1.22.2009

i made a sweater!




pattern: Saffron, from Rowan's New Shapes by Sarah Hatton
yarn: Rowan Big Wool in Smudge
notions: vintage wood buttons

This sweater took FOREVER. I'm a beginner, so the hard part was just trying to figure everything out. (Also, fixing my mistakes took a bit of time.) I had help from my teacher in the beginning, but after my classes ended I stubbornly struck out on my own for the hard parts. That said, the pattern is pretty easy. That doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of cursing, but if I did this sweater again it would be a breeze. I added two extra buttonholes though the instructions called for only one, and I didn't make the belt. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. The sleeves are kind of short, which really bugs me. And since the yarn is so bulky, I kind of look like a linebacker in it. But overall it is a very cuddly and warm sweater, which is nice. It's definitely not uniformly perfect, but that's the charm of a handmade sweater, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself. I have to admit that I'm proud of myself for finishing such an intimidating project, but at the same time I'm a little let down that the outcome isn't more flattering. But hey, I did it! And it was fun.

82 comments:

craftysunday said...

i have been looking for a sweater pattern EXACTLY like that...only i'm a crochet-er. can't seem to wait (patiently) for things to be knit.

it's beautiful, especially the color. it's so cold here in chicago...thinking maybe i should learn to knit. :)

darling dexter said...

this looks lovely and comfy! i'm always so amazed how things like this are made -- i've never knitted or crocheted. nice color too :)

whistlepeaknits said...

It looks great! If you want to try another but want something really easy you should try a seamless sweater knit in the round. You never have to purl or seam.

Meghan said...

Fantastic work on your first sweater! It looks very professional to me. Love the style, too.

martha said...

wow! i have never even attempted a sweater, and this looks really nice. (That is great fabric in the background too.)

jean said...

Nice work! I think you did a very good job. Did you block the sweater yet? I'm wondering if that will help with the imperfect uniformity. Otherwise, I don't see anything un-uniform about it, I think it looks great!

erica said...

i don't think you look like a linebacker in it at all! i am so impressed that you made a sweater, i don't have the attention span to follow through on most of my projects.

it looks fantastic with that shirt and scarf, by the way. lots of cursing is part of the fun, right?

k-ron said...

SO cute! i love the sweater. AND the color.

meg said...

congratulations! I think it looks fantastic and the color is perfect.

Meg said...

beautiful! You did a great job!

melissa said...

that looks beautiful, nice job. i love the color and details.

Kait said...

Your sweater is lovely! As are you, no linebacker at all!

emily said...

you did it! that's incredible! i love the grey and the collar. The idea that you made yourself a sweater is just jaw-dropping to me.

potty mouth mama said...

It looks fantastic, and I don't think it's bulky at all. Go yoU!

Anonymous said...

I love your stripey shirt too! Where did you get it from?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that's impressive! If you wanted to make the sleeves longer without re-doing lots of work you could pick up some stitches around the cuffs and knit them wider...
It looks lovely though, makes me think I should have a go at a bigger project!

K. Vinot said...

Bravo! I looks great! You went from 0 to 60 on the knitting spectrum. You'll be amazed at what you can do next!

clairehelene7 said...

Wow! That is so great! Well done Jenny!

mscleaverchronicles said...

Congrats on your first sweater! I love the buttons and it makes me want a grey cardi again. Maybe after I finish the 5 or so knitting projects I have lined up now...

emily said...

oh jenny! it's wonderful!!!! first sweaters are very memoriable experiences and such good learning experiences. i wish you lived closer so you could be in my knitting group. well done, and it does indeed look cozy and warm.

Kate G. said...

what a beautiful sweater- way to go!!!

mallory said...

It looks awesome! I just started knitting a week ago, making an orange cowl. Your sweater looks great! And I absolutely love the fabric in the background. Would you let me know where it is from? Thank you.

copperseal said...

wow i cant believe thats your FIRST sweater - mine would look worse than the bundle of yarn from which it came. no doubt.

make more! i like wikstenmade winter edition ;)

kelly said...

are you kidding?! that's an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING first sweater! the knitting is beautiful! my first FOUR sweaters sit in my closet because I can't possibly wear them out of the house they are so hideous.

Anonymous said...

