Friday, February 25, 2011

Lessons learned in sweater class

So I had my first CPH class (Central Park Hoodie, a sweater) and wow am I in for a learning experience! Since I think of myself as a sock knitter that knits a few other items I will be getting my money's worth out of this class.

First lesson, and I did it right, was knit a swatch, a good sized swatch. As I am a very tight knitter, although not quite as tight as when I first started, I went up a needle size above the size recommended in the pattern. I did a couple of rows in garter stitch so my knitting would not curl on itself as much. I did about 5 inches widthwise and 4 inches height wise. Then I switched to the recommended needle size and knit a bit, and without thinking I bond off without knitting matching garter. At least I could tell where I started and where I ended. As a weierdo 'sockie' I instantly preferred the tighter knitting that was not gauge. Hey, what can I say tight to me means my socks will last longer, too bad it does not mean the same in sweaters. In sweaters it means something like wool body armor. Which is something I am not opposed to, but it may not be fashionable.

For the record my friend Kisknit made perfect swatches. So perfect they were held up as examples in class. I would hate her more if I did not know how much she stressed over getting the swatches just right. Perfection takes practice, and she did.

Second lesson, those diagram thingies at the end of some patterns are quite useful. I did not know that you could knit different size sleeves (to fit your arms) than the size sweater you're planning to knit. I thought if you made size X sweater the sleeves had to be size X too. Nope, it turns out if you have size X body and Size Z arms you can make your sweater the same way. Who knew? I am feeling a bit like this could be a weird FrankenSweater, with all mismatched parts.

Third lesson, I have no flippin' clue how to knit a sweater other than a top down raglan. Since I am the only one in the class not to have made a sweater that must be seamed up, I am feeling way out of my comfort zone. I am worried that I am going to spend a lot of time and money and not have a wearable item. I know I will not let this happen but I worry about it nonetheless.

Fourth lesson, I still have a lot to learn and I have 3 weeks till our next meeting and a sleeve and half of a back to complete in that time. Do you think avoidance therapy will help. I don't think knitting on other items will get me a sleeve and half back. Dang if only it could.

1 comment:

  1. I've knit different-sized sleeves once, and it's awesome! I've heard of people knitting different-sized fronts for their sweaters to accommodate a larger bust, too, but I haven't tried it myself. And you know, I read one of the Yarn Harlot's blogposts about how she's a tight knitter, too. A tighter gauge means less pilling and less stretch, which I'm sure you know from experience. Hail to us tight knitters! :)