Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Marina Pullover (AKA My First Sweater)
There is a certain thrill in beginning a new project. I love the rush of finding the right pattern, selecting the materials and waiting anxiously while they arrive in the mail. I study the instructions and make sure that I understand the whole process before I begin. I dutifully knit my gauge swatch and practice any patterns that I need to master. Then it is time to pick up the needles and cast on! Oh what a feeling!
My latest project holds even more excitement because it is my first sweater pattern. Perhaps I have a fear of commitment and I know that I am getting into a long-term project by my standards. For whatever the reason, knitting my first sweater has seemed like a crushingly intimidating process until now. I think that I have run out of options for knitting scarves that would interest me, and let’s face it, one can only knit mind numbing garter stitch scarves out of fun fur for so long without getting totally bored.
The sweater that I am undertaking is the Marina Pullover designed by Elizabeth Fallone. I am using Wool Of The Andes, from Knitpicks in black and Snickerdoodle. I like the pattern for many reasons. It is a two-toned sweater, which is a plus because I like color and I don’t think I could stomach knitting the whole project in one color for my first garment. The sleeves are knit cuff to cuff with a cable pattern that goes up the sleeve. The cable splits at the neck and the cable finishes off the neckline nicely. After the sleeves are complete, you pick up stitches around the yoke and knit down to the rib at the bottom of the sweater. So this isn’t the typical first sweater, but I am anything but typical so it suits me just fine.
I hold no illusions that my first sweater will be a masterpiece, but I would still like a good fit and an attractive look. In hindsight, this might not have been the best sweater pattern to flatter my figure with the line going straight across my bust line and drawing attention to my bosom. I am holding out hope, however that all things will work out in the end.
This pattern has challenged my knitting abilities from casting on. When casting on the left cuff the pattern suggests to use a crochet cast on to match the bind off on the right cuff. I had never heard of a crochet cast on before, so I googled it and Walla! I found instructions to the improved crochet cast on. I emailed Ms. Fallone to ask her if this was the right cast on. She was very prompt in her response and forthcoming with her advice. Thanks Elizabeth!
Another minor challenge that I faced thus far is deciding on the proper increases and decreases Thank God for Knittinghelp.com. I love being able to watch someone doing the technique rather than reading about it.
I promise not to be one of those bloggers that post photographs every couple of centimeters, but this is the beginning of my project and I couldn’t be more proud!