Surely, you will agree with me that, after daffodils, there is nothing more spring-like than a knit wooly sweater. No?
Well, I finally finished my Lopi sweater. There are some interesting (well, to me --you are likely to feel otherwise) yarns (ha!) I could spin (double ha!!) about this sweater--sorry, it's spring and I always get a little punchy on the first day of spring.
This sweater was two years in the making. The yarn came from a neighbor who read an article about me that appeared in a local newspaper. In the article, the writer mentioned that I was a knitter, a rather obsessive one. So my neighbor, Lisa, figured that I was a good person to entrust some Lopi wool that she had sitting in her attic for the last three decades to (no, really). She received it from a friend from Greece who went off knitting; and, Lisa never got around to doing anything with the yarn, so the wool showed up at my door...with a Reynolds Lopi pattern book (Volume 22 - ravelry link).
The pattern book was older, and the designs were not super modern, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I figured I could use the yarn and pattern book to try some new things, right?
This sweater presented all sorts of great learning opportunities for me, which is, really, why I chose to knit this particular in the first place.
Firstly, I have to say, I knit this sweater twice. I broke my own stance against ripping and ripped the sweater--in its entirety because the gauge issues the first time around could not be resolved; and, for some reason, it took knitting the whole sweater to figure this out--sometimes I don't want to own my knitting imperfections.
The reasons I selected the particular pattern from all the possible choices were threefold: I could try stranding three colors (as I have only done two-color stranded knitting in the past); I could use all of the yarn given me; and, I could finally try steeking. As it turns out, the steeking is what delayed the finishing of this sweater. Because, as I have said before, the thought of cutting my knitting makes me want to vomit.
Well, there is no longer any quesiness around the whole steeking business. After months of putting it off, I did it. And you know, it wasn't so bad. I thought the Lopi book could have provided clearer instruction; but, there you are. If I really wanted to prep myself, I would have gone to the winter 2006 IK magazine and re-read that article that Eunny wrote on steeking, but I didn't feel like pulling out the magazines, I just had to steek it and be done with it (because, if we are being truthful here, and I am, I just wanted to finish this sweater so I could knit other things).
I will own my imperfections in the sweater, now that I have knit it twice and steeked it. The front of the yoke does not line up properly. I think this is due to a couple of things, all surrounding my steek. My gauage for the purl stitches was totally off from the gauge of the rest of the sweater. I think I was nervous sbout the steek even while I was knitting it. Also, I didn't switch needle sizes for the ribbing and button band as the pattern prescribed, because I didn't like the cinched look of the ribbing and band in the patternbook so I knit with US 10's throughout.
This misalignment is only noticeable when the cardigan is buttoned though. So, I suppose it's a good thing I rarely button my cardigans.
The part of this sweater that I love best is the yoke. I was able to do all of that stranded knitting in a pretty even tension and I think it looks pretty good, well, the back does.
While knitting it, I thought that this would be a sweater knit purely for the purpose of learning, but it fits well and it's warm, so it will be a good "kick around" sweater, I think.
So overall, I think I am pretty happy with it.