Fresh Off the Needles: My Very First Sweater

2015-02-04 12.11.19

Partway through the raglan increases.

I first picked up a pair of knitting needles in June 2010, and I’ve come a long way since my first fumbling, awkward cast-on (only achieved by dint of watching YouTube instructional videos over and over and over again). No matter how much I had accomplished, though, something deep in my fiber-crafting soul told me that I must someday tackle The Sweater. The compulsion finally won out at the beginning of February, and I embarked on calculations for my very own Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan.

Torso mostly complete.

Torso mostly complete. Being able to try it on as I went was key.

I knit like a woman obsessed, which wasn’t difficult because I had deliberately opted for a simple, no-frills, plain stockinette version. The elapsed time from casting on the neck stitches to binding off the second sleeve was two weeks. We’re stationed in Florida, you see, and February’s arrival meant that warm weather was potentially just around the corner. I was racing the arrival of springtime, and if I lost, I would not likely have the chance to wear my new sweater until November.

I won the race, and although it’s definitely warming up now (just ask my allergies), I’ve had a number of opportunities to wear my cozy burgundy sweater. I learned a lot about in-the-round garment construction on this project, and I’ve got my eye on rather more complicated variations in the future. Some of them might even be appropriate for warmer weather (think lacy cardigans), so I won’t get too frustrated waiting for our too-short chilly season.

Completed Sweater

Ta-daaa! It’s a real, wearable (in public, even) sweater!

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Fresh Off the Needles: Hue Shift Afghan

Well, not really fresh off. I finished my Hue Shift Afghan back in February, and it has been brightening up our ratty old vintage couch ever since.

Hue Shift Afghan

Well, this is the finished product spread out in all its glory on our bed, which is not a couch. Thank goodness.

Hue Shift Afghan, View Two

Another view of its full-spectrum yarniness.

Our cats immediately decided that I had spent fifteen months (well, there was a lengthy summer hiatus when it was just too dang hot in the Florida panhandle to even contemplate knitting a big ol’ blanket) of my crafting life solely to provide them with their very own handmade snuggly thing.

Stripy Cat, Stripy Blanket

Stripy cat. Stripy blanket. It was meant to be.

All Snuggled Up

Immediately after I snapped this shot, Val pulled her head all the way back inside her snuggly sanctum.

The pattern was an enjoyable, easy-to-memorize knit, which made it a great project to work on during semi-weekly knit/crochet get-togethers with my next-door neighbor. I could envision making another one in the future, particularly if I scale it down for a baby blanket. Maybe I could power through that in somewhat under a year and a quarter.