In which I achieve both Olympic Gold and Stashalong Failure

Sorry to send so many of you off to get your eyes checked – I was really excited to have finished (including some steam blocking) and wanted to share but didn’t have time to goof around with the timer and all. Thanks for all your kinds words!

Here’s the sweater in action. (Ignore my red eyes. Me fixing red-eye results in eyes that look like bottomless pits. Trust me that the red-eye is better.)

Besides providing evidence of Chaos’ evil nature (the glow! the glow!), it should also give you a better idea of what a big cat he is. (He’s not fat, either.) This monster can handily fish things off the counter when he stands on his hind legs. But I digress. Back to the sweater…

It’s not easy to take a good photo of a black sweater that’s 50% silk – very reflective. What you can see in the picture below is that there were definite color differences between the skeins. It’s much less pronounced when I’m wearing it (and not being photographed). I didn’t knit from two skeins at once because that’s just such a drag to do when knitting in the round.

Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn: Brooks Fiber Farm Four Play (50 silk/50 wool)

Modifications: As part of my training, I gathered advice from others who had knit the sweater (let us pause and give thanks for Google). Based on my research, I added some short rows to the back of the neck and am very pleased with the results – no sweater strangulation. I also decreased the size of the neck opening. I’m not a fan of bell sleeves, so I completely redid the sleeves. Finally, since I hate sewing (and with tips from Jeanne), I picked up and knitted in the hems and the neck – which meant that this sweater required very little finishing.

Thoughts on the Result: I love this sweater! I already wore it to work today. Circular swatch notwithstanding, my gauge on the body was a little loose while my gauge on the sleeves was a little tight (my average gauge was perfect!). My sweater fits more loosely than many other Hourglass Sweaters I’ve seen, but I think it’s still very flattering.

Thoughts on the Knitting Olympic Experience: If I planned and prepped for all my major projects like I did for this one, I’m sure I’d have a lot more knitting success stories. I was also very surprised at how quickly I knit this. Had I truly applied myself, I would’ve been done last weekend. Because I apparently don’t have a good grasp of my knitting speed and skill, I didn’t select a sufficiently challenging project. That said, I think I’d rather be in the “pleasantly surprised” boat than in the “oh oh, I think we’re sinking!” boat.

If you’re wondering what those blobs are at the bottom of the picture… That’s my leftover yarn. I originally had five skeins. I purchased two extra skeins, just in case… and I so didn’t need them. Of the seven skeins, I have three full skeins remaining (plus that little bit on the right). So, just to finish off my Stashalong aspirations in fine fashion, I headed over and joined the Rockin’ Socks Club. Sorry, Kim

“Dang it, you really messed up my fur during that photoshoot! It’ll take me hours to get it just right. I can understand how yarn led you astray. Happens to me all the time.”