Finished Object: Snoqualmie Sweater

I got my hair trimmed today, so it seemed like a good day for some pics of my finished Snoqualmie sweater!

(Except that I don’t have a good mirror for finished object selfies. Making my own clothes would be easier with a full-length mirror…) I was OBSESSED with this project while it was on the needles–it’s pretty much the only thing I did in August.

I’m quite happy with the final results–I added pockets, as well as a little bit of length, so it’s even more coat-like than the original. I’m not sure how much wear I will get out of this–it’s just too warm for me in Vancouver–but I am so in love with it, I don’t care.

I’ve actually been leaving it draped over a chair in the living room, so that I can admire it like an objet d’art.

I’m super happy with the fit across the bust and hips. I knit mine with less ease than recommended by the pattern, and the closer fit through the body works well for me. The arms, however… ended up long. I think the problem is that the armscyes are too deep. I’m not sure if this is something I screwed up, or if the pattern is written with too much length through the armholes. This is actually the first set-in sleeve sweater I have made; the armscye depth is something I will pay more attention to next time.

I actually knit the collar twice… At first I cast off the back of neck according to the pattern instructions (“bind off by knitting 2 stitches together out of every 4 stitches over cables”), and once the whole thing was seamed up, I found that the sweater had a tendency to slide down my arms. The shoulders/ back neck felt very loose, resulting in a sloppy-looking sweater. So I actually ripped out the collar and the back neck bind off, and then bound off by knitting 2 stitches together out of every 3 stitches instead. This cinched up the back neck, and vastly improved the fit of the whole sweater. Definitely worth re-knitting the collar to achieve this.

I had debated using some cool antler buttons, but decided that the sweater needed something larger, with contrast, in order to really look finished.

This was a very satisfying project! I’m currently working on an improv henley using recycled yarn, but the newly released (and maybe a little less warm) Charley is calling my name… Really into this style of sweater right now.

Full project deets on Ravelry.

Finished Object: Improv #1

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And… clocking in at just under four months of knitting, my (first) #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 Improv sweater is now done! I couldn’t be happier. It does have some quirks, like those not-quite-100%-symmetrical pockets, but I refuse to let my perfectionist tendencies destroy my pleasure in this accomplishment. (I’ll… revisit those pockets someday, haha.)

There is so much to love here: a snug (perhaps even a little sexy?) fit (#sweaterpuppies); the splash of pink in the pockets; the firm and crunchy but not itchy fabric; the graceful curve of the collar. Now that this sweater is done, it reminds me a lot of my beloved Stanny–the texture of the Jamieson & Smith wool, and the feel of the knit fabric, is highly reminiscent. Except that this Improv is so much cuter!

When first planning this sweater, I considered copying this cute pink sweater worn by Chelsea Peretti as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine:

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But as I thought more about what I really needed in my wardrobe, I realized that what I should knit was a new-and-improved copy of a grey Joe Fresh sweater in my closet that I had worn to death.

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I wanted a better fit, long sleeves, and a sturdier, less pill-y fabric, and I think I achieved all of my goals. But I also didn’t want to lose sight of Gina’s no-fucks-given-endlessly-confident attitude, hence the little pink pockets.

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And so, as Gina would say: “Oh dang!

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One little detail I particularly love is my decision to do split hems on the sleeves as well as on the body. I am constantly pushing my sleeves up, and having that little notch on the cuffs means that they look nicely fitted when the sweater is pulled down to my wrists, but there is plenty of space for my forearms when I push the sleeves up.

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And… I am SO PROUD of how well my rolled and sewn down collar turned out. It looks perfect on the outside–and perfect on the inside! I just love how the cast-off edge of the collar snugs up so neatly against the little ridge that was created when I picked up the collar stitches.

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So good! Such a success!

And I loved using KT’s Improv tutorial to make this sweater happen. It is full of excellent advice and techniques… Right now I have a little bit of a “my knitting is forever changed after this” feeling, having learned so much about fit and construction.

My project details can be found here on Ravelry.

And… I am still working on my second Improv sweater. It is, at the moment, less than perfect. In retrospect, the long silhouette of my inspiration doesn’t suit my body type, and my planned sweater doesn’t fit into my wardrobe all that well. So there will be some frogging, and on-the-fly re-planning, but I’m sure I’ll get something wearable out of it. (At least, that’s what I’m telling my internal perfectionist accomplishment monster…)