Friday, December 14, 2007

Not Hating This - Not One Bit.

I must admit I'm proud of myself.

Men's Aran Pullover

Cast on: October 20, 2007
Bound off: December 7, 2007
Pattern: my own, using traditional cables
Tension: Variable depending on chart. Overall, about 22 stitches over 10 cm in pattern.
Yarn: 20 balls (2150 yards total) Elsebeth Lavold's Classic Al, 50% Baby Alpaca/50% Merino Wool. 109 yards per 50 g ball (I've got 30 m left over).
Yarn Source: Webs clearance
Yarn Cost: $69.80 USD, plus shipping
Finished Size: 50" chest, 28" long
Needle: 4mm and 4.5mm Clover Takumi bamboo circular
Techniques: Planning, charting, sketching the cables. Cabling without a cable needle.
  • Wow, this sucker grew. I swatched, reswatched, measured twice, washed, dressed, and did the math over and over - it still ended up a full 4 inches bigger than it was supposed to be. But that's okay.

  • It could be shorter. When my Dad gets it, I will offer to cut off the bottom, pick it up, and knit it down to shorten it. I think it's about 1-2 inches too long. Of course, he might like it as it is. We'll see.

  • This went way faster than St Brigid, despite the excessive cables. Probably because I didn't have to look at a chart EVER.

  • I think the yarn is my favourite of all time. Warm, soft, pretty colours, decent yardage, inexpensive (if you get it at Webs).

  • I knit a double-height collar, folded it to the inside, and sewed the live stitches to the base of the neck. It worked great - very flexible and stretchy because no cast-off edge.

  • The braided plaits eat yarn. But they are super stretchy and they look damn nice.
It turns out the work involved in doing a good job - planning obsessively, swatching extensively, blocking heavily, seaming carefully, foregoing other projects despite your suicidal boredom - is totally worth it.

By the way, this is Mr HalfSoledBoots, who asked that I preserve his anonymity. (Like we'd be looking at him anyway, right? Dude, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KNITTING.)

Side front detail

This yarn really pops the texture, I must say. I can wholeheartedly recommend it for all your rib or cabling needs. It's smooshy until you block it, when it relaxes and develops a compelling, voluptuous drape. Very pettable.

Saddle shoulder

I like how the saddle shoulder turned out. The plait, with the purl valleys and the single knit stitch on either side, is striking.

I do love me some seaming.

I was a bit concerned how the sleeve seam would look, with vertical moss meeting horizontal moss, but I needn't have worried.

Side seam goodness.

Speaking of seaming moss, can I just draw your attention to the side seam? Because IT'S AWESOME.

Can't keep my lens off of you.

I made a little tag, with care instructions and a dark red wax seal, and pinned it to the back neck. One doesn't want to fall on the last fence - presentation is important.

Don't worry - Dad doesn't read the blog.

This has been fun. Next year, I think I'll make one for my mum.

I won't be at the computer til Monday, but leave me a comment, okay? I'm off to Victoria for a night with Mum. A bit of shopping, a bit of dining out - I'm definitely in the mood to celebrate. I'll be going about the city in a happy glow, thinking fondly of the finished sweater, and planning my next FO post.........


Ames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Shan, that's just lovely - and I don't even like knitting (shocking I know).

Brenda said...

Wow, it's gorgeous!
Hope you had fun in Victoria.

Kate said...

Having seen the masterpiece in person, I think you left out the detail of how utterly wearable it is because it is NOT in the least heavy like a traditional aran.
Amazing work Shan. And I am so glad you and your Mum are off to Vic. Have a great time (and linger in Market Square for me).

Gina said...

You have made an absolutely gorgeous creation. Truly, honestly, overwhelmingly beautiful.

Gwen said...

Seriously, this is the most beautiful sweater I've ever seen. Well done! A true masterpiece. FIL will love it.

Mr HSB doesn't look to bad, either. Mmm, mmm.

Gwen said...

I meant, too bad.

Heather said...

Wonderful job! i like the saddle shoulder too.

hope it is well loved.

stitchin' girl said...

That is one fantastic sweater! I am truly in awe that you made up the pattern yourself - how great is that! Your FIL is one lucky guy.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD. I am in awe. Seriously. Awe. That is fracking incredible, Shan. Really really beautiful. A work of art, right down to the packing (I love the pine bough - did that go in the box, too?)

Anonymous said...

Great sweater! It looks professional, and I'll have to come here for inspiration. I'm definitely coming back to see more.

Thanks for your comment! I love getting comments from new people (especially when they aren't spam trying to sell me certain drugs for the bedroom, if you know what I mean).

knititch said...

wow mr. halfsoledboots cut in half looks great in the sweater from what i can see. and it is truly beautiful. wish i knew this yarn. mrs lavold is swedish but it is hard to get hold of her yarn in scandinavia. oh oh.

Fun Knits said...

Wow that is a beatiful sweater. Love the cables and wish I could feel the yarn. Congratulations on having 30 m left, maybe you are over your running out of yarn streak

Cynthia said...

Beautiful in both concept and execution! And the tag is great, too -- so nice to finish ahead of time and have time to work out those details. I am always flinging things at people hot off the needles (or with needles still in play) and it really doesn't have the same impact.

You've got me thinking hard about that yarn, too.

Tabatha said...

Oh that sweater is fabulous. Really! It is amazing. I am with Gwen, it is truly a masterpiece.

I was up there and you were down here. Too Funny.

Kris said...


amanda said...

Shan, it's beautiful! I am working on a sweater in the same Classic Al - isn't it great yarn? It soft and warm and does have great colors. I may need to snag some more...

Jenny said...

That is amazing!! You should start an online knitting business! I'll be your first customer!!