Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Sweater...or Two...

I wrote this post a few days ago, and then today read Soulemama's post.  Although I can nowhere compete with her 14 sweaters in 12 months (after all, who can?) I discovered that I knit 10 completed sweaters last year, with 2 almost completed, and so far this year have completed 2.  What a joy!

My Grandma recently moved into an assisted living facility, and over the past few months my Dad and his siblings have been cleaning out her old house.  60+ years of crafting have meant crate after crate, box after box of yarn, books, magazines, patterns - most of which finding their way to me.

As I poured over book after book of the sweetest little patterns (and some not so sweet - 1970 was a bad time for a knitter!), I kept thinking "Oh so cute!  Oh no, its bottom - up!"

Perhaps it isn't entirely fair of me to be so anti-bottom up sweater, based entirely on the inaccuracies present in a certain pattern I attempted - twice - with bad results.  And its not really just that, but also that I happen to love knitting top-down raglan style sweaters.

Consider: endless customization.  You can make the sleeves or body as long as you wish, and not have to go back and tear out the entire top if you realize you've made them too short.  Or how about the fact that it actually looks like a sweater - albeit one without sleeves - so much sooner, making carting your work around that much more enjoyable.  "What's that you are working on?"  "A sweater - see?"  I also love that all of the thinking and increasing happen right there in the beginning, and once you split for the sleeves you just "sail away on down the body" to quote Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Mindless knitting at its best.

Perhaps what I love the very best is how they fit so perfectly.  I understand that, for certain intense cabling or other crazy designs, bottom up makes the most sense.  But I am perfectly content to continue churning out plain jane top-down raglan sweaters.  I know how they'll turn out:  Perfect.

(not all sweaters pictured here)

 (this is not a top down sweater, and was one of the reasons I swore off bottom up sweaters.  He wore it for this picture and then it was given to his cousin.  He should be getting a new one soon!  Please ignore the diaper, the tv, and the general chaos).

Because of the high of finishing B's "Christmas" sweater (yes over a week late - oh well), I've actually cast on another - much smaller - top down raglan sweater.  A baby sweater, in softest purewool.  I've already split for the sleeves, so now I'm off to find something to watch and sail away...

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  1. Beautiful work as always! I have a few raglan patterns that are long overdue finding their way to you. Blame it on general overwhelmedness on my part. Many apologies.

  2. Oh my word...gorgeous! I want to be your neighbor so you can help me knit!!! Love those little sweaters! How hard would you say they are for a newer knitter to learn? {only been knitting about 6 months} Would love to make some for both my kiddos!!
    Have a blessed weekend!


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