I've been knitting more than I've been blogging lately, so I have several projects to share with you in the next few days. I figured I'd start with my favorite hand-knit sweater to date - the Cabeladabra Sweater.
First of all, this is not a free pattern. It's $7.00. That may sound steep if you're not a knitter, but the pattern is very well-written and worth every penny. Yes, that really means a lot coming from thrifty little me. :)
I fell in love with this sweater as soon as I saw it, but I have to admit that I thought twice about it because it's so skin-tight on everyone else in their project pictures. I try not to wear my clothes that tight due to modesty issues and the fact that I'm small enough that they don't usually make clothing two sizes too small for me. But that's the great thing about knitting your own sweaters - you can make them to whatever size (and with whatever ease) you need or want to.
Interestingly enough, I thought I would have to go with a size larger than I usually wear. Not so. What you see was knit in my regular size and with near-perfect gauge. If you're especially curvy it may be different for you, but this turned out perfectly for me.
|The safety pin marks the point in the pattern where you would usually "break" for the neckline cables (only another repeat further). In this picture, I stopped at the point where I actually "broke" for the neckline cables.|
I did have to make a few adjustments for my unusually-short-waisted body. I needed to take a full 3" off the bottom of the sweater so it didn't end mid-hip, which is the worst possible place on me. I was originally going to take it off the bottom of the cabling pattern (just starting several rows into the pattern), but I forgot to do that in my enthusiasm to start the sweater.
So I had to figure out how to do it later. This was a bit of a problem because you have to end at a certain spot for the neckline cables to twist off correctly. This would usually be Row 14. Happily, Row 26 had the same exact instructions, so I was able to do it there instead. (My notes on Ravelry have more extensive details about how I did this.)
You can get a better idea of how well this worked in this picture, where I had finished the neckline.
You may notice that there is waist shaping on this sweater. For the longest time, I avoided waist shaping for the same reasons that I don't wear my clothing skin-tight. But then I realized that it didn't have to be immodest if you just decreased enough to fit your body without being too tight. I doubt anyone would look at the finished sweater on me and think, "She decreased at the waist." Done properly, you don't even notice it. It just makes it fit better without being baggy.
Here it is, all finished and ready to be blocked. I debated whether to steam-block it or just throw it in the washing machine. Since it's 100% acrylic, either method would work. Since it came out to the perfect size and just needed blocking to even out a few stitches, I opted to put it in the washer and dryer. (I put the dryer on low and only dried it 20 minutes. It was just the right amount of heat and time.) It worked perfectly!
If you'd like to see more of my knitting notes on this sweater, you can view my project page on Ravelry here.
And in case you're wondering about the yarn, I used Michaels' brand Impeccable. I got it on sale for $1.74 a skein and figured I'd see how it turned out. I really like it! I have no complaints about it and will probably stock up when it goes on sale again.