail. The problems began immediately when I couldn't get gauge. Even though the yarn is advertised 4.5 - 5 stitches per inch, it is more like 5.5 - 6 stitches per inch. Okay, I'll adjust and simply knit a bigger size on slightly bigger needles. I knit until right before it gets divided for the sleeves and realized the big cables running down the fronts looked small and silly because of the size of the yarn. Sigh. Not wanting to waste the yarn, I began looking for another pattern.
One of the neatest things about Ravelry.com is the ability to search for sweater designs for specific yarn thicknesses. And that is how I settled on "Hope", which is a pattern from an Australian magazine. I got gauge and began knitting the small. It was looking really nice, but when I was able to try it on a few rows after I divided for the sleeves, it was too big. Aaaaarg!!! Again I frogged it and stared over, this time using the XS. I didn't have any other problems but decided while knitting the sleeves that I preferred them long to 3/4 as per the pattern. I did use an alpaca, wool and silk blend after all. Why be warm only down to my forearms? Problem was, the color cranberry was backordered until May! It was way past Christmas by this point, and even winter for that matter.
If you've read through that saga, you now know why this took me a year to complete. And why my knitting year has not been going so smoothly, as I've previously blogged about. But no matter, it is now finished and I LOVE IT! It's the prettiest thing I've ever knitted and is done in time for this winter and Christmas.
I learned several new and very neat techniques with this design, including the cable cast-on method and using short rows to make the back longer then the front. (Both learned about by watching U-tube instruction videos on the internet.) It is my first round-yoke sweater and first long sleeved FO also. This sweater is knit from the top down, including the button bands. It is a fantastic pattern without one mistake. I really enjoyed making it, despite my many setbacks.
Up next is the popular "Tree Jacket" from Zephyrstyle.com. I purchased this pattern at least a year ago and am finally getting around to it. I'll be using Tahki Yarns Truffles in cream, bought online from Webs. Hopefully it will arrive early this week. I'm itching to get started on a new knitting project.