Dude, I made a sweater. I! I Have Knit! A Sweater! *gestures emphatically*
No, seriously. I know people make sweaters all the time, but I used to be that girl who gaped at those people knitting sweaters and said, “I’m amazed that you can do that. I can never make a sweater.” I’m a small knitting girl. Well, I guess I should say, up until now I’ve been a small knitting girl. Mittens and hats and little scarves-skinny or short, never long and wide. One skein projects. Quick knitting fixes. Immediate gratification. And even these small projects would take me quite a long time, because I’d knit on them every so often and do other things in the meantime. I never thought I could tackle a sweater. A multiple skein, large scale project.
But I did. I don’t know what inspired me to want to do this, but I committed to the February Lady Sweater. And people, I think this was a kind of challenging first sweater pattern. At least, for someone who has never knit lace. Or buttonholes. Or tried to divide 38 eyelet increased into 207 stitches. I mean, now that I’m at the end of it, I’d say the difficulty of it was only 5 or 6 out of 10. I think I chose it not only because it’s super cute, but because a ton of people have knit it and I felt like there would be lots of resource for me to glean from if I had trouble. But all that lace? Holy canoli.
I feel like my trials and tribulations in the process were many, but I learned a ton in the knitting of this pretty lady. I knit the yoke in a few weeks in October, and then got totally stuck at the transition to the lace, for reasons that I’ve mentioned before, and let it sit for a few months. I picked it back up in January and broke through the wall and knit the first lace that I’ve ever knit. And lace isn’t really that hard, it’s just hard to make a mistake in and go back. Threading lifelines every so often was key for me. There’s still a mistake in it that I opted to embrace rather than go back 20 rows and fix, and oh well, it’s handmade, right? The lace totally kept it interesting, I will say that. It’s knit in Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, which I really loved working with. It’s got a little bit of a gray heather to it, which I think makes the blue-green color not so overwhelming. I was a little worried after reading that it grows alot after it’s knit, but it worked to my advantage, because I like a bit of a longer sweater, and it stretched nicely when I blocked it.
My original goal was to finish this by the end of February, since it’s the February Lady Sweater. When I started it last year I felt like that was a reasonable goal, but when I picked it back up in January, I wasn’t so sure and I just hoped I’d finish it before it got too warm to wear it. When I finished the body during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, though, I started to think maybe I could make it. I figured I could get alot of knitting done while sort of watching skiing and snowboarding and curling, so I set a new goal to finish those sleeves by the end of the closing ceremonies. And when I got that first sleeve done a week after I started it I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I cast on the second sleeve on Saturday morning and had myself a
little big ol’ knitting marathon this weekend and finished it on Sunday night.
I totally knocked that finish date goal out of the house. And I love this sweater.