Bendigo Blue-ish Mini Sweater
Back in the mists of times (uh, March?) a friend sent me a lovely parcel of wool from the Bendigo Mill in Australia. It was finer than most of the stuff I had knitted with before, so it took me a little while to get some appropriate needles and come up with an idea, so I think it must have been mid April before I finally got started. And somehow, it turned into the project that seemed to go on forever, as I got heavily involved in another personal project (home movie video editing) that consumed a lot of the time I would normally have spent with yarn. But finally, finally I have triumphed over space and time. Well, not really, I'm just taking a breather from the video editing project, and have eased back into the crafting.
This was really a pretty straight forward project, it just took me so long because I wasn't working on it consistently and I was using size 4 (for the bottom ribbing) and size 2 (for the rest of it) needles. I started at the bottom, cast on a certain number of stitches which I've long since forgotten, and worked a good chunk of ribbing with a stockinette steek until I was satisfied with the length. Then I switched to the size 2 needles and continued in stockinette up to the armpits.
The next part I improvised, but it seems to have worked pretty well. I knitted around to the first armpit and cast off 6 stitches, then kept knitting to the 2nd armpit, cast off 6 more stitches and completed the round by knitting. On the next round, when I got to the bound off stitches, I picked up a crochet hook and started to chain with the working yarn. I made about 60 chains and then dropped the hook and continued knitting on the other side of the bound-off area. I did the same thing on the other side. The next round, I picked up stitches in the chains and then after that it was business as usual. I suppose if I'd used waste yarn for the crochet, I could have unravelled it and started working in the other direction to add sleeves later. I'll have to try that sometime.
From there, I worked my way up, decreasing at the 4 corners and also on either side of the steak since I wanted a V-neck.
The armholes were curling up, which wasn't entirely un-cute, but I decided that ribbing would look better with the overall design, so I picked up stitches to add a band. As an experiment, I decided to work the edging bands with the yarn held double. I like the body this gave them, and I found working with the two strands of yarn at once to be a lot easier than I had thought it would be. A non-issue, really. Cool, that ought to open up some possibilities for the future...
After finishing the arm-bands, I sewed and cut the front steek, and then picked up stitches and knitted the front bands. I finished up by working the neck band.
Incidently, the pictures above are black and white because: (A) I just found picasa's color-filtered b&w effect and it is *COOL* and (B) the color of this yarn is really, really, really tough to reproduce photographically, so I decided to bypass that issue. The inset to the left is the closest I managed, and it's not quite a perfect match on my monitor. It's a sort of a steel blue gray color with a healthy periwinkle cast. Very pretty and low-key.
I'm happy with how this turned out. Despite the inevitable "did you run out of yarn?" kidding I will be subjected to, I really like this length. It's cute, but it's long enough to actually provide some warmth against air conditioning and spring breezes, and it's good for respecta-fying overly skimpy tank tops for work. I wish I'd managed to make the v-neck a little wider and more prominent but I don't hate it the way it is. Come fall, I think I'd like to make something similar out of worsted or sport weight yarn and with three quarter sleeves. Also a pull-over version, slightly longer, but with the same extended hem ribbing.