The other day I found myself without any mindless knitting close at hand, and after digging around in the projects pulled up my nearly finished Bubble Pullover. I had sewn it together, knit the bottom band, and then mysteriously put it away lacking for only a neckband. Now it looks like this:
Funny how little work it takes to get almost done with a project if you put it away 99% finished anyway!
Unfortunately, this is about the least useful item I could be working on right now . . . after a few days that reached almost 100 degrees, the weather settled down into the seasonable 80's, which is still WAY too hot for a cashmere pullover. It's a good thing sweaters keep until the winter!
I actually already bought buttons which match the color of the sweater almost perfectly, so all that remains to be done now is weave in the ends, block, and sew on the buttons. I plan to wet block the finished sweater both to soften the yarn up even more (it's really amazing what some shampoo and conditioner does for cashmere, you should try it sometime!) and to hopefully block the body a bit wider than it currently is -- the strange shape of the armholes means that they're a little uncomfortable as they sit right now, but adding about 1" of ease should hopefully fix that right up by moving the armholes out from the shoulders a bit. I'm also planning to block the bottom rib a bit looser, because even though this is a "bubble" shaped sweater I don't really like the look of the ribbing being skin-tight around my hips.
Of course in the meantime I had to start yet another mindless project . . . and it's actually another cashmere sweater! Knit in the round in stockinette so it's absolutely perfect mindless knitting, and this one is actually due next month, so it feels much less silly to be working on. Well, it's about as un-silly as knitting cashmere under the air conditioning unit is ever likely to get, anyway.
So I'm cheating a bit with this one, because it's been finished for a long time. But I never showed it off on the blog before! I managed to get Adam to pose for a picture under the condition that I wouldn't show his face. So yet another headless shot it is!
This sweater has been pretty well documented on the blog: I did some weird construction changes to it, and it went through surgery, so I feel like there isn't much left to say about it. I did have trouble with the neckline and I'm not entirely happy with the way it sits, I think a few more short rows would have done it some good and made it fit better. I also think the yoke is too wide, and that the whole thing is too long, but I'm not going back to change it! It definitely fits well enough for Adam to wear, and if I compare it to some of the first sweaters I knit for ME, this fits perfectly in comparison! If only I knew then what I know now . . .
Pattern: Cobblestone from Fall 2007 Interweave Knits
Yarn: 10 skeins Classic Elite Charmed, color 76724
Needles: US size 7
Started: August 2007
Finished: December 2007
I did it! I made myself weave in those ends even though I really can't see myself getting much wear out of this one now that spring is here. Mind you, I'm not complaining about Spring, don't get me wrong! I really am ridiculously excited for spring, actually. But my project timing kind of sucks, honestly.
I knit this sweater in about a week, sewed it up, and then got distracted. It took a month to make me weave in the ends and block it, but now it's done, and I love it!
Even though it looks pretty true to the original, I actually made lots of modifications on this one. Having seen many a Gathered Pullover on Ravelry (there are 363 of them in progress there as I type this), I had noticed an unfortunate side effect of that cable panel between the boobs: on several people's FOs, the panel fell too low between the girls, resulting in (for those of us who are well-endowed on top) was a general saggyness that clearly didn't reflect the person's body accurately. I, being an odd bra size and a total bra-freak because of it, knew there was no way I would wear a sweater that made it look like I forgot to put my bra on in the morning! So I had to address that problem before it cropped its ugly head.
I ended up starting the cable 1.5" higher than the pattern directs, which moved its center to about the height of the armholes. Which brought about an interesting challenge: the front was a good 4" narrower than the back at this point, because the cable pulls in A LOT. I, and I'm confident all women, am bigger in the front than the back (I happen to be significantly bigger in the front, actually). So I knew there was no way I would knit a sweater where the back was wider than the front. I ended up moving the armholes back, so that the front had 2" more stitches than the back, to make the width equal. This meant all kinds of changes had to happen to the armholes, so that the front armholes are shaped completely differently than the back ones.
Moving the cable up also meant I had to move the v-neck start up, which was fine with me. I also omitted that weird decrease/increase in the center of the cable because I knew I didn't want the sweater to pull tight over the girls (see, I told you I'm obsessed) and I couldn't see that it had any purpose whatsoever. In hindsight, I believe that row is meant to pull the cable pattern open more by distorting the neighboring stockinette . . . but I think you can see in the picture that the cable looks just fine without it.
I also changed the neckline decreases (had to since my v is shorter) and the neckline finishing. I tried to do the called-for edging but it looked dumb and made the v too shallow, so I went with one row of single crochet to finish the edge. Oh, I also added back neck shaping, although to be honest I didn't even read that part of the pattern since I knew I had to adapt it, so for all I know the pattern calls for it, too!
One modification I should have made but didn't was shortening the sleeves -- I can't explain why I didn't do it, since I knew they would be too long, but there you have it. They're too long. It's ok, I can roll them up like they are in the picture and it doesn't bother me one bit.
The yarn, Classic Elite Princess, is gorgeous by the way. It did grow a bit with blocking, so I would caution everyone to wash and block a swatch before they knit with it. I would absolutely knit with it again and am considering using it for a very big project I might take on after my wedding . . . and buying it from Webs makes it kind of a steal, so to me this is a win-win-win yarn. Soft, easy to knit, good stitch definition, amazing yardage, and not expensive! What's not to like?
I'm probably going to wear this sweater as a jacket this week, just so I can get some use out of it before summer hits! NYC springs are notoriously short, after all.
Pattern: Gathered Pullover from Winter 2007 Interweave Knits
Yarn: 7 skeins Classic Elite Princess, color 3403
Needles: US size 7
Started: March 24, 2008
Finished: April 27, 2008