So, I finished Kris’s sweater. I finished it with time to spare before our 7th wedding anniversary.
All pretty in the close-up shots, right? not so much in the modeled shots… so, you don’t get to see those until I figure out how to fix it… I guess you could say that I am disappointed. Making the anniversary sweater is something I look forward to each year, and I want each one to be special and unique. This one felt special while I was knitting it: I liked the small linen-stitch detail and the wool was great to work with… but I guess I am not the biggest fan of the pattern. I felt that there were some details that the designer neglected to mention in the details and descriptions:
For one, the pattern never states that the pullover is elbow-length sleeves. The photo in the magazine (Interweave Knits, Winter 2008) is slightly deceiving because the model has shirt cuffs rolled out of the pullover, giving the impression that the sweater’s sleeves are pulled up. Once you look at the schematic, it is pretty clear that they are shorter sleeves (17 inches instead of the 21+ inches of an average man’s arms) but it would be nice if the pattern stated that somewhere, just in case people miss it or assume it is full-length… (I mean, it is not common to see short-sleeved men’s pullovers, so it is a fair assumption to make) Since I did notice the sleeve issue early, I knit my sleeves longer – I had enough yarn, so this was not a problem for me, but if you don’t know…
Secondly, the neckline. Since this pullover is knit from side to side, it is harder to envision the neckline as you are knitting because the garment is bunched up on the needles vertically. I got gauge and followed the pattern, but I ended up with a very wide boatneck. That was *before* I even blocked it. (Edited To Add: One of the other knitters on Ravelry mentions a possible mistake in the pattern for the neckline increases/decreases…) Once Kris tried it on, it looked like a woman’s boatneck top – and that is not what I was going for at all. With all the seaming done and garment blocked to proportion, the neckline looks even bigger. So, I am trying to figure out the best way to fix it. There is some room on each side of the neckline where I could seam in 1-inch without puckering the neckline… but I am not sure that 1″ is enough to help the overall look. Of course, I am willing to try it. Picking up stitches around the neckline would not look right with the stitch pattern and the existing edges, so I think that is not really an option.
He could relegate this sweater to his camping trip/hiking sweater, but it would be nice for it to get a little bit of face time too. The yarn is nice. The stitch details are nice. Hopefully with some little fixes, the fit will be better too. I don’t want a failure sweater on my hands (especially not the first of the year – and for Kris!) and I even considered ripping it and just figuring out another use for the yarn. Hmph.
I am not trying to blame the designer for the issues with this pattern – I realize that there could have been some “user error” involved here too (i.e. *me*). A few others have knit this sweater on Ravelry with relative ease, although others have noted the problems with the sleeve length and the neckline, so in that, I am definitely not alone… but theirs are also turning out to look better than mine!
I hope to come back with some good news (and a more positive attitude!) and nice photos to share after I do some more work on the pullover… stay tuned!