Yay! I've finally blocked this bad boy and can finally call it finished! I had the knitting part done weeks ago but didn't get around to blocking and doing all the finishing bits 'til recently. This sweater is officially the second FO of the year, the first being that project bag I had made for the gift exchange. I'm hoping that with the Ravelympics coming up that I'll be able to add even more FO's to the list.
So onward with the project details...after much perusing of the other Owls sweaters on Ravelry I decided to cast-on for the s/m size, for fear that the small might be a tad too small and the medium be a tad too big. So what else to do but go with the size that's in between? The night I started I was pleasantly surprised as to just how fast the sweater knits up. I had only been working on it for a few hours and was pretty much done the body!! Not to mention that I had only used up half of the first skein of yarn! I used Cascade's Eco Wool after seeing that it was quite the hit on Ravelry for this project, and what an added bonus that it's a very affordable yarn to boot. 2 skeins was the general consensus as to how much yarn was needed and so this sweater basically cost me less than $35 to make! If I had made this short sleeved (which I plan on doing for the next one I make!) then I wouldn't even need that second skein. Oh yeah, I'm definitely loving the Eco Wool!
I had made the body 15" long, figuring that since I'm petite it'll suffice in covering me nicely. The bottom of the sweater hits just above the belt, which is great for when I'm standing, but in hindsight I should've made it 17" long so that I'm not constantly tugging it down whilst walking and such. But that's just me being nit-picky. I also thought I had made the sleeves a little bit longer cause you're suppose to knit them up to your armpit before joining them with the body, so I had knitted them so that the hems would reach just below the thumb. During the blocking process I thought the sleeves had also stretched a little longer than planned, but now that I've worn the sweater a few times I discovered that they go perfectly to the wrist bone. No biggy, but I like my sweaters to either be 3/4 length or long enough so that I have something to grasp onto during the really cold days.
I Magic Looped the sleeves, which was a first for me, since I like to do both sleeves at once to prevent that "second sock syndrome". Not that I'm complaining, cause anything that involves knitting in the round and not having to sew up a seam ranks high in my books. I'd do anything to avoid having to sew seams in my knitting, even if it means having to knit sleeves up separately!
I have to admit that I was a little nervous about doing the short rows called for in the pattern (to give the sweater some shape), as I've never done them before. But after watching a little demo on youtube before trying them out myself I wonder now why I was so scared of them, they are so easy peasy to do! I did have to rip out the first attempt though, as I had slipped the first wrap and turn stitch knitwise and not purlwise (I was watching TV while doing this! Oops!). I knew I had done something wrong halfway through but ignored that pesky intuition feeling, thinking I was just paranoid that I wasn't doing it right. Oh no. I should have listened to my gut.
As I've mentioned earlier, the knitting part was über easy and quick. I think I would've been able to whip this up in 3 days if I was able to devote a huge chunk of my time rather than working on this project an hour or two a night. Not to mention I didn't touch it at all during the Christmas holiday. I've read on other people's Ravelry pages that they took anywhere from a day to 3 days to knit one of these babies up. I totally believe it. I think blocking the sweater took longer than the actual knitting time! I didn't want to manhandle the yarn too much for fear of felting the sweater and unlike previous projects where there's only 1 layer of knitted fabric, this sweater was 2 layers of bulky knitted yarn. So it took almost a week for it to dry completely!
I relished in the fact that I had only 2 really small seams to sew up (note to self: must find more seamless or almost seamless projects to knit!!). The only hard part in the finishing was the eyes for the owls. I had decided to not sew all 36 buttons required for the 18 owls cause I prefer the look of just a few select owls to have eyes. Not to mention that I'm too lazy to sew on all 18 sets of eyes and I couldn't find 36 tiny 9mm buttons anyways. The buttons that I did use (faux tortoise shell) aren't working out for me, as I think they get lost within the sweater due to them being so close in color. So the search for new buttons is on. 'Til I find them, I'll settle for what I have sewn on there for now.
I absolutely LOVE how this sweater came out and can say that this is a wardrobe favorite already. I love it so much that I'm already planning on knitting another but in a lighter, worsted weight yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash, and making it short sleeved for spring and cool summer nights. I also saw a cardigan version too that I would love to include in my "collection" and can already envision that version with a 3/4 sleeve. Oh yes...I'm hooked and I don't care what any one says about it! Cause really, I think I need 3 versions of this pattern for all the seasons in a year (just smile and nod...it'll make me feel better and less crazy). The Eco Wool is sooo warm that the 3 times that I've worn it so far I've had to wear a light jacket over it, even the other night when it was beyond cold and windy, it was just that warm. So I can totally justify having to make more, right?
Anyways, I can go on arguing my case as to why I need more than 1 owls sweater. Here are the details of this project:
Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies
Yarn: 2 skeins of Cascade Eco Wool (but I ended up using less than 1.5 skeins!)
Color: 8049 - Tarnish (medium grey)