January 23, 2009

Knitting Inspiration

Filed under: Knitting — maryparadox @ 10:33 pm

I started getting interested in knitting a couple of years ago and since then have slowly been teaching myself how through books, the internet, and trial and error (read: torture). I’ve never taken a class or even asked anyone any questions, either because I’m too stubborn or because I just didn’t have the opportunity. Because of this I’ve progressed rather slowly, but I really enjoy all of the things that I’ve accomplished.

I recently met two girls that knit also, and they invited me to join them in a knitting project — to knit the pattern the “Central Park Hoodie”:

Central Park Hoodie

Central Park Hoodie

I’m not in love with this pattern, but I was really excited by the opportunity to work with other people. Also I recently saw this hint of a sweater on Sweet Sassafras’s blog and became really inspired to recreate it (or how I imagine the rest of it looks):

Grey Plush Cardigan

Grey Plush Cardigan

In my imagination the cardigan would be made out of bulky alpaca or cashmere, but since I’m stingy, at least on a first iteration of a pattern, I am making it out of wool. In order to go from the Central Park Hoodie to my Imagination Hoodie I am making the following changes to the pattern:

  • All reverse stockinette stitch (except for the cables).
  • Increase stitches on the front, just outside the cables, starting around where the arms split off. This will give more overlap of the ribbing around the neck and make the hood deeper.
  • Make the hood less pointed.
  • Do only the middle cable on the back.
  • Do only one cable on each side of the front – the same cable that is on the back.
  • Take this double-wide cable up onto the hood, like the original pattern.
  • Make ribbing on the sleeves longer.
  • Make the hoody longer?
  • Add waist shaping.
  • Possibly add pockets.
  • Work all-in-one-piece as much as possible.

Sounds like a lot, huh? I figured that I’d be in trouble after only a couple of inches, which is what normally happens when I try to “follow” a pattern. I start making modifications and in the end have to re-knit the damn thing four times until it’s (almost) perfect.

But, surprisingly, that doesn’t seem to be happening this time. This is my first bottom-up sweater (normally I start at the neck and work down), and so far things are going splendidly! Here’s what I have so far:


The front.


The back.

The ribbing is the bottom of the sweater and will go around my hips — and it won’t pull in when I’m done because I’ll stretch it out when I wash it. You can see the waist shaping really clearly — I love how thick this sweater is, it really holds its shape. Hopefully it will be soft enough, the problem with cheap yarn is that it tends to be scratchy. I’m hoping with a couple washings and possibly some fabric softener it will be okay (though obviously never as great as alpaca or cashmere!) Eventually there will be a ribbed button-band between the two front cables (and of course sleeves and a hood).


A close-up of the front cables, and more true to color -- sort of half way between gray and brown.

I started the project before syncing up with the other girls because I was afraid that I would be slower since I’m making modifications (and am therefore likely to make a mistake and have to re-knit parts). I was also planning on taking this to the Ukraine with me on my next work trip — except that it was canceled because I hurt my arm (that’s a whole other blog posting). Now I’m afraid that I’m too far ahead — I wanted to be part of a group, not a show-off!

I’ll post the cardigan again when it is further along, and give an update on what it’s like to do a group project!


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