The Giant-Size Man-Sweater has reached completion.
Pattern: Smokin’ by Jared Flood
Begun: February 5, 2010
Finished: Knitting & seaming done, buttons sewed on September 9, 2010. Minor edits completed October 13, 2010.
Yarn: Cascade Eco+
Needles: 5.5 mm (US9)
Mods/Changes/Errors Fixed: Went down a needle size, cast off an extra 2 stitches at the shoulders to make the numbers work, left off the last button (actually, sewed on, then removed the last button), added 2 columns of slip-stitch crochet to hide the gaps in the seams. Details below.
The pattern calls for 6 mm needles. I went down 5.5 mm to make a size smaller than given. I swatched on my KP Harmony interchangeable 6.5 mm tips and the fabric was very loose. (I meant to swatch on 6mm needles, and at the time I thought I had. Just found out the other night I got 2 sets of 6.5 mm tips in my interchangeable set and no 6mm.) I would’ve gotten the gauge listed, but in the smallest size this sweater would’ve had 6″ positive ease. Going down a needle size gave me a nicer, tighter fabric, and I was able to knit the medium and get just a few inches positive ease.
I probably should have noticed that a lot of the official pattern pictures show this sweater with the bottom button unbuttoned. Once Dan tried it on, buttoning that one just didn’t work, and since I used heavy buttons, leaving it unbuttoned wasn’t really an option either, what with the flopping and smacking against his leg when he moved. So, the bottom button had to go. Which meant that my magical awesome buttonhole of genius had not been necessary after all. At least he doesn’t mind the look of a lonely buttonhole, so I didn’t have to duplicate-stitch shut my proudest achievement to date.
I think the buttons may still need to be reinforced and/or moved in a little closer to the body of the sweater to help it close a little more neatly when it’s all buttoned up, but I’m waiting until he’s worn it a few times to see.
My first attempt at mattress stitch working with garter and stockinette was not too great. It left gaps in the seams you could see Dan’s shirt through. Since I’d already woven in the ends, undoing all the seams would have been a bit of a project, so I decided to try some alternatives first. I tried a few different methods of picking up a line of stitches in the seam and then casting off, but that left me with this weird little flappy thing that was begging to be flicked constantly and wasn’t quite the effect I was going for. In the end I settled on 2 columns of slip-stitch crochet to look like a few extra knit stitches snuggled up against the garter stitch. It took me about 20 minutes to work those 4 lines of crochet, but it took me over a month to realize that as long as I kept struggling with my Tunisian hook, it was never going to happen, and I needed to just get my ass to Wal-Mart and spend $2 on a crochet hook. Part of me really resists buying supplies for crafts I don’t do.
But the sweater is done, it’s by far the best sweater I’ve made yet, and I’m excited to see it start to get some use. Now let’s see if I can make a sweater for myself that I like as much.