A journey of 100,000 stitches…

Begins with a single slip knot!

The yarn for hubby’s sweater is here! I think he was even more excited than I was when I first opened the box on our couch. He grabbed it and took a deep whif of its woolly goodness. I’ve trained him well! Now for the fun part – designing the sweater!

I know I want to make it something special, but that I’ll also enjoy knitting. So, nothing that has ridiculous things going on. I don’t want it to be too bulky either, since that wouldn’t be so enjoyable for him to wear. I have already calculated the measurements and gauge, so from there, I just need to essentially plug patterns in where they seem most appropriate. Since it’ll be an Aran style sweater, I will have a section of a simple, all-over cable running down the center of the sleeves and the front and back to the width of the neckline. To either side will be a much more interesting cable, to give interest and a strong, slimming vertical line. Some simpler cables or twist stitches may frame that to the edge of the shoulders, then under the sleeves and down the sides will be simple seed stitch.

I haven’t decided if I want to do a 2×2, 1×1, or twisted ribbing at the hem and cuffs, though I’m leaning towards 1×1. Its stability is great for cuffs, and it won’t need to ‘mesh’ with the cable pattern of the body. It’s not the most fun to knit, though, since to get the right ‘look’ for the gauge, I’ll have to go down about two needle sizes! Now, I said I had gauge and measurements figured out, but I can’t cast on yet. I still need to figure out the width of the cable panels – that section, because of the cables, will require 20% or so more stitches than the hem. That means that I’d take the gauge, multiply the sts/inch by the width of the cable section, and subtract 20% of that result from the stitches I cast on over that distance of the sweater. Tricky tricky! Experience has taught me that if I don’t do that, I’ll have lots of bunchy, poochy wierdness going on in some unflattering areas. I wouldn’t think of doing that to my hubby!

This all just underlines why swatching is so important. I based my gauge, and calculated my yarn requirements, on a cabled swatch. It’s much easier to subtract stitches in the seed stitch and ribbing than it is to accommodate extra stitches being added for cables. And, since the sweater won’t be completely cabled, I know I have more than enough yarn. As itchy as I am to really get going, I’d rather spend the time planning now than find something really goofy is happening two feet into the darn thing!

So, my weekend will be spent curled up with my myriad stitch dictionaries, planning out what I hope will become my hubby’s new favorite sweater!