Okay, this is going to be a long one. Lots of photos, lots of ramblings! All for what is actually a fairly simple project that wasn't so simple.
Matt's Christmas project is done (and already being worn. Ya, we're not really good at the whole "wait 'til Christmas" thing... however, I might snag it back and wrap it for under the tree. If I can get it off him).
This project was a lot more work than I expected, but so incredibly worth it. For many reasons. I learned a great deal about my own knitting skills (in a really good way), remembered that I can not do story problems and that I love working with the Kathmandu yarns (just not for seaming).
So a quick summery: I knew I wanted to make Elizabeth Zimmermann's Seamless Hybrid with a Shirt Yoke as a cardigan. I also knew I wanted to do the body with a textured stitch and work it flat. I did all these things, but I also discovered that I can not follow an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern for the life of me. I found her directions confusing, all out of order, full of little sidebars with numbers that I could not find a reference to where she got them.
This means I learned a great deal about my own knitting skills. I now know that I can knit a sweater without a pattern. Her math didn't work for me, so I ended up on my own. The only reason I'm even still calling this Seamless Hybrid with a Shirt Yoke sweater is because it definitely is inspired by the pattern.
I absolutely love the look of this style. Looks great on Matt and I know I'll be doing more of them. I really wanted to make this as a field jacket, with globs of pockets, but after some set backs, and the realization that this yarn is a little too soft to be able to handle the wear and tear that pockets would require, I think we'll just keep the pocket on the sleeve. I'll probably make an other in a heavier/studier yarn (with more ease) with globs of pockets.
On of my favorite things I did (apart from that little pocket on the sleeve) is use an attached I-cord for the zipper. Of course it took me way longer to do it than I expected, but I have to say, well worth the work. One of the smoothest zipper installations I've done (and it lays flat! whoot!).
So let's go over the project stats!!
Pattern: based on the Seamless Hybrid Sweater with Shirt Yoke by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK
Changes to the pattern: since I couldn't decipher the pattern, and the percentages given in the pattern didn't give me the sizing I wanted, we're calling this inspired by anyway. However, some major changes from the pattern: I did the body in garter rib, worked the sweater flat(no steeking!) and added the pocket to the sleeve (initial plan was to do breast pockets and front pockets as well). I did an attached I-cord for the zipper opening (and this might become Standard Operating Procedure).
Problems with the pattern: I think I've been very vocal on my inability to follow the pattern. There really isn't an actual pattern, just her describing what she did, some general math/percentages and it's all embedded in her prose. Simply not my forte (it's a bit like working a story problem). I think knitters fall into two categories: the emperical (math/engineer types) and the "let's throw a sweater together" type. I'm pretty sure I fall into the later (especially since I went to an art college that didn't even look at my math SAT scores).
Overall impressions: Okay, there was a lot of whining during the construction of this project. While the pattern frustrated me, this ended up being a fabulous project for me to knit. I feel so much more comfortable changing patterns to suit my gauge, body, yarn, etc. So while it knocked down some of my confidence, it built it up in other areas. I love the finished project. So does Matt (and that's always the goal). More will be knit!
Now that my Christmas gift project is done, I am knitting something for me! In color! I'm hoping to have a new pair of gloves by Christmas!