Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moddin' Hoodie

The year of the sweater begins!

My first sweater of the year! This was inspired by the Wonderful Wallaby pattern from Cottage Creations. Although it's a raglan, the construction is such that you knit from the bottom up and join the sleeves at the yoke so there is virtually no finishing whatsoever. Nice, huh!

Now for the not so much -
I prefer patterns that tell ya what to do straight up. A little intro at the beginning can be fun, but other than that, just lay it all out for me. This booklet is more of a "Chatty Cathy" type - it tends to meander, doesn't explain everything clearly, jumps around, and assumes you've knit the kids version first. It's also designed to be a loose, sweatshirt-y type of garment, which um...isn't my most flattering look.
Wallaby 2
Girly is as girly does.

I wanted something more fitted and girly, and had to use entirely different counts and calculations based on the sizing, gauge, ease, blah blah blah. So basically, I noted how to add the pocket, then ditched the pattern altogether and just did my own thing. Here's an overall rundown:

- Smaller stitch gauge
- Smaller row gauge (I assume smaller, the pattern doesn't provide it)
- Zero ease (pattern has 4" positive ease)
- Shorter, narrower pocket
- Shorter bod (story of my life :P)
- Very subtle waist shaping (just enough to have it drape in a tiny bit)
- Deeper placket for a more open neckline

- Seed stitch edging on pocket and placket
- Stripes in pink and orange on my spectacular rack (*snort*) and sleeves (ETA: I used the jogless jog on the stripes, excellent 'splanation here)

Speaking of sleeves - although they appeared to be right on track when I tried them on before joining them to the bod, once it was all done, the sleeves were way too short. After wasting two hours tinking all of four freakin' rows from the cast on (remind me never to do that again), I cut them off (gulp!) at the cuffs and knitted on another 2.5" to make them reach the wrists. Cutting after the fact a'la my disastrous Raspy added a few grey hairs to my head, but I'm much happier with the results!

Another unfortunate by-product of knitting from the bottom up - mathematically, the sleeve stripes should sit evenly with the bod stripe, but on, they sit slightly higher. Boooo!
Wallaby 3
Let's see, which book should, sock yarn overs!

Yarn thoughts
This was my first garment with Cotton Fleece, and I'm sort of on the fence about it. On the up side, the cotton/wool combo makes it a great option for the more temperate climates around here. It's also well priced for the yardage, easy to find, and easy to care for - this went through the delicate cycle in the washer and dryer with virtually no fading or bleeding (I *gasp!* knit a swatch and tested it before I added the stripes just to make sure the brown didn't run all into the pink and orange).

On the down side, it does feel a teeeny bit itchy. It's not unbearable but it is slightly uncomfortable, kind of a bummer considering only 20% of the content is wool. While it didn't fade, it did get fairly pilly. It gives this sweater kind of a "broken in" look, which actually works nicely for this particular style but would be disappointing in something less casual. Although, the pilling is more noticeable in the brown than in the pink or orange, and I did run it through the dryer, so that's something to keep in mind.

Also, one of the skeins had a faded spot that ran throughout the entire skein, so I ended up having to cut it in several places, resulting in a ton of balls. I mean, sometimes it's nice to have a lot of balls flying around you and all, but not when it comes to your yarn.

Wrap it up
I like it! Love the stripeys, and it's a great casual sweater! Kinda bummed that the arm stripes sit slightly higher when it's on, how the weight of the hood makes the front ride up now and then, and it could be an inch or two longer, but overall I'm pleased with the results. Next time, though, I'm knitting this sucker top down with a provisional cast on for the hood to ensure the fit and stripes hit the mark a little better.
Wallaby 4

Pattern: Inspired by Wonderful Wallaby but completely resized and recalculated
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 4 skeins in Truffle + bits of Pink-a-boo and Wild Orange
Needle: Holz & Stein Ebony, Size 5, 24"
Mods: Er, all of it


Blogger JellyDonut said...

I have the Wallaby book and was also concerned about the same issues you blogged about. I'd say you nailed it. I think the stripes matching across the back would just make you look like a wide bill board, which you obviously are not. The front does make you look like you have a bodacious rack, btw.

Nice job!

5:03 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Yeah, I was afraid of the chatty bit with the pattern. I'll probably do the same as you but take a page outta Barbara Walker's book. You came out with a fantastic hoodie though! Love the color combo. It fits you great.

I hadn't noticed Cotton Fleece pilling before. What a bummer!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Fabulous sweater!!! crack me up :)

8:08 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

So girly cute!! Love it!! Yay for the first sweater of '09!

8:19 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

All things considered, it looks super cute on you!

4:55 AM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

Rah rah, sis boom bah! Yaaaaaaaaaay sweater!

It *is* super cute. And I agree with above poster that it might be a good thing that the stripes don't line up in back. Don't want to detract from the Great Rack Enhancement, ya know?

The Cotton Fleece is itchy? Are you insane? I swear, you need to go dip yourself in wax or something.

My word verification word this time is frogi. Do you plan these?

5:43 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

very sporty!

that is an awesome hoodie. i love kangaroo pockets.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Trillian42 said...

So cute!!! I love it!

Also, I am SO GLAD I am not the only one who had C pill. I used it for my Prosperous Plum, and when I said it pilled, everyone said I was nuts. Mine was in Teddy Bear, which is a light brown. Maybe it's a brown thing?

7:59 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

It's so cute. You know those cute knitting books with adorable people in fabulous photographs of adorable knitwear? That's you!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Walden said...

I absolutely love the color combo, I never would of thought to that putting an orange next to pink would look good. Great job!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

So comfy looking! I want a sweater that's like a sweatshirt - one that I wear all the time that goes with everything and is really comfortable. Yours looks like just the one. I really like the color combo, though I'm not sure I could do stripes across the bust. The girls are already a bit unruly. They'd be positively unbearable with that much focus on them.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Great sweater - it looks beautiful on you as well! I love the color combo, and it looks so nice and comfortable.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

I really like the color combo you picked. Sorry it's not your favorite. But it still looks like a wearable, comfy sweater.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Rosi G. said...

I love how you say inspired by but it's actually an entirely different sweater! LOL

I love it. Gorgeous. Nice color choices too.

8:41 AM  

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