Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint

Pattern: Stag (my own, improvised, and rather uncreatively named!)
Yarn: Berroco Inca Gold, 8 skeins

PhotobucketI've made a habit of issuing myself yarn challenges, and, as of late, it's been bouts between me and yardage. This round of playing chicken with the yarn turned out just dandy.

I wanted to see if I could make a tunic-length, cowl-necked, long-sleeved sweater - with cables, no less. And indeed, I did. Though it ended up a touch shorter than envisioned, and the sleeves were a smidge tight, they still work! And the upside? The snugness of said sleeves disguises the unsightly "ladders" left behind from my sloppy in-the-round dpn work (the trick to avoiding that is pulling tight on the stitches when switching needles, correct? I must remember to try harder next time).

Incidentally, this be the first (as well as the last) long-sleeved sweater I've ever made. The second-sleeve syndrome was avoided through a good supply of dvds (including the Indiana Jones hotness mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the first 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother). Without those dvds, I'm afeared those sleeves would still be unfinished.

PhotobucketStag Constructions, for those Interested:
In the round, bottom-up raglan. I'd never attempted a sweater in this particular manner before.
Because of my playing chicken with the yardage, I decided to do a provisional cast on when it came to the sleeves, so that I could assess the yarn situation after I had begun the cowl and see just how long I could get away with making said sleeves.
I do not suggest this construction, or at least, not on a single set of circs. It was extremely awkward and tight the first 5 or 6 rows after joining the provisional-sleeves.

Also, the sweater would have benefited from my thinking through what I would do with the cables when I got to the sleeve juncture. I could have made the transition much more smooth by altering the staghorn cable pattern slightly, and turning some knit stitches into background purl stitches (see the second photo in this post. The slightly awkward decreasing around the armpit is visible there).

For waist and bust shaping, I simply hid my increases and decreases directly beside the cable pattern.
The cowl is a progression of 3 different needles sizes, getting larger as you near the edge of the neckline. I wanted it to be a bit bigger and floppier, but with only the 8 skeins I knew I'd have to compromise.
The greatest upside to this project? Stashbusting!

At the "photoshoot", I frolicked among the gardens of a nearby historic home and civic museum. I got a few cool snaps, and wanted to share.
On the gates in the garden yard. The pineapple was a symbol of welcome that was in vogue in the 19th c., when this home was built.

Backyard water tap, with some cool weathering, hiding among what's probably close to the last bits of green green sprouts of '09.

A pear tree has been dropping its fruit, and the bees have been feasting.

Lovely beautiful snapdragons. Nature has an amazing sense of colour.


Sophie said...

Congrats on the beautiful sweater It's gorgeous !

Walden said...

I love how the purl side looks as the front main part of a sweater. Cables are great too!

Goes by the name of Anna said...

Oooh - that's lovely! said...

It's really lovely -- I love the color and the "stags" you chose for the cables - really simple and basic, but the fit and the length make it kind of cool and modern. I've been playing with the cowl collar myself for a new design and it's soooo hard to get right - (I may just go back to the turtleneck in the end!) But kudos on yours, which looks like it's laying just perfectly!

Clumsy Knitter said...

Wow, I'm impressed with how well your improvised stashbusting sweater came out! Too cute for words, truly. And the cowl...*sigh*...I love me some big, floppy cowls.

Renee said...

Wow! Very nice!

Aesderina said...

I think the decreases under the armpits are actually kind of nice. They seem to flow with the cable. You're too hard on yourself. This is a fantastic design and sweater.
It looks super sexy and comfy.
I'll definitely have to try knitting this myself but it looks too complicated

juicyknits said...

Such cute cables - love them.

Fel said...

Beautiful! :D

Team Knit said...

I love this sweater so much!! It is exactly the type of sweater I tend to favour when I purchase ready made sweaters. If you are planning on doing up a pattern, I'd definitely make this!! Absolutely gorgeous, and it looks perfect on you!!

Kai said...

I love it!! I love the simplicity and I love the cables... i hope you write this one up..

Ellen said...

This is adorable on you! What a great design; the cowl is absolutely perfect! :)

soknitpicky said...

Very, very awesome on you! I have been thinking about knitting a Francis Revisited, and you've inspired me to consider adding some cables to it!

Susan said...

This might be my new favorite for your designs. This looks amazing on you! I'm also glad you won the game of chicken for yardage, because the length really makes this sweater.

evergreenknits said...

Oh wow .... I saw the photo and stopped dead in the middle of my multitasking life! Staghorn cables are my favorite, and they look especially amazing against such a simple, clean-lined sweater. And you really know how to fit a sweater to you!

May have to try to work up a version for myself!

Hilary said...

This is the most perfectest fall knit I have ever seen. I am a big fan of turtlenecks/cowl-necks in general, but your cables along the sides and down the sleeves give the extra bit of interest that truly makes this a unique and fantastic piece. The cowl is also perfectly executed!

Kim/Curlie Girl said...

Absolutely gorgeous fall sweater! you have such an eye for detail and design!

yoel said...

Super cute! Love the cables on the side.

miastick said...

Love it! You are a great designer- love the cables and the purl. And the turtleneck.

Jane Richmond said...

Beautiful, I love the reverse stockinette.

Laura said...

A note on unsightly ladders from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Sock Knitters":

(Abridged) Don't worry about the tension of the first stitch on a new needle when working on dpns. Pull the yarn firmly on the second stitch; the tension on both stitches on the new needle works to eliminate ladders.

This has worked really well for me!