What's better than one finished sweater? Two finished sweaters, of course!
Not long ago, Meg and I were knitting, and she told me she was ready to knit a sweater. Her first. She wanted to know if I might be interested in knitting the same pattern alongside her for moral support. I'd never done a knit-along before. I typically consider myself a 'lone wolf' when it comes to project selection. But, Meg is a lot of fun, and I was sure knitting a sweater with her would be the same.
I told Meg to narrow down her project selection on Ravelry and let me know which pattern she'd like to try. I'm not sure what I expected her to send me, but it definitely wasn't a hip length, shawl collar, color work sweater with seamed sleeves. I told you she was fun! A sweater of this size is an ambitious endeavor for an experienced sweater knitter. Meg was completely up for the challenge.
We met at knit night to buy our supplies and started knitting the Drops Catherine Jacket. We broke the pattern down into pieces and had 'homework' assignments to complete in between meetings. It was fantastic motivation to have another person depending on my progress before she could continue hers. And, I didn't have any troubles staying interested in this sweater while I was knitting it... I often suffer from a wandering eye when I'm knitting on my own.
I'm not sure I am the best influence for a blossoming sweater knitter. I didn't make Meg swatch before we started (TISK TISK!). In my defense, she assures me should would have refused any insistence to the contrary. It worked out, which only encourages future bad behavior. One place I did put my foot down, however, was seaming. I LOATH sloppy seams, and I'm a complete snob about it.
There's a right way and a wrong way to pick-up stitches. And, it makes a huge difference in the look of completed projects. I don't see the point in spending 40+ hours knitting something if you aren't going to finish it beautifully. Bad finishing is the fastest way to make your hand knitted projects look, to borrow a phrase from Mr. Kors, "Becky Home Ecky". I digress...
While the size of this garment makes it a time consuming project, the pattern is a very easy knit. Like most Drops patterns, there isn't a lot of shaping and the construction is boxy. The only issue Meg and I both encountered was sleeve length vs. armscye. The sleeve circumference is inches shorter than the opening on the body of the sweater. We resolved the disproportionate length by seaming the excess length at the sides up to the underarm. It's not at all noticeable; still, it's a flaw with the pattern.
This sweater is going to see a lot of love through the fall and winter. It's so warm. So beautiful. So practical. So versatile. And, so on.
I'm immensely impressed by Meg. My first sweater was, pardon my language, a shit show. Gosh, I've learned a lot in four years. How nice of Ravelry to act as a reminder of all the not-so-lovely projects one created before one developed her skill set. You've come a long way, baby. ;-)
I think it's fair to say, Meg is officially a sweater knitter, and I am a KAL convert. In fact, we've already started another sweater with the lovely Liz.
It's probably apparent by looking at the pictures; we had fun documenting our projects. Mike, our gracious and talented photographer, got some great shots for us. You can see more of them and Meg's sweater over on her blog.