Do you have long arms? It's amazing how they vary, like feet of course. I think I have quite short arms. It looks nice, though, because cropped and even three-quarter sleeves are everywhere. Maybe it wouldn't feel short if you wore it over a top that just peeked out at the cuffs. That is what I do sometimes and it really changes how I feel about it. I wonder how many people can say their first sweater even resembled an actual sweater, and yours looks professional!

mocca said...

this sweater looks amazing! iam knitting (beginner) and crocketing for myself and i always thing, that knitting clothing on your own look like you did it on your own. but your sweater is just "wow"! i love, love, love it!!!

qooza said...

Congratulations on your first sweater! It looks lovely.

Mlle Miracle said...

You're brave, and the result of your work is awesome! As for the sleeves, I've check at Rowan's link and I see that the model also has short sleeves, so it's the pattern, not you!

Snowberry and Lime said...

It looks great! I actually think that it does look quite flattering for a rather simple pattern. Also nicely combined with the stripey shirt and tartan scarf!

Veronika

Casey said...

Your sweater is so beautiful! (Really!) I love the color and lines of it... bravo for finishing your first sweater too! I just finished knitting my first sweater a couple weeks ago, and just have to block and sew it together. ;) You've inspired me to get to it!

Hyena In Petticoats said...

Oh Jenny I think it's beautiful! It's definitely flattering, and the sleeves are a little short even on the model in the pattern book, so I wouldn't worry about it! (I do love an extra-long sleeve though...)

Congratulations - I'm trying to work up the courage to knit my first sweater myself - you give me hope!

Leah xxx

1/4 of an inch said...

I love this pattern...you have done an amazing job...you should be really proud of yourself:) Tam xo

1/4 of an inch said...

I love this pattern...you have done an amazing job...you should be really proud of yourself:) Tam xo

merche grosso said...

congratulations !!!
i liked so much the photo set

amisha said...

jenny, i am so so impressed that this is your first sweater! it looks beautiful. it was a long long time before i had the courage to try collars and buttonholes as a knitter :)

nicole said...

Well I think it looks super-sweet on you!! Congratulations on getting it done!

AmandaMay said...

Beautiful! I love the color, the style, especially with the added buttons! It looks cozy and classy, well done!

lealou said...

this is beautiful!

Kelsey Foster said...

you are so talented! i always read your blog to see what you are going to make next. everything is always beautiful!

valerie said...

holy. cow. buttonholes and everything! that is seriously impressive. i can't imagine knitting a whole sweater--you did an excellent job!
and you know, i've noticed that handmade sweaters, for whatever reason, tend to have too-short sleeves. or maybe we just have monkey arms? :D
nice work!

Kristien said...

Jenny, this is awesome! I know you say it took you forever, but I feel like you just blogged about making a sweater and now you are done. You definitely do not look like a linebacker, but I can sympathize with the long arms dilemma. My arms are always too long for sweaters and it drives me nuts. I ordered New Shapes to take a stab at the vanilla scarf you made for your winter collection, and now I am excited to maybe try one of the sweater patterns too. Beautiful work, again!

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, I didn't mean anything bad about arms! It's just funny, because in my family, we are always switching clothes because of arm and leg length, shoulder width, and so forth. Ready-made clothes are always way too long in the arms and legs for me so my choices are limited unless I want to do alterations.

shayna said...

jenny, this is great! i'm so impressed. i just finished my first sweater, too. take a look here, and you'll see i share the same woe/pride. personally, i think your sweater looks fantastic! really and truly! on the next project...

kate said...

whoa-that's amazing! i think it looks beautiful, i couldn't imagine starting something like this! good on you!

Kelly said...

I love it, and don't think you look linebacker-esque at all. For the sleeves being on the short-side, could you pick up the stiches and just purl for a couple inches to make cuffs?? I'm not sure how it would look, you could always take it off if it didn't work. Other that that, beautiful job.

craftoholic said...

I've been knitting for a long time and I think your sweater looks and fits great! It's actually more difficult to knit with very thick yarn (and needles) than with thinner yarn. I have some Rowan Big Wool I wasn't sure what to do with but your lovely cardi has inspired me.

keylimecat said...

It's so beautiful. *sigh*

Mich said...

it looks really good though! to make the sleeves not look as short you should try wearing some big bracelets cuz then it looks like you were trying to just show those beauties off. or a striped long sleeve shirt would look cute with the sleeves poking out.

gunter said...

This looks fabulous! And very flattering.

leah said...

