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Starting the Year with a Sweater

Alright, so I tried to get a witty, funny entry to this post, but it will not come.

So I’ll just start jabbering, like I do most of the time anyway. 😉

In the last few blogposts, I have shown you some pictures of a new sweater I started in January. One of my resolutions for 2016 is that I want to use up the sweater quantities of yarn that I have and knit them up into – well, sweaters. Or cardigans. I want to make at least two, and finish my Amiga cardigan as well (I am determined to have it done by the end of February. Really).

Iron-Wrought Cables 01

Since I am always a bit er, hesitant to try out new things, I grabbed the opportunity by the tail when I got sorted into Ravenclaw House in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC, I still explain it, sorry). As in the books, you can “sit” for an OWL in every class – starting in your first term. All the classes have different goals – you have to represent the planets and stars in Astronomy, knit extensive lace charts for Charms, knit something multicoloured for Potions, etc., etc.

I opted for an OWL in Muggle Studies, which means that I have to knit a long-sleeved, adult-sized sweater within two to three months.

The choice fell pretty quickly on the Sandhurst Jumper, a beautiful freebie by Artesano Yarns (they have quite a few. Worth clicking on that link).

Sandhurst Swatch 001
Extensive swatching followed. The pattern tells you to get a gauge of 20sts and 26 rows to 10cm (4″), but of course, I won’t get gauge, and so I ended up with

  • 18,6 sts and 30,1 rows (4,0mm needle, as requested by pattern)
  • 19,16 sts and 30,43 rows (3,5mm needle)
  • 20,26 sts and 32,3 rows (3,0mm needle)

Just to be clear, we’re talking DK weight yarn here. My panic rose when I got some actual measurements of my body and realised that a 90 cm bust would be 3 cm to small, unless I chose to wear the sweater without a bra and top underneath (totally the best option for work. Ever).

A call for help in the Tower (the Ravenclaw group) and the incredible help of my fellow ‘claws (I’m talking the talk already), I set off with a 3,5mm needle and the knowledge that I would have to do some adjustements according to the rows.

At first, it went pretty well.

Iron-Wrought Cables 01

I managed to do a decent Provisional Cast On, using a second cable needle instead of scrap yarn (I have no idea who came up with this, but: Thank you. You’re a genius!), and I used a lifeline after every single cable repeat.

Iron-Wrought Cables 02

I succeded in knitting evenly enough so that the finished cable band looked fine

Iron-Wrought Cables 04

and even managed to get a somewhat decend join of both ends for the back.

Iron-Wrought Cables 03

Picking up the stitches was a bit of a drag – you slip the edge stitches on the right and the left in every RS row, so picking up 264 sts when I only had 320 sts to pick up from was a bit of a drag. In the end, another fellow ‘claw took pity on me and posted this excellent link to a post from TECHknitting about how to pick up stitches and using backward loops for almost invisible increases (thanks again!). Going all EZ-style here …

Since my  calculations (or rather: Our calculations; Philipp helped me) told me that the neck would be shorter than the original pattern (due to my smaller row gauge), we somehow calculated that I was missing to rows and spread these evenly among the “decrease one stitch per pattern repeat / knit 1 round” section, so that I knit two plain rows instead of one in round 2, 6, 10 … You get the idea.

Irown-Wrought Cables 05

And so I ended up with this today. Well,  “last night” would be more accurate, because I tried the sweater on this afternoon – and it sagged. Horribly.

So rip it, rip it, rip it was what I did, and now I am re-knitting the neck decreases without the additional plain rounds and I see how that goes. I am not that mad, though – rather glad that I put the sweater on before finishing it and binding off and then having to discover that it didn’t fit.

I might have to do it again. But then, I’ll do additional rounds and knit with a 3,0mm needle.
We’re talking DK weight, after all.

 

Have a wonderful start into the week, my friends! Thank you so much for your patience and take care!

 

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5 thoughts on “Starting the Year with a Sweater

    • Teh-heh. It’s not that bad, actually. I don’t like working with big needles (which is why the Amiga still isn’t finished, I’m working on 5,5mms here), so this is okay. I sometimes freak out a bit (knitting Philipp’s hat the year before last in Aran weight on 3,5mm needles and still having to leave out one repeat was truly weird), but otherwise, I’m fine. I only hope I won’t have to reknit it with 3,0mm and then go down a needle size … 2,5mm would be really scary. :/

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