A funny thing happened last weekend – I celebrated (ok, I’m using that term very loosely here) my 1 year knitting anniversary! Crazy how it’s only been one year – I feel like I’ve been knitting an entire lifetime. And hey – I made 4 sweaters in the meantime (Agatha, Miette, Blagatha, and Chuck. Whew!), amongst other things. And here it is – my 5th sweater!
This is the Central Park Hoodie, which is kind of Ravelry-famous. I was really excited to knit this pattern; it’s been sitting in my queue for months. I put it off for so long because I thought it was be ~sooo hard~ with all those cables.
Spoiler: this was the most boring pattern I have ever knitted.
To be frank, I hated this sweater pretty much the entire time I was knitting it up. Isn’t that dumb? I don’t even know why I finished it; I knew it would be a UFO forever if I put it aside, and anyway, I guess I wanted to give it a fighting chance. I’m glad I finished it because – surprise! – I do actually like it, but we were definitely livin’ on a prayer there for a while.
I hesitate to blame the pattern for my h8 – although the pattern is not without it’s faults. First of all, it’s very dull. Apart from a few cables (which are easy as FUCK, don’t ever let someone tell you that it’s hard!), it’s all stockinette, all day. And since this hoodie is knit in pieces rather than the round, that’s a hell of a lot of boring purling! Speaking of which, I have learned that I do not like knitting in pieces. Seaming is lame. From now on, I’ll probably knit everything top-down in one piece. But I am glad I learned how to seam.
My real hate here focuses on this yarn. I used Ella Rae Classic Superwash – it was on sale, so the total ended up at around $35 (for wool yarn! UH HUH!). Hey guess what THIS YARN SUCKS ASS YOU GUYS. Sure, it’s soft and springy and it was cheap as shit – but it’s got some kind of weird agenda where it likes to grow the second it gets wet. I don’t know if that’s a quality of just the Ella Rae superwash (I hope so, because I found a heathered, non-superwash Ella Rae last night that was amazingly beautiful and now I want to buy large quantities of it), or all superwashes. Knitters, what’s the deal?
ANYWAY, the growing was an issue here. Thank god I properly blocked my swatch, so I knew the width would sort out (as each panel I knit originally looked child-sized. No lie, the ladies at my knitting group kept asking me if I was sure I was I knitting the right size haha), but length was an entirely different issue that I forgot. The sleeves, for example, should have blocked at 24″. Mine are 31″. I knit them to the correct size, I just didn’t account for them growing like teenage boys once they got in contact with water. Ugh.
I solved the sleeve problem by rolling back the cuffs. And look – sleeve cables! Whee! Oh, I knit the sleeves at the same time; partially because I wanted to try something new, and partially because they were boring as hell and I knew the second one would never get knit.
My other mistake (apart from the growing conundrum) was that I did not bind off the ribbing loosely enough. I tend to bind off very tightly – even using a larger needle doesn’t help much – so this is no surprise. But, oops, see how much longer the back is from the front? Even coaxing the fibers open with a blocking didn’t solve this issue. I ended up tacking down the bottom corners of the binding, to make the hemline look circular and what I hope appears intentional. Ha!
I would like to add (haha I just typed ass accidentally there, wtf) some closures to the button band. As much as I like the slouchy open look, I’m not an open cardigan kinda gal. I don’t know what to add, though! I think buttons are a no-go, since I can’t add buttonholes at this point (the stitching is very loose and open). I considered a zipper but I don’t think it will look right with the wide band. Snaps? Frogs? Toggles? What would you do?
My whole outfit is handmade, btw! That’s my Plaid Clusterfuck top (see, it does look ace with a high-waisted skirt and a cardigan!) and my Denim Ginger (which is hands-down the me-made piece I wear the most – at least once a week!).
Ok, a couple more questions to wrap up an OBNOXIOUSLY long post!
My grandma asked me to knit her a scarf. Yay! She said she wanted something very simple, not too long and of an average width. And she wants it to be an actual scarf, not a cowl or anything like that.
Knitters: What stitch pattern would you suggest? Stockinette is sooo boring, and anyway, the yarn is acrylic (at her request), so I can’t block it into laying flat. I was thinking of a simple lace pattern or something with a lot of texture, like a seed stitch. Any suggestions? I know she said “simple,” but I’m also mostly certain that she said that because she thought anything more would be too much of a hassle. Which, as a knitter, I would rather be engaged and a little challenged!
Non-Knitters: If you asked for a simple scarf and were handed something with a little more design to it (like lace, ribbing, or texturized) – would you be totally butthurt that the person did not take your request into consideration? Or would you pleased to get something fancy and really only requested something simple because you didn’t want to be a bother?