Ooh wow! I am very impressed. It looks lovely with the striped top. I've yet to finish the jumper I started about 6 months ago, so it's impressive in that respect too!

layersofmeaning said...

WOW! love it, it looks so cute!

keylimecat said...

Where did you get the navy skirt you are wearing with the sweater? Did you make it? I'm looking desperately for a navy skirt.

jenny gordy said...

got it at the banana republic outlet last summer.

Anne said...

i love it! looks so cozy.

pigeon.toed said...

omg you did an amazing job!!!

Anonymous said...

It looks fantastic...just amazing! And you're right. It isn't supposed to be so perfect it might be mistaken for something manufactured. Also, you look nothing like a linebacker. Trust me. My grandson was one. Congratulations, Jenny. Nice job.

alice said...

Oooh it is cute! :)

philli1 said...

the sweater is beautiful and looks fantastic on you!

Graziella said...

i like it Jenny! looks good on you too...i hope i can crochet(don't know how to knit)a sweater or a top one of these days....

Patricia said...

That is a beautiful sweater!! Well done!!

miss sophie said...

yay for handknits! very cozy and versatile, and the sleeve length is perfect for layering!

the sewer cat said...

absolutely beautiful!

Nantucket Dreams said...

i love it! it looks darling on you and seems like the perfect sweater to pull on over anything this time of year.

Lydia said...

It looks great! I wish I could be so talented :P

Anonymous said...

Not flattering? You flatter the clothes, not the other way around! 8-D

rebecca said...

jenny, it's lovely. you should be really proud.

i wanted to tell you that you crossed my mind just now because big news is only 2 days away. you must be pretty excited and nervous. big changes are likely ahead.

Leigh said...

You did a great job! I think it looks really good on you, and I like the sleeves a little short!

sew nancy said...
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sew nancy said...
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sew nancy said...

congrats on your first sweater
love the color

jenniferz said...

Congratulations on doing such a beautiful job on such an advanced project! I've been knitting for a while now and haven't attempted anything more complex than a few hats and a basketweave obi-style belt. You should wear your creation with pride. It in no way makes you look like a linebacker and it flatters you more than you think!

Best of luck with all the changes that are coming in yours and Joe's lives. I'm sure the two of you will make a lovely life for yourselves wherever you end up!

Regi said...

You did an amazing job! The sweater looks great-and I know you have said you have gained a bit of weight, but from here, it doesn't look like it.

I know the linebacker feeling. I think the weight I used was still a bit heavy even with my sweater as well and I hate my side shot because my arms do not look so good.

I can't wait to see that Valentine's dress and sweater number two. :)

joyce said...

That is sooo good for your first sweater!

Deborah said...

You did a really good job for a first time sweater-maker!!

milk tooth's rain said...

Hey! Good job, I'd like to do a sweater too...but I think I need to buy the book before - to have the pattern.
You have done really a good work! congratulations!

Anonymous said...

And here I was, just now, admiring the length of the sleeves, thinking:

Hmmm, that looks edgy and a little European. I like it.

You should check out Ravelry.com and sign up for a free account. It's a neat way to check out new patterns and see other people's progress and finished photos (so that you can see what the sweater looks like when it is worn by a regular person and not a size 0 model).

Anyway, you did great!

Danielle

Vilija said...

Good luck to you and Joe tomorrow. Hopefully you get a great match!

Shaina said...

Dude, Rowan Big Wool is like the world's most unflattering yarn. So the fact that you look so cute in that sweater is like a friggin' miracle. It's really fantastic and looks very well made. I totally thought the sleeves were on purpose.

Sandy said...

It's lovely. I love the style. Was the collar hard to do? I'd make one too but collars and shoulders usually scare me.
The color works too. It'll work with many things. Keep warm this winter!

Sandy said...

It's lovely. I love the style. Was the collar hard to do? I'd make one too but collars and shoulders usually scare me.
The color works too. It'll work with many things. Keep warm this winter!

Leila said...

It came out great! I didn't like some of my first sweaters when I first finished them but now, over the years, they've grown on me and they're now some of my favorite things to wear! I can't wait to see how the next one turns out. And, although this is the wrong post, good luck on the residency picks.

virginie said...

I am planning (ahead! I know I will need months...) to do a sweater for next winter. I checked yarn market and I was it costs so much to have this book sent to Europe. Do you have any idea of european web sites which could sell this book? Or this pattern only?
Btw, yours looks fabulous. Amazing job!