knitpicking

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Haley

haley - side view

pattern: Haley, from Berroco pattern book #220
yarn: 8 balls Berroco Pleasure (66% angora, 29% merino wool, 5% nylon / 130 yds per 50g ball) in rich blue (#8631)
needles: Denises size 10.5
gauge: 16 sts x 24 rows / 4"
date finished: October 15, 2005

My first long sleeve sweater is done, and I could not be more pleased! (Get it? Pleased? Because I used Pleasure? Har. Har. Har.)

I noticed this pattern many many months ago, and instantly fell in love with both the sweater and the description of the yarn. But at its original price, I could only dream. Then, as seems to happen with many nice yarns, Pleasure was discontinued. And then, Webs offered it at a very heavy discount (over 50% off, before their additional 20% discount!) and I started fantasizing about this sweater again. Before I knew it, 10 balls of blue angora and a pattern book were at my doorstep! I couldn't wait to get started... but, there were many moments of hesitation along the way.

  1. I didn't like the way the model was posed in the original picture. I've learned to be skeptical of photos that aren't taken straight on, because who knows what could be hiding? The picture is certainly clear enough, but I got worried about her crossed arms, and I also couldn't imagine what the back of the sweater would have to look like to get the wrap effect.
  2. After looking over the pattern a few times and deciding that there shouldn't be anything weird going on where she had her arms crossed, I noticed the labelled difficulty level: "ultra-experienced." Looking back, I can only imagine that it got that label because of the confusing construction, and possibly because of the short rows used on the wrap... the knitting itself was fairly straightforward, and mostly stockinette.
  3. The pattern specifically said it should be made with no ease, but the smallest size was for a 34.5" bust, and I have a 32" bust. Lots of math ensued.
  4. The shaping of the body seemed strange to me... the original shape called for knitting straight until the waist, and then decreasing up to the bust. I felt like that would just hang off my torso and lower back, so I changed it to more typical waist shaping with decreases followed by increases. Yet more math.
  5. I had to make 3 gauge swatches to get gauge on this, first with 10.5s, then 11s, and then again on the 10.5s but a little more loosely. I've gotta get myself some 10.75s, I think. On the plus side, when I did finally get the correct gauge, both my stitch and row gauge were dead on.
  6. The front and back are different sizes on this sweater - the front is a little wider than the back. I (thought I) started with the back, got up to the armholes, and realized that I had cast on too many stitches from the beginning! Luckily, I had managed to start with exactly the number needed for the front, so I continued with that and didn't have to frog.


Here's a straight-on view:

haley, from the front

And from the back (it doesn't really ride up like that, I just forgot to adjust before the picture):

haley, from the back

The result of my mom taking pictures (ie, you see more of me and less of the sweater):

haley again

Lying flat, sort of (most accurate color in this pic, I think):

haley lying flat

And some seam closeups:

back top (shoulders & wrap)
side
left armhole front

I am soooo happy with how this turned out! The fit is perfect (you might think that the sleeves look long, but I tend to like sleeves that come up to my knuckles, so these are just right) and all the pieces came together very well. I'd knit a few tanktops and short-sleeve sweaters before, but this was my first long-sleeve sweater, and I learned a very important lesson: knitting sleeves sucks. I was cursing them the whole way through. Just miles and miles of boring stockinette, and they keep getting wider as you go... eventually you become convined that you will be knitting sleeves forever. If I hadn't been so eager to finish the sweater, they'd probably still be sitting half-completed on the couch.

But I had the loveliness of the yarn to keep me going... oh, the yarn. It knits up at 4 sts/in but it is far from chunky or bulky. In fact, it makes a very light, airy fabric... though at the same time, it's incredibly warm. This sweater almost has a built-in scarf, and even with the temperature dropping here in Massachusetts, it hasn't been cold enough to wear it yet! The yarn is amazingly soft, and because of the woven texture and the bit of nylon, it feels very durable (which I've heard isn't true of other angora yarn). It's fairly fuzzy and has a tendency to shed, so I'm not sure how it would display more complicated stitch patterns, but I think it's perfectly suited for all this stockinette. I've been spending a decent amount of time trying to find another pattern that I could use this yarn with, to justify buying another bag from Webs. ;) (Oh - one thing worth mentioning - I did find more knots than I'm used to. Five or 6 balls had one knot each, and one ball had 2. I'd complain if the yarn weren't discontinued, but eh, what can you do?)

see all project photos

Up next: finished mittens!

8 Comments:

  • It's beautiful!! Congratulations. No wonder you're so happy. :) Mm, I'm dreaming of angora wrapped 'round me now... --Ceci

    By Blogger Ceci, at 11:45 PM  

  • That sweater looks AMAZING on you! Oh...Pleasure...you know how I feel about that yarn. Like you, I'm thinking about buying a bag just to save for that perfect sweater pattern.

    Amy

    By Blogger amylovie, at 7:50 AM  

  • That looks just lovely. And cozy too! Woo-hoo for sweaters! q

    By Blogger Jane, at 10:41 AM  

  • great job on the sweater--it looks wonderful and fits you perfectly.

    I have a bag of light blue Pleasure (also from Webs!) that I'm dying to make into a sweater. I just need to find the right pattern.

    By Blogger Laura, at 11:49 AM  

  • I love that! It looks great on you, especially the color.

    By Blogger Jennifa, at 1:50 AM  

  • What a gorgeous sweater! I can just imagine how soft and comfy it is with that yarn... yummy... I love the collar. Well done!

    By Blogger goodkarma, at 11:33 AM  

  • Super job...well done! It looks great on you!

    By Anonymous Roxanne, at 11:47 AM  

  • great job! It looks great on you!

    By Blogger mf, at 10:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home