Just another red sweater

29 Feb

…in what seems like a long line of them.  “A red sweater” seems like my default knitting project, but red is my favorite color, so voilà.
In a yarn store, I am statistically more likely to fall for a skein of red than any other possibility, and that is what happened in this case.


I made this pattern up as I went along. I was tempted to write I “designed” it, but to me, “design” indicates some forethought, some planning. What I did was start a top-down in-the-round pullover, and then every few inches I tried it on, and then ripped out what I had knitted if I didn’t like how it was working, and then re-knitted it.  It went through a lot of changes. It had panels of lace, at certain times. The shaping grew and changed. I probably knitted the equivalent of three of these sweaters by the time it was all over. It’s so different from my original “design” that in fact, had I made it as first conceived in my imagination, there in the yarn store…it would have been a hat and mittens.

I even purchased the buttons with the brim of a hat in mind.  Get a look at these buttons, they’re one of my favorite parts:

In the spirit of “why buy it when you can make it yourself?”, these buttons are handmade by a local woodworker, from a stick.  I love how the wood is a different shade toward the center, and the raw bark edges.

Other features of this “design” include…

…a triangle cable pattern, around the hip area.

Also you might notice the ombre effect, of dark and bright yarns merging together. (Can we say “two different dye lots?”)  I’m pretty happy with the way that turned out, I reworked that merger a couple of times before I got it in the right place and the right “fadedness”.

And speaking of the hip area, I just want to show you the overall shape of what my “top down, as you go” shaping steps created, as I discarded any patterns or measurements and instead formed my knitting directly to my body all throughout the process:

You can’t buy a sweater in that shape in any retail store. No, sirree. That is a distinctly me-sized sweater, and a good illustration, I think, of why shops and catalogs never offer clothing that fits as well as I can make for myself.  (Okay, there’s another engineering issue, going on there, too, inherent in the design: the triangles are made with cable stitches, and cable stitches don’t have the same flex and give as stockinette. So that area had to be wider because it wasn’t as stretchy. One more reason I prefer “making it up as you go along”.)  Still, it’s a pretty funny photo.

5 Responses to “Just another red sweater”

  1. ataylorsews March 1, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    Really nice! While sewing is my love, I also know how to knit. You are way above my little skill level because I have to have a knitting pattern to work from. And I’ve only ever started at the bottom, not the top. Isn’t it great to be able to make clothes fit well? I just love that. Very nice sweater.

  2. prttynpnk March 1, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    I love that hipline! This is so sweet!

  3. brownbirdgreenstring March 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Nice fit! And those buttons are much like the one my love fashions for me out of sticks!

    • handmadejulie March 18, 2012 at 8:13 am #

      What a wonderful thing to do!

      I love the buttons, I think it’s such an unexpected (and yet natural) use of materials.

  4. Jacqui April 2, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    that is a VERY pretty red sweater!!!! 😀

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