Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Husband's Sweater

On October 25th, 2009 I started working on the Avast Sweater by Jesse Loesberg for my husband.  Since it was mostly stockinette stitch, I figured that it would knit up very quickly.   On Dec 31, 2010 I finally finished the sweater. 

The fact that this project took me over a year to complete has nothing to do with the pattern.  It really should have knit up as quickly as I expected it, but here is a breakdown of why it took my so long:

I ended up with what I though was a flare up of tendinitis in my wrist so I stopped knitting for a couple of months to help it heal.   When the pain didn't go away I went to the doctor.  After a few months of appointments I was diagnosed with RA.  After another month of medication I was pain free and back to my knitting.  This was this past August . . . 10 months after I started the sweater.

At this point I was knitting the sleeves.  Silly me, I wasn't knitting them at the same time and as they were entirely stockinette I got very bored with the project and set it aside for other, more interesting projects.  Then, once I finally knit the second sleeve and was ready to attach them to knit the yoke, I discovered that they were not the same size. I wrote post about that in September.

I finally finished all the knitting at the end of October and just had the seaming left to do.  At this point I distracted myself from the project with NaKniSweMo and knitting a Christmas present.  Finally, I vowed to my self that I would have this sweater done before the end of 2010. A goal I knew I could accomplish as I had the week after Christmas off from work.

It didn't take me long to seam everything together.  (I rather enjoy the act of seaming a garment.) The last hurdle to completion . . . installing a zipper.  Yikes!  This was something I had never attempted before.  I always relish learning a new technique, but, to be honest, this one scared me. Luckily, the Winter Interweave Knits had recently arrived and it had an article on a new zipper technique.

Tools acquired, I started the process of adding the zipper.  It took a long time to prep the zipper (totally worth it though).  When I finished sewing in one side I felt such a sense of accomplishment that I was ready to tackle the second side.  (Note: to avoid what happened next, always pin your zippers properly.)  I quickly started work on the second side and as soon as I was finished I handed to my husband and proudly said, "Try it on!"

That was when I discovered that one side of his collar was a good two inches higher than the other side.  ARGH!  I new this couldn't be possible as it was knit in one piece so they both had to have the same number of stitches.  It took a few minutes for me to realize that even though I had even marked the chain stitches on the zipper I hadn't sewn them into the same stitches on each side.

So while I consider December 31, 2010 the completion date for the sweater, I will admit that I spent New Year's Day 2011 ripping out and correcting one side of the zipper.  I'm not totally happy with the end result, but I have deemed it good enough and I have closed the books on The Husband's Sweater!


Jenny Eliuk @ Stay on Path said...

I'm about to tackle the knitted in zipper technique myself, and am wondering what method you used to attach it? As in, once you had the tape prepped with loops, how (literally) did you knit it to the sweater? I'm stumped on this part and am not sure how to proceed. Your sweater turned out great and your husband must love it!

jen7maples at gmail

Kat B said...

Hi Jenny, Sorry I didn't see your comment sooner. I simply grafted the stitches on the zipper to the stitches on the inside of the front band. It did take quite a bit of time, but the zipper is very secure.