my Options KAL is finished: Wardrobe Basic

12:11 PM





My Amy Herzog Options KAL pullover was finished weeks ago, a few weeks ahead of schedule.  I've been wearing it and washing it, all the time thinking that I should employ my photographer to take some modeled shots and get this FO validated, because it's not really finished until it says so on Rav, right? But my photographer is elusive and usually disappears when I mention the idea of a photography session--we both get crabby about that prospect, it's true.  However last week I came home from a luncheon feeling very jolly and saw my photographer putting up the Christmas lights. He agreed to take a wee break and the pictures are done!

Now for my wrap-up on the KAL, the pattern and the yarn--I loved all three!  It was so much fun being a part of what turned out to be my favorite knit-along.  I love knitting sweaters and love to learn other knitters techniques. With any knit-along, the knitter hopes to find a few tips to keep and incorporate into one's own knitting, and I did learn some great new skills.

Amy Herzog is adorable.  Her knitting and fitting tips are easy to understand and clearly explained in her videos and written on her blog.  The pattern was very well-written and easy to understand.  It's a free pattern that you should download while it's still available--all links are at the end of the post.  Whether you are a beginner or advanced, it's a good, basic pattern to have in your pattern library.  It has several options for pullover or cardigan, v-neck or crew, textured or plain fabric and sleeve length.

The yarn, Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK is a favorite of mine, and while it's not the first time I've used it, it is my first adult garment made with it and I'm very happy.  The yarn is an absolute joy to knit, and practically snaps into place with the slightest of needle action.  Not slippy nor needle fussy, this is a great yarn for beginners or for those who like to touch-knit.  A bouncy, non-slippy yarn translates into easy knitting and no tired hands!  I could knit this literally for hours, which I did on a car ride.  The fabric is stable yet stretchy.  It easily handled the washer/dryer, kept it's memory and has resisted excessive pilling.  I like to give non-knitters gifts made with machine-washable yarn, it's safer, don't you agree?  As soon as I was half done with this, I purchased some more PWDK to make a striped easy-care vest for my son for Christmas.  It's going to be fantastic.  I always have to share that while the ball band says do not tumble dry, I do.  Here's how I care for my PWW and PWDK superwash knits:  Turn inside out, place in a mesh sweater bag and machine wash in cool water on gentle cycle.  Next, pop in the dryer on low and take out before it's fully dry and finish drying flat.

This pattern and KAL was less of a KAL and more of a tutorial on knitting a sweater and making it fit.  I think everyone learns different things from different patterns.  Here's a few new knitting skills I've added to my skills set:  I loved Amy's waist shaping darts.  In the close-up picture above you can see how the decreases begin at the hip, with increases ending right below the apex of the bust.  These darts are on both the front and back. I will be using them again and may also include some traditional waist shaping to get a more defined waist.  Amy's formula for making a v-neck on any sweater is exceptional.  If changing a neckline is daunting to you, she clears up any questions.   But the big thing I learned was how to measure myself.  Not that I did it correctly, but since I goofed, now I know not to repeat my mistake again.  But hey, I was happy to make that mistake so you don't have to! Amy has you measure under your arms, not at your bust (her first video describes this in detail).  This measurement will be smaller of course, but will give you well-fitting shoulders and back, THEN, you add stitches on the front to accommodate your bust.  For some reason, I just couldn't get this through my head, and made a size I thought would fit, and ended up with a sweater that has too much excess in the back, see above.  My bad, and while I still love the sweater, it's not the perfect fit it could have been if I'd just believed Amy and followed the directions.  I'm going to try this on a future fitted sweater and see if I can eliminate the excess fabric that so often happens on the back side of sweaters.

So all in all, great success, learned a lot and got a great wardrobe staple in a gorgeous color.
Here's all those links I promised:

Download the free pattern here, but you must log-in or register first, it's free.

Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK can be purchased at your local Rowan stockist or online at

Here's my Ravelry project page with all the details.

I found Amy's videos and blog posts to be educational:

The first video has advice on measuring.
The second video deals with shaping and fitting.
This video shows if your fabric is sweater-ready.
More info here on neckline shaping.

Amy's waist shaping blog post.

Here's the chatty Rav. forum thread.





Turn inside out, place in a mesh sweater bag and wash in cool water on gentle cycle.  Next, pop in the dryer on low and take out before it's fully dry and finish drying flat.  I have to admit I've missed that last step and dried it fully in the dryer and they were fine.  - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/#sthash.zVnoS1lV.dpuf


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3 comments

  1. Your sweater's beautiful. You really suit that colour. Thanks for all the links, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kristen,
    I read your blog with interest. The sweater looks great and you have moved me to order some of the Rowan PureWool DK.
    I have just picked up the stitches around the armhole for my Foley's pullover. With the body seamed together, I know that it fits and now need to work the sleeves to complete. So, I'll blog about mine when done. However, with Christmas coming, it may be after December 25.
    Thanks a bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kristen,
    I read your blog with interest. The sweater looks great and you have moved me to order some of the Rowan PureWool DK.
    I have just picked up the stitches around the armhole for my Foley's pullover. With the body seamed together, I know that it fits and now need to work the sleeves to complete. So, I'll blog about mine when done. However, with Christmas coming, it may be after December 25.
    Thanks a bunch.

    ReplyDelete

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