Ok, I know I'm making a funny face in this picture, but look how good the sweater looks!
This is my fastest-ever sweater, I think. It's knit from Needful Yarn's Super, which is an extrafine merino similar to Karabella Aurora Bulky (Super's a tiny bit thicker and more stringy in texture), which I bought over a year ago. I originally bought this to knit a different sweater, but I've since forgotten what the original sweater was supposed to be. On Thursday last week I was looking through my pile of sweaters and decided that I simply didn't have enough handknit pullovers (I have plenty of cardigans), so I decided to focus my attention on creating some, quickly.
So I went into the good old stash closet and rediscovered this yarn. I flipped through some books and picked out an idea, did a too-small swatch (I was going for speed, remember?), and cast on for the back. Well, after about 3" of knitting, I got that nagging feeling that it was too narrow. Whipped out that tape measure (aren't you proud I was able to find it when I needed it? and that I stopped to measure?) and confirmed that yes, it was too narrow, my gauge tightened up in the cable pattern. So I tried that piece around my neck and found that it would be the right size for a mock turtleneck . . . and poof! That sweater back became the beginning of a top-down raglan pullover done in the round.
Now, I've said it before and I'll stick by my opinion that raglans aren't the most flattering shape on me. I have narrow shoulders and a bigger bust, the diagonal line just makes me look even narrower on top and even wider at the bust. . . BUT, this happens to be one of the easiest shapes to knit while flying by the seat of your pants. And I happened to be in the mood to knit by the seat of my pants. I threw the same cable pattern at the wrists, reversing the cables (you all know I like my symmetry), but decided not to do the cable at the waist because I'd rather not draw attention to that area, you know?
By Monday night, I had a complete sweater! I even wove in the ends and everything, which we all know is really rare. So yay, one more sweater in the sweater pile! And it only took 5 days!
Here's a detail shot of the neck that used to be a sweater back:
I enjoyed this cable and may have to do it again as a larger panel somewhere. I really like this color, it's somewhere between pumpkin orange and road-cone orange, and the yarn is very soft and smooth. The fit is great, since I tried it on as I knit, and the sleeves are the right length. I've been making longer sweaters lately so I wanted this one to be a bit on the cropped side for a change. This measures approximately 21" to the shoulder, you can see in the first picture that really, I can't get away with making sweaters any shorter than that unless I want to go for a 90's belly-button look (which I don't).
All in all, a very successful project, especially if you factor in my complete lack of planning. And, just for the record, I'm not advocating this method of knitting/designing a sweater. I usually am very obsessive in my calculations and swatches before I start knitting, so don't go thinking this is the norm!
And please, don't do this yourself unless you're willing to try it on several times as you go, rip out and reknit what doesn't work, and/or chuck the whole thing if it really doesn't work in the end. I was prepared for that the entire way, I swear!
Pattern: Made it up as I went along, not available
Yarn: 6 skeins Needful Yarns Super
Needles: US size 10.75
Started: December 22, 2005
Finished: December 26, 2005
By the way! I also finished something else on Monday night. Can you tell from this picture what that was?
Photos of that FO soon!