Want to know what else is a sure sign of Spring at Chez Obsession?
That’s right, a finished sweater. It happens about this time every year. Luckily, this New England weather is completely screwy and I’m certain to get a little more wear out of it before it has to get tucked away for the season.
Dude! Olympic Knitting! In April!
BTW, if you look really, really closely, you’ll see some sheep back there in the background. Sheeeeeep! I’m so excited for the fiber fests that are upon us that I can hardly see straight. There will be another post soon explaining why I’m not allowed to buy a damned thing for the rest of the year, but who CARES?!?! Not me. I just can’t wait to see everyone and hang out and spin and play with the animals and watch the dogs and pet the fiber and talk OTHER people into buying the fiber (What was that, Laurie? Did I hear you say something about having a target on your back?) and the spindles and the wheels. Heck, if you’ve got more than .25 acres of land, it’s probably best to steer clear of me this year because I am ALL ABOUT getting someone to start us a little communal farm of these.
Where was I? Ah yes…Rogue.
Here’s a close up of the modified neck. There’s been a lot of interest in this hoodless version, so I’m going to try to reverse-engineer what I did and get it down on paper in the next day or two. The basic, not-so-helpful version is this: I knit a ton of this hood, but no matter how much of it I knit, I couldn’t make myself love it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was BEAUTIFUL. So beautiful, in fact that I got just over 1/2 of it done before put it away for about a month because I couldn’t stand it anymore. I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t want the hood. I didn’t like the way it was looking or what it was doing to the lines of the sweater. I just couldn’t face it what I knew I had to do. I hate to rip more than I can tell you, plus it was the hood that really 'sold' the pattern in the first place. The other problem was, and I can’t stress this enough, it weighed a MILLION pounds and it was HUGE. If I had kept on knitting the pattern as is, I would only have been able to wear this sweater about twice a year, and even then only on the coldest of the coldest days in the depths of January. That’s just not enough sweater payoff for me. So…I took a deep breath, invoked the spirit of Claudia (and maybe had a glass of wine), and ripped that puppy out. Almost all the way out. All the way back to row 7-ish of Chart C (I was somewhere nearish to line 55). The rest of that day is a bit of a haze of yarn and needles and desperation and get-it-doneitis, but in the end it made me giggle (or maybe that was the knife edge of insanity, who knows?), so I think it worked out OK.
Pattern: Rogue by Girl From Auntie
Yarn: Bartlett Yarns Rangely in Blueberry from KPixie (and Kristen. Thanks! )
Needles: Addi’s (oh how I love thee) size 7 and a variety of lengths, but we’ll get to that later.
For: Me! Er….and the 2006 Knitting Olympics.
1. I do love this yarn. I love it’s rustic feel, it’s rustic look, it’s damned-near bullet-proof nature. I would NOT, however, recommend this yarn for this pattern. Yes, even though it really shows off the cables beautifully. Why? Mainly because it just seems a tad too stiff and too heavy for this pattern. It was tough to get gauge without creating a fabric truly too dense for normal wear. My wrists really felt this knit, and not in a good way. The one caveat I’ll make here is that this stuff changes quite dramatically when washed, so it’s possible that the key to successfully/happily using it in this application might be to wash the hanks first and THEN knit with it. Maybe.
2. I love this pattern, without any hesitation. It’s beautiful. It’s clever. It’s practical. It’s extraordinarily detailed, meaning that anyone can make it. In a different yarn, I believe I would have made this almost exactly as written, complete with hood. Notice how I say almost?
3. Armholes/Armscythes, whatever they’re called…did anyone ELSE end up with gargantuan armholes when knitting the pattern exactly as written? I certainly did. It’s not enough to bug me, but it does definitely affect the fit of the finished sweater. So be forewarned. Of course, a bazillion other people have knit this thing and I didn’t see anything about the armholes in my brief searches, so it’s more than possible that it was just my knitting. Note to self, pay attention to the armhole measurements in the diagrams. Er….and what exactly ARE my measurements in this area? Knitter, measure thyself.
4. Kangaroo pouch. Um…no thank you. I don’t think it requires much imagination to understand why a girl might not want EXTRA fabric around her midsection. Not everyone has these concerns, I know, but that’s just the last damned thing I’ll ever need. Except maybe horizontal stripes….actually, I’m pretty certain THAT’S the absolute last thing I’ll ever need. The tummy pouch is just a close second.
5. The hem flare issue. There was no way that I was going to be able to do the smaller-needle-twisted-stitch-facing that Jenna calls for (see #1 re: very stiff yarn), so I knew going in that there was a high risk of hem flare. As you can no doubt see in the first shot, there is definitely flaring. I’m going to give it a little time to see if it continues to BUG THE EVER LIVING SHIT out of me, and if it does, I’m just going to have to cut off the facing, pick up the stitches (with washed yarn, maybe? For softness?) and try again.
6. I would also choose a different color. I bought this particular color because I loved how it looked like a favorite pair old faded jeans w/o really thinking about what that would mean, and as anyone who lived through the 80’s denim jacket thing can tell you, denim on denim? Hard to pull off well. Not that it will stop me from wearing this thing (ever), but I do concede that it does look a little dumb.
7. Oh snap! I almost forgot! One of the most fun things I learned in all of this? Rough and rustic are NOT the same as ITCHY! Who knew?!?! I can absolutely wear Rogue next to the skin (well, most of it, if you know what I mean) and not suffer ANY of the itchies that I’ve gotten from other rustic wools. HOORAY!! This opens up so.many.yarn.doors. Er…..which may or may not be a good thing, in the end.
Overall? Loved this knit, and I can see why some folks have made more than one. I’m pretty tempted to cast on for second actually, right now. I have a couple different yarns here that I now think would be perfect for this pattern. It will probably have to wait, though, the knitting cue is pretty damned long as it is. There’s no need to do another one right this very second.
Final parting shot. It's a wierd angle and causes some odd bunching, but it's the best shot of the side cable we got.
OH! And I think this gets me one of these, don't you?