Knitting Blog: Still Knitting Sweaters
A new sweater came off of my needles and onto my back, and I’m happy to report that I was able to finish this one in early December, in time to actually be used this winter.
I started this sweater last summer when my vision was deteriorating day by day due to rapid onset cataracts. One day I could no longer knit socks because the stitches were too small for me to see well, and I needed a project using larger yarn on larger needles. I kept trying the sweater on as I knit it and it seemed awfully snug, but denial was on full display as I kept telling myself everything would be OK - “It will block out to size.” Ha! Those famous words have doomed many a knitting project to failure. After I had knit approximately half of the sleeves, denial no longer worked. They were so snug, I could see my skin through the stitches. So I ripped back half of a sweater to the beginning, and cast on again, this time two sizes larger to accommodate both a gauge discrepancy and my need for (literally) more breathing room because I had gained back a few pounds after I had started the project. It was worth starting all over again.
The pattern is Ysolda Teague’s Vivian, a pattern published in the Twist Collective’s Winter 2008 collection. I made a few changes, with the assistance of my brilliant daughter. I detest knitting zip-up cardigans, because I have never been able to install a zipper in a knitted garment and be happy with the result. Ana designed a 12-stitch plait that could divide in half and become a neckline edging, and I substituted the plait for the cardigan opening, converting the sweater design into a v-neck pullover. I also deep-sixed the hood in the original design, and modified the waist shaping in the back to account for the fact that I am shaped more like a tube than a wasp.
The yarn is Berroco’s Lustra, a soft single-ply yarn that is 50% wool, 50% tencel. Singles are known to pill easily and to skew, and this yarn needs to be knit into a densely textured sweater like this one to minimize both potential issues. The tencel makes the yarn very shiny. The color is labeled “Rust”, but I felt like I was knitting with molten copper.
Legacy: I have no one designated for this sweater, which is one of the most spectacular ones I have knit, if I do say so myself. I have visions of my relatives fighting over who gets it after I’m gone. My sneaky hope is that fit my daughter can wear it. It’s stretchy and her kind of color, and just maybe it will fit her.