After taking a break, I am solidly back to knitting my very first sweater: Flax Light.
It’s not so much that I had to walk off that first failed attempt but that as a scientist, I’m not accustomed to dealing with that many variables. I found out the hard way that things knit out of cotton grow as you knit them. I also discovered that the material of the needles you knit your cotton swatches with make a difference – yup, I knit my swatches on metal and I ended up using wooden needles on the project and at least for me, that altered results. And finally, as many of you savvy knitters out there warned me: Swatches lie. So despite my knitting up several with as much precision as my skill level allows, I knew I was only ended up with a guesstimate. The word feels as awful as the uncertainty in it.
So once I made peace with all the variables involved and the lack of any real control (What do you mean this sounds suspiciously like I’m talking about the state of the country where I live?), I picked up the needles and said: “You want to go crazy? Okay, let’s get crazy.”
According to my aggressive swatching, I needed a US#0 size needle to knit the ribbing of the sweater and a US#3 to knit the body. If I went with that, I could still go ahead and knit the sweater as Large. But this still doesn’t factor for any potential growth – I’m also not sure if there is a consistent factor by which cotton stretches and if there is, if it will stretch again considering I’m recycling the yarn from my first project.
I haven’t really written about this before, but as I heal from my epic foot and leg surgeries, I am trying to get in better shape – and even though I’m not Greek statue worthy yet, I can tell its working: I am no longer comforted by food and I can absolutely not eat when I’m stressed. Not that I did that sort of thing constantly to begin with, but I’ve gotten to the point where chocolate cake no longer re-centers me. I’m still only logging a maximum of 3000 steps/day but I make sure to use all of them and I’ve started lifting in addition to swimming. Wait, it isn’t as bad-ass as it sounds. I have issues with being consistent but that’s where this sweater comes in.
Throwing caution to the wind, I am knitting this sweater a size M/L or for bust size 39″ – or about 4″ smaller than my actual bust size. I figure that the sweater will grow, I will tone down a couple of inches and we’ll meet in the middle.
Here’s the sweater at the end of the break.
I’d debated ripping it back to the 1×1 rib. I was ridding high after finishing my socks so I went for it and I have to say that I am much happier with the fabric. It looks a bit odd now since I’m knitting it on 32″ circulars but this is where I am now.
I’m about 8 rows away from finishing the raglan increases or about one audiobook’s worth of knitting.Yes, I knit a lot more slowly when I’m knitting – but I’m thinking that maybe once the increases are done and I’ve dealt with the sleeves, I can pick up a bit of speed and get to focus on the amazing new series I’m listening to. Is there any thing better than a chilling, paranormal mystery and knitting in the darkness of sudden winter? Well, to be fair, winter here is about 40F (4.44 C), so practically tropical to some of you but it came on as suddenly as complete darkness by 5:30 PM. I feel like that’s earlier than usual but I’m not complaining if I get to curl up with a book and this amazing sweater 🙂
Question: I’m tempted to start writing about the books I’m listening to as I blog about the sweater – what do you think? I’m sticking with the Psycop Series for this sweater. I think I might be able to time it so that I finish both the sweater and the series at the same time…