This is going to be a long post because I’m finally done!
The sweater is a variation on the Grayson pattern from Berroco’s Connoisseur Collection, vol. 1. I bought both the pattern and the yarn from a store in Providence in February, 2002. I’d decided that I wanted to learn to cable, and so decided to do it with a bang. The pattern was reasonably ugly but the best I could find in any of the pattern books, so I chopped about 8 inches of stockinette off the bottom, changed the sleeves, and didn’t use the contrasting yarn on the hems. The picture from the pattern book should give you an idea of where I started from:
I used Aurora 8 from Karabella because I loved the way it felt. It’s truly a gorgeous yarn to work with, though the sticker shock is still there for me 2.5 years later. I learned a ton while making this sweater:
- Bring a calculator with you to the yarn store. Divide the number of yards in the pattern by the number of yards in the ball, round to the next whole number, add one, then multiply by the price of the yarn. If the cost makes you want to die, find something else.
- Cables are actually really easy. Cabling without a cable needle is also really easy.
- Decrease at least two stitches in from the edge. (I didn’t do this on the back, and the difference is amazing.)
- Get a book. I finally broke down and bought Stitch N Bitch for help with all of the finishing, and I have been glued to the thing since. I never knew what I was missing.
- Get a group. Knitting with other people is wonderful.
I think that if I did the sweater again, I’d make two big changes. First, I’d make it narrower. I actually cut (with scissors, eek!) about 8 stitches off of each side of the back, then went and knotted up all the loose ends. Steeking may have been a better choice, but this appears to have worked. If I knit it again, I’d make the side pattern on the front and back only 6 stitches wide instead of 13. Also, in addition to changing the shape of the sleeves (the originals were too poofy), I added a little [p, k1below, p, k1below, p] racing stripe. I didn’t like that the body was so busy and the sleeves were just blank. While I like the way it turned out, I think the stripe should have been wider (and possibly included a cable?). On the whole though, not bad. Not bad a’tall. 🙂