Finished Project: SFO-PDX-NYC Travel Sweater
Just a heads up before we begin – I’ve broken this sweater’s story into two posts. This is the “proper finished object post” with all the technical bits & pieces (material, needles, pattern, intended alterations, etc.) And I’ll post the travel story portion in a day or two. Because trying to combine the two stories was giving me a headache and also an incredibly long read.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a finished object to write about. It seems that the last piece I wrote about was my Second Archer Button Up Shirt.
Though the last thing I actually finished was my black and white crochet cardigan – that got swept up in a packing frenzy the moment I finished the seaming – so unfortunately no photos & no post until I get a chance to unpack it from my storage unit.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I guess I have finished a tank top, plus a million and a half swatches – both of which my brain seems to dismiss as not “real” finished objects – though they clearly are…
But the point being – I finished my well-traveled sweater!!!
This is the sweater I started knitting in San Francisco, and knit throughout the rest of my time on the west coast. I ended up finishing the body of the sweater a couple days after I landed back in NYC, and finished adding extra length to the body the other day.
Yarn: 2 cones of Ito’s Shio, a 100% wool laceweight yarn, in colorway Navy.
This yarn is absolutely lovely, it’s got an amazing drape and a wonderful structure – the yarn is actually two thinner strands run alongside each other with the vaguest suggestion of a twist added.
Each cone comes with about 525 yards. So with only 1,050 yards total, I knew there was a possibility I’d need a third cone. But Imagiknit only had two cones in stock, so I got them and figured I’d deal with the impending game of yarn chicken later.
Which turned out to be alright, because I only needed the original two cones. I needed every last yard on those cones – but I only needed two.
Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) Addi 40″ circulars
I didn’t take any needles with me when I flew west – since I didn’t know exactly what knitting project I would be starting.
If I had been at home, I probably would have knit this sweater on US 5 (3.75mm) needles (because of the whole potentially not having enough yarn thing), but I ended up using US 4s (3.5mm) partly because they would help fill out my set of Addie fixed circular needles when I got back home.
And they ended up being perfect for this project – I think the US 5s would have ended up being a touch big.
Final Gauge: 8 stitches/inch; 10 rows/inch
Pattern & Planned Alterations
I used my go to top down raglan sweater recipe, with a bit of short row shaping at the back of the neck.
Though I miscalculated the original cast on number (sad panda), made a neckline that was far too wide, and had to go back to fix it.
I seem to have a tendency of knitting sweaters out of quantities of yarn that might not quite actually be sweater quantities of yarn – which leads to a fair number of instances where I “knit far enough on one body part, then change to another body part, and then go back to finish the first.”
There were a handful of those instances with this sweater. First I knit the body, then I started one sleeve, and went back to the yoke. Then I finished the first sleeve, and finished the second sleeve, before undoing the bind off on the body, and added a couple inches of length to it.
And next (because I still have a smidge of yarn left) I want to undo the current decrease bind off at the neckline, and replace it with an I-cord bind off.
What Went Well
The fabric – I absolutely love sweater fabric that is created with lace weight yarn and a slightly larger than traditional needle. Usually for this sort of lace weight yarn I would have used a US 1 (2.5 mm) or US 2 (2.75 mm) needle, which would have also created an amazing fabric. But I would have definitely needed a third (and maybe fourth) cone of yarn. It’s the structure of this yarn – that two stranded very loose ply – that works so hard to create the drape.
What I’d Do Differently
First. I think if I were to re-knit this sweater, I would have distributed my sleeve decreases, and hip increases farther apart. As the sweater currently stands the sleeves are a little formfitting, and the hips flair out just a bit more than I usually like. I don’t think they’re worth going back and re-knitting, just minor annoyances.
Second. This isn’t really something I’d do differently, but it is information I want to tuck away for my next sweater project. I think I vastly prefer the fit of yoked sweaters to raglan sweaters. I think I just prefer the way they fit my frame.
Again, certainly not worth re-knitting for but definitely something to tuck away in the back of my mind (mostly so that the next time I plan a raglan sweater – someone can point me back to this post…)
Remember – the travel story is still to come.
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