Thursday, November 29, 2007

Done like dinner!

I've been knitting an Aran sweater for a customer at the store. The gentleman came in looking for a hand-knit Aran sweater for his wife's birthday. Money was not a problem, and he realized that Aran sweaters require LOTS of work. Also, there really wasn't a deadline as his wife was in on the surprise. With that in mind, I accepted the commission.

She selected a design from Susan Bates booklet no. 17670, circa 1983, knit in Paton's Classic Merino. All well and good, and quite in line with what I would have chosen. Unfortunately, the wool wasn't available from the warehouse immediately, so I had to wait until the latter half of October to cast on.

I knit dutifully and carefully, following the pattern diligently. Christy asked if I made any alterations to compensate for the difference between the style as written (long and lean) and the current styles and/or body styles. Well, I did. First, I cast on using the numbers for a size 42, and tapered to a size 40 to mimic the customer's body. I also shortened the length to the underarm shaping since the customer is vertically challenged.

One of my friends from the store questioned whether I had knit a gauge swatch. "Ha! I know this yarn and I know me! I'll be fine!" And when she wasn't looking, I measured. Once the back and two fronts were completed, I took them home for a little blocking. Unfortunately, the goddess of knitting didn't look kindly upon my arrogance. I needed six more stitches. I compensated by knitting up a gusset from the bottom ribbing to the armhole, sewing it in darn near invisibly.

The sleeves were knit just as written, only for a size 42. This provided some extra width across the shoulders and the necessary length. The collar was also knit as directed, for the size 42.

All in all, looking at the photo, it does appear to be a credible job, and one I hope the customer will find worthy. After the photo shoot, I sewed on the 7 buttons. All in all, the sweater consumed 8 balls of wool and six weeks of my life. It could've been completed sooner, with more diligence on my part in the store. But sometimes a girl has to do the bookwork, and stock the shelves, and play on the computer. Ya know? And I'm happy with it.


Jacqui said...

That is beautiful; nice work! And a scathingly brilliant idea about the gusset; I love it!

Doug said...

Hope it looks as good on her as it does on you!

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