Monday, March 10, 2008

...And Make it Snappy!

Oh, wait, it's already done? Well, that was quick.

Yes, the Comfy Winter Turtleneck is finished. It's based on a pattern from Knitting Simple Sweaters from Luxurious Yarns, by Marilyn Saitz Cohen, and knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, on US size 11 (8mm) needles.

As usual, however, I made a few changes. The original pattern was for an oversized, stockinette-stitch turtleneck. For starters, I often don't look my best in a big, loose sweater, so I knit it one size smaller, for a more fitted look. Even so, with only 750 meters of yarn on hand, it was going to be touch and go.

The limited yarn quantity also inspired me to change the neckline from the original big fold-over turtleneck to a more streamlined mock turtleneck.

The cable and rib pattern I added down the front, though? That was just for fun. :) I'm really pleased with the way it came out. I think the proportions are just right.

The whole thing went ridiculously quickly. It really only took a little over two weeks. And that's in spite of the usual quotient of minor misadventures and re-knitting. I started it about a week before the end of February, got the second sleeve done on Saturday, and devoted yesterday to the neck and finishing.

I'm always surprised by how many loose ends there are to darn in. In a solid-colored sweater with only 10 skeins of yarn, even with two ends to each skein, you wouldn't think there would be all that many ends. But then there were a few skeins with knots that had to be cut out, so that made a few more. And each strand of yarn used for seaming? Two more ends.

Even when I got up this morning and donned the sweater to wear to work, what did I see peeking out? One more little end. I think these things breed in the dark. But I just got after it with my darning needle, and wear it I did.

I'm very happy with this sweater. It looks quite nice on, trim and attractive, especially considering the bulky yarn! It's stretchy and comfortable. The mock turtleneck really came out as more of an overgrown crewneck. When I found I actually had a liiiiitttle bit of yarn left over, I did think about picking out the cast-off edge to knit on another inch or so. But I decided against that; it looks relaxed and wearable as it is. I think it will layer well with other raised necklines or look good on its own.

I'm not so sure I'll use the Cashmerino yarn again. The color is beautiful and rich (closer to how it looks in this photo), and the yarn has a lovely feel to the touch. But it's heavy. Not just heavy, HEA-VY. The sweater weighs over two pounds. The weight of the yarn works fine with this pattern, but would give some designs a tendency to droop. And as I've seen some others mention before, it's starting to fuzz up almost immediately. I've worn it just once and have already found a pill or two where it rubs under the arms. We'll just call it bloom, shall we, and hope that picking off the odd pill now and then will keep it looking neat.

But on the whole, this is a sweater I'm enjoying already. Dressed up or dressed down, I'll be wearing it a lot, as long as the cool weather holds out. And it's certainly served its purpose of being a palate cleanser of scrumptious color between projects in natural sheep-y beiges and browns.

Just think of it as a delicious little spoonful of sherbet.


Bess said...

Gal!?! You are one swift knitter. My goodness that is a lovely thing. But 2 weeks? Whew!

I love the way casmarino feels. One of these days I'll finish the sleeping one I have started somewhere.

Thanks for the compliment about the shetland - it caught me by surprise when I made that wee sample. Had no idea it would spin so nicely.

Knittin' Diva said...

I positively lllooovvveee that sweater! The cable up the middle is gorgeous!

Amy said...

Holy moly, what a fast trip to a gorgeous sweater!

(And thanks for posting the info about the yarn--I love the others in that line, but always wondered whether the larger ones would be too heavy to wear.)

Torhild Reidardatter said...

Good work. That is a winner. I like it.
I am also tagging you with a meme.. the rules is on my blog under todays post: tagging, if you want to play along, if not thats fine too.