Monday, July 2, 2007

Res Completa: Hourglass Sweater

Pattern: Hourglass Sweater, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: 7.5 skeins of Classic Elite Skye Tweed in Paisley Pink
Needles: 30" US6 aluminum circular needle, stolen from my grandma; Susan Bates US6 dpns for the sleeves
Start to Finish: June 8-28, 2007 (torn out and restarted on June 11; three days at the end for really June 11-25.)

Modifications: First of all, I used Skye Tweed instead of the called-for Cash Iroha, and the difference in gauge forced me to recalculate the whole pattern. As a sweater done fully in the round with raglan sleeves, the recalculation was not difficult. I simply cast on the required number of stitches to get the right size, and followed the shaping directions almost exactly (I needed to add a little length, but that was it). I did, however, completely redesign the sleeves for a tighter fit and more flare at the cuff. Read about it here. I also did a few extra decreases at the neckline to avoid what everyone in knitblogland is calling the "Flashdance Effect" and in retrospect wish I had done a few more.

Notes: I had been wanting to make this sweater since it caught my eye on Elliphantom Knits in January, and the final product does not disappoint! It's a well-designed sweater with a simple shape that is great for showing off a favorite yarn with a little texture. Again I will say that I loved using Skye Tweed (I really wish I could coerce my camera into picking up the true color), and after washing, it became extremely soft. As I said above, the neck is a little wide and I wish I had done a few more decrease rows (I did five more than the pattern called for). I did try it on several times to attempt to get it just the right size, but I think the fact that I left it on my circular needle instead of putting it on waste yarn made it seem a little tighter than it actually was. (Note to self: Don't try on a garment when it's still on the needle). However, I don't think it's that bad and it makes it a little different from the other sweaters I own.

I would highly recommend this pattern for a "first sweater" project, or to anyone who is looking for a relaxing knit (that is, of course, if you get your gauge right, unlike me). Good times!

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