A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.


Winter is definitely upon us…the hoodie is very appealing about now. I haven’t worked with heavier weight yarn for a while–both construction methods and design intrigue me. It’s a pleasure how quickly it knits up, but painful on my fingers. As much as I heart knitting in-a-round to avoid seaming, I opted to knit this in pieces–front pieces 2-at-a-time first, back piece, then sleeves–in order for me to keep my finishing techniques refreshed like grafting the hood piece seamlessly:

applied kitchener-stitch–just love this tool.
It wasn’t without challenges

careless mistakes on the seamless sleeves on a few occasions

Only unraveled 12 rows of cable stitches instead of all the rows…


Still not perfect–on a different token, I’m learning to live with a minor setback.
As much as I avoided a potential challenge and did the ribbing correctly (knit 2, purl 3,) I managed somehow to flip flop the back piece cable set-up row to be reversed. I looked at the front. I looked at the back. I looked at the 248-stitch buttonhole band, framing the hoodie. My knitting friends told me to leave it…I just couldn’t. The back was not like the others, the back doesn’t belong, (you catch the drift)…options running through my sleep-deprived brain…neither unseaming the pieces, steeking the ribbed band, nor ripping the entire back out is an option–ICK. One of the most entrenched techniques shown in The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques came to my rescue–with a crochet hook, simply ladder knit stitches vertically up a unwanted purl column of stitches. Be sure to check out Nichole’s step-by-step tutorial if you don’t have Margaret’s must-have book.

Viola…a 2-3 ribbing to a 3-2 ribbing. How cool is that!
This relaxed fit hooded sweater adds an air of sophistication to a traditionally dressed down style. Mix its beautiful texture with a sleek leather jacket for an evening on the town, or just get cozy next to a fire somewhere. The hoodie will keep you looking sharp and comfortable either way. An entire alpaca-blend sweater with JHB buttons (3 packs $3.50/ea) costs $30–gotta love it!

PROJECT SPECS
CAST ON:
November 9, 2009
BIND OFF: November 11, 2009 (12 hours total in knitting time.)
PATTERN: Heather Hoodie Vest by Debbie O’Neill
MATERIAL: 807 yards, weighed 672 grams, of Bernat Alpaca Natural Blend in Sky.
NEEDLES: Size 10
MODIFICATIONS:
1. Rows 1-18 measures to 3.75″ height
2. Must have started Row 1 on RS–instead of WS on back piece ribbing…as I did carefully purl 3 knit 2 as instructed. How bad does it bug me? ENOUGH…as shown in above. It’s fun to apply the repair technique.
3. Set up row is incorrect. Should be p3 ***(not p4)*** before and after p1f&b.
4. Left Front and Back pieces set Up on Row 11 and Right Front on Row 10. Knit the front pieces first 2-a-time.
5. Four complete pattern repeats plus 13 rows. Neck Shaping on Row 11.
6. Shorten length by an inch–20″ instead of 21″ (blocked out to 22″–next one will knit to 21″ on back piece.)
7. Slipped first stitch of every row made the seaming process extra easy and smooth. Next vest will be knit completely seamless in a round and in Rowan Cable yarns–it’s absolutely to die for–or my handspun.
8. Added 2nd ball of yarn on 2nd pattern repeat, piece to 10″ length. 3rd ball added midway on Row 5, 2nd pattern repeat and 4th ball added on Row 7, 5th pattern repeat both on BACK piece.
9. Instead of k1f&b, I did M1R M1L on hood increase. Knit gauge tight and shorten length to 11″ before decrease to avoid excessively large hood. Did a kitchener stitch graft as shown above instead of 3-needle bind-off. Added 5th ball of yarn when hood is 10.5″ long. Next one will carry 2-stitch cable-twist up both side edges.***
10. Added 6th ball of yarn with 2 feet picot bind-off left on the 6-buttonhole band (instead of 5.)
11. Made it long seamless sleeves w/matching cable stitch used in the body. Decreased 2 stitches 2x every 8th rows; 6x every 6th row; once on 8th row, and once on first row of 3-2 ribbed cuff (with 35 stitches remaining) Added 7th ball of yarn on 2nd sleeve, Row 6 of 1st repeat. There were a total of 4 pattern repeats with 2.5″ ribbed cuff in the sleeves.
COMMENT: Quick knit for a sweater. All knit up and button sewn on…only to discover there were more misadventures on both sleeves. It bugged me enough to unravel them and fixed the back piece ribbing too. DD#1 and #2 love the original vest edition, in not-so-sheddy/itchy yarn. By being drawn to this particular hoodie, I have gained new insight into my own. This knitting experience left me drooling and dizzy ideas for next project.

I am congenitally incapable of following a pattern without altering or tweaking it–this is a classic example. I can be rather capricious so almost all of my projects go off on a different tangent–than originally intended–and that can become rather complex. But I love the process as they evolve. It made me take the leap into the realm of designing, which I love to explore.

Half Full? Half Empty? You decide!… an empowering interpretation is just as valid as a disempowering one. You get to decide what impact life has on you. Make it positive.~~Real Simple magazine, March 2007

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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Comments on: "Cable Loves: Blue Sky Heather Hoodie (Not a Vest)" (1)

  1. Wonderful mods! I, too, would love this as a cardi instead of a vest. I love what you've done.

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