Sweaterday! With an actual sweater! Will wonders never cease.
I started knitting my Berkshire Dolman (Rav link) last August. It was my first attempt at knitting a sweater, so of course, I had to go and change lots of stuff.
First and foremost, I had not discovered how magical mattress stitch can be. Seriously. If you’re anti-seaming because you think the seams don’t look nice, you’re not doing mattress stitch correctly. It’s MAGIC. The seam virtually disappears. (If you don’t like seaming because you’re impatient and don’t want to deal with all of the pieces, well, that I can understand.) So, because I did not want to seam (because of my impatient nature, since I was not educated in the ways of marvelous, magical mattress stitch; and yes, I enjoy alliteration more than anyone should), I decided I would knit this in the round.
But the fun didn’t stop there. I wasn’t sure about the sizing, since I’m determinedly an apple shape, and I was concerned that the bottom of the sweater would pull if I knit the size for my bust, so I decided to do a hybrid of two sizes. I cast on for the 45" bust size, subtracting a couple of stitches from each side, since I wasn’t going to need the selvedge stitches.
Now, I started this last August. This was before I started taking notes on my knitting, so I think that I decreased as instructed for the largest size, but then only increased until I had the stitch count for the 40½" size. And then I tried the sweater on and thought that it wasn’t going to fit, so I stuck it aside to be ripped out and re-started. It languished in my WIP pile for almost a year and a half, until I pulled it out of purgatory in November. I’ve been working on getting healthier, so now I thought that the sweater would fit as I’d knitted it; in addition, I remembered that I was using Cascade 220 superwash, and that Cascade wool tends to grow when it’s washed (see my Vivian, my Gretel). So I picked up my stitches and continued on, increasing for the underarms before separating the pieces for the dolman sleeves.
The dolman sleeves were super easy, and though I was afraid that I’d have too much fabric under my arms and I’d look like a crazy bat-like creature, they actually turned out really nice. (And lucky me, I got to practice horizontal mattress stitching on the tops and bottoms of the sleeves.) When I got to the ribbed neck, I decided to do something different than instructed, as I’m not a fan of turtlenecks. I worked the cowl in the round for about 1½", then split the cowl and worked the ribbing back and forth for a nice drapey split-neck.
I had picked up the buttons sometime last year, and I think they’re perfect for this sweater. Overall, I’m so pleased with this, my first sweater ever started and the last of my six sweaters in 2010 goal.