Monday, March 02, 2009

My Climbing Vines

I have a finished sweater, and it fits!

Pattern: Climbing Vines Pullover (Ravelry link) by Joelle Meier Rioux, Interweave Knits winter 2008
Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran Tweed (85% merino, 10% silk, 5% cashmere), colorway 130/Lavender, approximately 8.75 skeins
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm) Knit Picks Options
Started/Completed: February 7/February 27
Mods: added two extra inches in length to the sleeves to make them full length; added an extra inch of ribbing to the neck

This sweater was a true experiment. I went down a needle size and still didn't get gauge but determined that going down two needle sizes would have resulted in a stiff fabric. So I measured my swatch, did a few calculations, and figured out that knitting the 34 1/2" size should end up in a sweater to fit the measurements of the 38" size, which is what I wanted. As you can see, it did work out in the end, and the sweater fits just as I wanted it to, but I had to make a couple of adjustments.

Because I had fewer stitches per inch and fewer rows per inch, I ran into some difficulties when working the top part of the front. I had to work more rows to reach the desired length for the front, meaning I was further along in the lace panel than I would have been had I gotten gauge, so I had to fudge the neckline shaping. Then, the sections of the front on either side of the neck were narrower than they should have been -- the sweater was actually falling off my shoulders when I tried it on before picking up for the neckband -- so I added some more length to that ribbing to compensate.

I only realized midway through the sleeves that, as written, they would only be about 3/4 length. I didn't want shorter sleeves for this particular sweater, so I added an additional two inches or so of length to make them full length.

Finishing this sweater was much easier than I was expecting, and, in fact, I finished seaming everything in one evening. The sleeves in particular were the easiest I've ever set in. I picked up less stitches for the neckband than called for because of my gauge issues; I just made sure I had a multiple of four that filled the space adequately and went with it.

As to the yarn, I quite liked working with it, although I did encounter a fair amount of VM. I do love the rustic, nubby look it has, and after wearing this sweater all day on Saturday, I can attest to its warmth. My 10 skeins were enough to knit the entire sweater, including two gauge swatches, with enough left over for a hat or maybe a pair of fingerless mitts.

The Mister has declared this my Best Sweater Yet, and I'm inclined to agree with him. I got many compliments on it throughout the day from knitters and nonknitters alike, including one you might recognize:


  1. Love it, way to modify!

  2. it's beautiful - it looks perfect on you! funny enough, i was just looking at this pattern today, i think now i'll definitely make it!

  3. It's lovely! How do you knit a sweater so fast? I did manage to finish my FLS (not posted yet) on Saturday, but that took me a long time to knit. I'm now trying to tackle my hourglass sweater and get that finished.

    Great work. I just love seeing your creations and you're braver than I with all the modifications.

  4. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Looks great! I'm working with the DK weight of this yarn and was surprised by the amount of VM, but agree with you on its look and texture.

  5. It looks wonderful - such a flattering fit!

  6. Great job! How cool you got to show it off to Franklin Habit :-)

  7. It's fabulous! Great job modding, it's a great fit and looks terrific on you!

  8. It's truly gorgeous! And I am glad you wore it for the signing!

    (Glad also that your pic turned out -- I was worried it wouldn't!)

  9. Fantastic sweater, and even greater that you changed it so much with the gauge. I see that you know a witty knitter too, Franklin looks as though he approves of the sweater as well.

  10. Anonymous9:15 AM

    sarah, it looks FABULOUS!! you should be very proud of it!

  11. Anonymous1:39 PM

    It looks incredible on you, Sarah! I only hope that some day I can 'make alterations' to a sweater to make it fit. You are an expert! Yep...I recognize THAT celebrity! How exciting.

  12. Anonymous1:50 PM

    The sweater is awesome and looks fantastic on you! Great picture of you and Franklin.

  13. Looks good. Nicely done!

  14. Great fit!! Your vines came out perfect! :o)

  15. Anonymous12:43 AM

    HAH!!!!! I finally know what you look like! You're so pretty! and a damn fast knitter. And you know my dear, I will always hate you for that. :)

    Great looking sweater though. Good job!

  16. I am constantly amazed by how fast you finish projects! This sweater came out beautifully, and what a great color choice!

  17. Popin' over from PGH Craft Collective! I love your blog and your sweater! Someday I hoe to knit sweaters - I'm a bit wet behind the ears. :)

  18. Such a gorgeous color on you, this truly is a stupendous sweater:)

  19. Anonymous10:22 AM

    I'm a little late with my oooos and ahhhhs, but better late than never :-)
    Gorgeous pullover Sarah! I really like the changes you made esp. that nice wide edging on the neck - sometimes everything just works out perfectly and it looks like it did for you!!