Thank you all so so so much for your wonderful, kind, and encouraging comments about my Ravelympics sweater. I was overwhelmed! And I was once again reminded of the warmth that exists in the knitblog community -- y'all sure know how to make a girl feel good about herself! Along the same lines, I also received a huge compliment two Fridays ago when Canary Knits featured me on her weekly Indie Designer Day segment. The article is here. It's taken me over a week to mention this here -- I get so shy about these sorts of things! -- but it was a huge honor for me, especially because Canary Knits herself is so amazing.
So...on to business. I already showed you this sweater, but I thought I would share the specs.
Pattern: Improvised for the Ravelympics
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft 4-ply, 7 balls of Weather
Needles: US 4 straights
Start to Finish: August 8-23, 2008 -- which earned me the following "medals"...
Notes: This sweater was made in 7 pieces; add the pleats and hems and that is a whole lot of seaming. The pleated panels were made by knitting a length 3 times longer than what I wanted to end up with, adding shaping based on some math, soaking in some H2O, and forming the pleats while the pieces were still wet. I then kept each individual pleat pinned down and sewed the panels to the front pieces, picking up multiple layers of knitting as needed. I then sewed down each pleat individually, picking up every other purl bump on the underside of the fabric, thusly:
Yes, this was a huge amount of work and it definitely could have been done more efficiently and easily. At a big meeting last week, one of my colleagues (a superior of mine and also a knitter), who had seen the sweater on Ravelry asked if I had employed a double-knitting technique to create the pleats. I was ashamed to admit my simple yet extremely complicated method -- truth is, I was going so fast with this sweater that I just did the first thing that popped into my head. Later in the day, during a break, she came running up to me. "I know how you could have done those pleats without seaming!" and suggested knitting a few rows, folding it down, then securing the pleat by knitting the top directly into the purl bumps of the corresponding row. If I were to do it all over again, that is what I'd do. I also loved knowing that I wasn't the only one day-dreaming about knitting during that extremely long meeting. :)
Because the sweater was knit in stockinette and I didn't have the foresight to add a vertical hem or figure something else out I sewed a ribbon to the inside of the front panels, just below the pleating, to keep it from rolling.
Another thing the picture above shows is how the yarn is starting to wear. I know I said I wasn't going to be able to wear this sweater because I'd be sick of it, but in actuality I have worn it 6 of the last 10 days. That officially makes this the most wearable sweater I have made to date. Thanks to Anthropologie for the inspiration! Anyway, this is where most of the wear is occurring. The rest of the sweater actually hasn't pilled too much, and I'm hoping I can use a sweater shaver to get rid of some of those flyaways.
A number of people have asked if I will be writing a pattern, and this flatters me to no end! I would absolutely love to write a pattern, but am worried I would do a terrible job. I would feel ok writing down what I did for my specific size, but really am not sure how one goes about resizing a sweater on paper. Adjusting for bust measurements would be fine, but what about arm circumference? Length? Sleeve cap depth? Does anyone know of any good resources for learning these things?
Another thing I'd like to learn -- how to purl! Geez, my purl rows are awful! Blocking helped, but really, my stockinette looks like it has stripes in it because my tension is so different on knit and purl rows.
Well, thank you again for all of your sweet comments. This really was a project of Olympic proportions for me, and I do feel like it was worth it!