Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Have a Sweater-shaped Object

Some folks on the Ravelry spinning boards have been known to refer to some antique store and estate sale spinning wheel find as "SWSOs," or spinning wheel-shaped objects -- in other words, something that looks like a spinning wheel but doesn't actually function. Well, today I have a sweater-shaped object on my hands. It looks like a sweater, but it's not quite done and thus not quite functional.

I finally finished the collar of my Quill sweater on Sunday afternoon. I won't lie: It took an inordinate amount of time to knit. It's five inches wide along the sides, which translated to 60 rows of knitting -- and that's after the short row shaping around the neck. Each row took me about 10 minutes to knit, so you can get the idea of just how long it took. That said, it was entirely worth it. As the designer put it, it feels like a big hug. I have a feeling this sweater will become my favorite once cold weather arrives again in the fall.

All that's left between me and a finished sweater is the final pocket, which I only had time to start yesterday (the first pocket was completed on Sunday evening). The pocket construction is really quite clever. You place waste yarn for the pocket placement as you're knitting the body, then remove it to uncover live stitches. The stitches on the top are worked to create a long flap, which is then joined to the bottom stitches with a three-needle bind off. Finally, you seam the sides of the pocket flap together to close it up. So easy but so brilliant, am I right?

This is the first time I've added pockets to a hand-knit sweater, and I must say that I rather like them. In hindsight, I might have made the pockets a bit wider so they'd better accommodate the width of my hand, but then again a smaller pocket will also prevent me from trying to put too much in it and keep me from stretching it out.

In addition to having the benefit of a new sweater, it'll be done before the end of the knitalong and it looks like it will use up most of the yarn, so a win for the stash as well. I'll have just three small balls of leftovers plus my swatches remaining, so really only enough to use as a stripe or two in a charity hat or as waste yarn for another project.

My pattern sample is at about the 75% mark, so that should be finished up in the next couple of days, leaving only the hat and mittens for Rainbow's teacher left to be completed. I have no concerns about getting those done, and I might even try to squeeze in a pair of socks by the end of the month (just some plain stockinette self-striping, nothing fancy, which I can do in the dark while putting Rainbow to bed, among other places). It looks like putting the pressure on has paid off this time around!

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