Bang Out a Sweater is proving to be a sprint for many knitters. It’s almost unbelievable how fast everybody’s sweaters are coming together, and it’s only February 11.
I’m so committed to my knitting lifestyle that I don’t much care whether I finish anything or not, considering I will be knitting something pretty much every day until the end of time.
But wow! What a surprise to finish a pullover in less than a week. How cool.
I wove in the last ends, looked at my new Main Squeeze pullover, then put it on and wore it snipsnap just like that, no blocking or anything. I made clothing! Wow!
Tidbits and Notes
Things I noticed along the way:
Yarn substitution. The thing I wondered about the most, before I began, was how my yarn choice was going to turn out. I went with Studio Chunky, the merino from Neighborhood Fiber Co. that comes in Karida Collins’s delectable colors. It has turned out to be very beautiful.
The six plies of merino, worsted spun, make for a yarn unlike any I’ve used before. So smooth, a little dense. I’m told that all those plies and this spin will reduce the likelihood of pilling. I believe it—this is sturdy stuff.
Altering a pattern. The pullover version I made draws on notes from Cristina Shiffman, who modified the original Main Squeeze Cardigan pattern by Jen Geigley from Field Guide No. 12: Big Joy. This worked out great.
Working in the round. Cristina’s version is knit in the round rather than flat. The sand stitch pattern requires one row of knit/purl, alternating with a row of knit only. The thing is, when you knit this stitch pattern in the round, the knit row has to be worked in purl in order to read properly on the right side. I didn’t mind purling those rows (see paragraph 1: I KNIT ALL THE TIME WHO CARES WHAT IT IS), but Kay is working her Main Squeeze body inside out so that she can knit those rows. Very clever!
Omitting the ribbing at the bottom. I liked the simplicity of sand stitch all the way.
Yarn required. I used almost five skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Chunky to make the third size. I’d predicted four, so I’m not sure if my row gauge was off. At any rate, it was fun to end up with a sweater using only 570 meters of yarn. There is variation in color from skein to skein, so subtle that I didn’t notice it while I was knitting. But I am never bothered by this—if I wanted a perfectly uniform color, I’d go to the mall!
Ooky decreases. When I have another two days to make another one of these, I will pay more attention to the snugness of my decreases at the yoke. Frankly subpar, too loose. Must snug up! Ech! Let’s call it a design feature and move on.
Neckline. Really love Cristina’s modification to make the neckline eight rows of ribbing, with the raglan decreases on rows 6 and 8 so that the neckline is nice and flat.
Blocking. I did in fact block this sweater—a full soak with my Soak wool wash—and there was one hair-raising moment when I laid it out to dry and it appeared to have grown about half a foot in all directions. I know that superwash yarns tend to do this. But I didn’t really want this thing to grow half a foot, so I smoodged it back into the dimensions I wish it would be, left it alone, and sure enough: it dried back much closer to size. The sleeves grew an inch in length (a good thing for this sweater). The fit is still as good as when I tried it on before blocking. On my next one, I might just steam block it to minimize the drama of it all.
I’m OK with having unfinished objects all over the house. I don’t mind it when I give up on a project. But I have to say, it was ridiculously thrilling to make a sweater in a week. If you’re feeling like you can’t quite git r done, then give this Main Squeeze sweater a go. You may dazzle and amaze yourself, which is what knitting is all about.