What we have here folks, is an absolute winner of a sweater. All around. From the very second I saw this in the Interweave Summer 2008 preview, I knew it had to be mine. If memory serves, the day I bought the mag I took it home and swatched immediately. I had a few skeins in my stash, and just had to by a few more to knit it, so it was almost kind of a stash buster to boot.
Since this sweater is knit on such wee needles, I knew I had to knit on it, and nothing else until it was done. As much as I loved knitting it, I was afraid if I put in done for even a minute in favor of another knit, it might be awhile before I got back to it. So it took about a month from start to finish.
Pattern: Aprés Surf Hoodie, from Interweave Knits Summer 2008, by Connie Chang Chinchio. I knit the 35.5 sizing. This pattern in great, very clear, and the lace is easy, even for a beginning lace knitter. The lace is “stacked” meaning that every repeat of the lace pattern falls exactly above the previous repeat. It is also what I like to call an “even” lace pattern, meaning that for every decrease there is an increase, and visa versa, so your stitch count is always the same!
Needles: US 3 for the body and sleeves, US 2 for the hood and i-cord cast offs at the sleeves and body hem, US 6 for i-cord cast off on hood. These are the recommended needles sizes, all but the US 6 for the hood i-cord cast off, that was a judgment call by me.
Yarn:7 skeins, Rowan Cashcotton 4ply, in color 910, Chartreuse. This is the yarn used in the pattern, and it is lovely! Although, before I did decide to use it, I checked out Ravelry for options, where there are some being knit in very nice alternative yarns.
Mods: A few, but nothing extremely pattern altering. The biggest change was to knit it in the round, instead of flat knitting.
I’ve had lots of inquires as to how I did it, and well, it’s incredibly easy, nothing to it. All you half to do, basically, is add the front number of stitches together with the back, and cast that on. Then work the back and front in pattern, it’s also helpful to put markers where your side seams would be. Knit all the way up to the armholes, then you’ll have to divide and work the top halves separately from there. (Unless you’re ballsy and want to steek, but that’s for another time.)
The only exception with this sweater, is the deep v of the neck, so you’ll half to start knitting flat a little earlier than the armholes.
You’ll notice that the V of my sweater is not that deep. That would be because someone didn’t read through her pattern all the way, and did not, in fact, see that the V split came before the armhole cast offs, until after the back was completely knit. At that point I was not going back, and it doesn’t make a difference to me either way, if it had bothered me even a tiny, tiny bit, I would have ripped that sucker out and reknit. You know I would have too.
I also knit the sleeves in the round. Easy seaming! The only other thing I did slightly differently, was to us a US 6 to work the i-cord cast off around the hood. There is NO give with this bind off, and I didn’t want it to pull in too much, so I tried out different needle sizes until I found the one I liked. Also, the i-cord cast off directions say to knit 2 together every 5 stitches, which I did do for the sleeves, but for the body hem, I decreased 2 together every 10th stitch, so that it wouldn’t pull in so tight, and it works, and I doesn’t roll up even a bit.
Oh, and to set in the sleeves, I used a crochet hook to work a chain stitch to seam the sleeves to the body. I feel this works great, is nice and sturdy, and if you muck it up and have to rip it out, (like you have to a lot of the time if you’re new to set in sleeves) it zips right off, instead of a mattress or backstitch, which would have to be picked out. This does create a slightly bulkier seam, and if you are working with a dk weight yarn or up, I would suggest seaming with a much lighter, even fingering/sock weight to reduce bulk.
This is my secret weapon for setting in sleeves, they practically ease themselves in!
Final verdict on this is I lurve it, and kind of half wish it was cold enough to wear it frequently (But I can wait for the cold! Really!). My particularly fav thing is the waist shaping, as you can see I have the curves for it, and it just really is the icing on the cake for a sweater I knit for myself. I also love the fabric the cashcotton creates, so very soft, and light too.