Well, first of all it’s Wednesday, so let’s get that stuff out of the way.

Here’s what I’ve been

Reading

Listening to

and

Watching

This was the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I would highly recommend.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that done with we can move along to more important things.

Like the Hourglass Sweater!

HG sweater 1

Yup, there it is.

The Hourglass Sweater
Pattern: from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, size 32
Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha, plum, 8.5 skeins
Needle: KnitPicks circs, size 5
Begun: February 10
Finished: March 8
Modifications: did three extra decrease repeats at neckline. That’s it.

HG sweater 3HG sweater 2

Looks pretty good, no? I liked the pattern, but not necessarily knitting it (more on that below). It is beautiful in its simplicity, and showcases this yarn very nicely. But, if I had to do it over again, I would use a different yarn.

I did my homework before knitting this sweater. I mean really—I read practically every blog between here and kingdom come if it happened to mention an Hourglass Sweater done in Noro Cash Iroha. I learned two important things from this:

1) The neckline tends to be a bit large. Done according to the pattern directions, it will barely stay up on your shoulders. I did not desire the flashdance look, so I added some repeats before the purl round for turning the hem.

2) This yarn tends to grow. A lot.

In order to combat this problem, I did what any dutiful knitter would do. I swatched. And I swatched and I swatched. In fact, I think this is why I used 8.5 skeins instead of the required 8—a half a skein was taken up by swatching. Not only did I swatch, I washed. I washed every stinking swatch and let it dry completely before measuring my gauge. The swatch knitting with size 5 needles was spot on after watching: 19 stitches and 28 rows per 4 inches. Horray! The needle size printed in the pattern was a 7. I thought it a bit odd that I had to go down two needle sizes to get gauge, especially since I tend to be a tight knitter and usually have to go UP a needle size. Well, whatever, I thought. After washing the gauge matches, so we’re good to go.

Well. Knitting this yarn on a size 5 needle was not pleasant. The knitted fabric was so tight and it kind of hurt. I had to take breaks. I also tend to be a “pusher” if the knitting is somewhat tight. That is, I sometimes use the index finger of my right hand to push the stitch off the left needle after it’s been worked. I had to do it in this case, which is very sad because those KnitPicks needles are friggin sharp! Ouch. I had a big callous on my finger for awhile. It’s gone now, but I’m still bitter at the memory. One should not have to suffer for the sake of one’s knitting, in my opinion. I had placated myself with the thought of how my sweater would just fit perfectly after all of this was over, and wouldn’t I just be so happy that I had gone through this. Famous last words. Or, in this case, thoughts. Grr.

So here’s a modeling shot:

HG sweater model

Sorry for both the blurriness of the picture and the goofy look on my face. The blub took this for me, so of course he was trying to make me laugh. Plus it was cloudy so there wasn’t a lot of light.

ANYway, this sweater makes me look like Chesty LaRue. It’s tight! Even after blocking it twice! I checked the gauge on it after it dried the second time, and just guess what I got.

20 stitches/4 inches. It’s supposed to be 19 stitches! So that means that, over the girth of the chest, I’m missing approximately 1.6 inches.

1.6 inches! That’s a lot! I want my inches back! I feel like I can’t even wear this sweater in public! It’s a bit…revealing. I’m a modest person; I don’t really want to give the world an excuse to stare at my boobies. This sweater sure puts them out there, though.

Grr. Grr. Big GRR!

Sigh. I guess I could try to block it out AGAIN. I didn’t actually pin it out last time—maybe I should try that. But pinning is what you do to lace! I shouldn’t have to do that to a sweater.

Oh swatches, why have you forsaken me? I trusted you! I put my never-ending faith in you! Why have you treated me this way?

I thought about this for awhile. I have an inkling on why this might be so…

Either the knitting gods hate me,

OR

my swatches were too small. They were a bit dinky, about 4 x 3 in. Have I received a gentle slap on the wrist from the knitting gods? Perhaps. I say gentle here because it’s not like I absolutely can’t wear the thing—it’s just a bit tight. Maybe with a bit more work, I can make it bigger. Le sigh.

Well, it was my first sweater. Whaddya think?

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