Having successfully knit a sweater for myself with Customfit, I decided to knit one for someone else – a true challenge since I don’t have the recipient in front of me to confirm the knitting.
I’ve split my discussion of the project into two parts. Part 1 will cover the consultation, measuring and planning with Allison; Part 2 will cover the knitting and my adjustments and issues along the way.
In this case it was my cousin Allison, a curvy 20-something, and she was open to almost anything, but requested a pullover. She wanted a sweater in a taupe-brownish color, which turned out to be a rather daunting yarn challenge. We knitters like to knit with color. I finally chose a lovely brown from KnitPicks in their City Tweed DK called Chipmunk. After blocking the sweater is quite soft, next to the skin soft.
The swatch was a bit of a challenge, I kept having to go down in needle sizes to get a fabric that I liked. I finally chose size 3 needles for the body, and knit the inside of the hem and the edgings in size 2 needles.
I chose a close-fitting silhouette, because Allison works out a lot and should show off all that hard work; I also worried that the alpaca content of the yarn might drag down the sweater otherwise. Because this is the Bay Area, I chose a 3/4 sleeve, and initially, more of a shallow round neck (see what I did in the knitting in Part 2), a mid-lower hip length.
Getting measurements proved the real delay – I sent Allison the sheet of directions, but it didn’t happen until we rendezvoused at Thanksgiving where I took her into a bedroom and did the measuring. When the sleeve length seemed short to me, I asked here when she bought clothes, whether the sleeves were too long, about right, or too short. She said, “Too long.” Bingo! Even so, afterwards, I found myself 2nd guessing a couple of the measurements, which will show up in Part 2.
I knew that I wanted a little fun for me as the knitter in this project, so I decided to do a cable treatment. One sweater I knit a long time ago was the Radiance Cabled Jacket (rav link) which I love and still wear, and the cable in the pattern (which I mirrored in my own version) is lovely. On the front, I calculated to put the cables directly where the princess seaming would be, so that they would travel on top of her boobs, while on the back I put the cables (along with the slip stitch pattern) into the center of the back between the decrease/seam lines. This seemed like a more modern twist on the sweater, and still kept things simple. The sleeve cuffs and neckline treatment are a simple seed stitch, and the bottom of the sweater is a knitted hem to detract attention there.
So, with my needles, yarn, swatch and pattern, I was ready to go into the land of knitting