Monday, December 27, 2010

Foggy Blizzard

Whew!! It's been awhile since I've posted to the blog. Life has begun to spiral into new directions and my focus has shifted a bit. It's all good stuff, and I am really optimistic on 2011. But this is a knitting blog, so for now I'll stick to the knitting. ;)

So. I made a sweater for my husband! My project notes indicate I started this the end of May and finished it up about a month ago. Today, post blizzard snow shoveling we got a few pics and I can finally tell you about it.

Papa Hemingway aka Jose

This is the Fog Sweater, designed by Tiennie and knit up in Cascade Eco Wool. Knitting this last summer was nearly impossible between the wrist pain and the terrible heat, so it was put aside for a couple of months. But once the weather cooled down I got back into it.

There's not much to say about knitting 1x1 rib that hasn't already been said. It gets a bit tedious and knitting something this big, in the round, it gets heavy and bulky once you put a few inches into the project. But it's mindless enough and can be done in a half coma at the end of a long work day.

The sleeves needed some attention as the first version ended up way too bulky - the pattern had me increase to something like 124 stitches around which seemed really huge and long, if following the pattern, increasing every 4th row. I got as far as 120 stitches and attached one sleeve. When Jose tried it on, I could see there was way too much fabric under the arms and it was seriously over bulky. So I ripped it back and settled on 110 stitches, with an 8 row sleeve cap. You can see there's still a good amount of bulk under the arms, but it's acceptable.

Jose with Lola

The next issue was the neck/collar. I tried a folded collar, but that ended up looking silly - like he was wearing a deep sea diver suit but missing the huge bubble helmet. So I ripped that out and started over, with the folded turtleneck, as written in the pattern, more or less. I still think it's a bit too wide, but making any other adjustment would require re-writing the pattern and doing some decreases in the neckline/shoulder area and really I wanted to move on to new projects, so this is it.

Foggy Good Collar

Now, if I were going to make this again, in addition to reworking the pattern for a narrower neck opening, I would also knit in a few short rows across the back. Because it has a tendency to ride up just a bit. Not that Jose notices, but I see it. In fact, I had to tug the sweater down a bit before taking this shot.

Back of Foggy

Cascade Eco Wool is favored by many knitters, but I found it a bit rough to work with, and had to stop frequently to moisturize my hands. Does that happen to you? The nerves in my hands have become ultra sensitive and working with certain yarns can be hard on them. That's not to say I will shun the yarn completely, because it is a wonderful value and does work up nice once it's blocked out.

Now here is the most important thing I can say about this project: the sweater is well worn and loved, and this is immensely pleasing. I had fears he would find excuses to not wear it, but that hasn't happened. This is a sweater guy, no doubt about it. Some guys aren't - they wear button down shirts and jackets but no sweaters. I don't get it but I don't have to worry about it, since that's not my world. He sort of can't get enough of the hand knits. A double edged sword. Because no sooner do I finish a huge project like this, when the pressure starts for the next one! Sweet!

Rockin the inner Hemingway