The Ben Sweater, or always check your gauge

I’ll need to get Beth to take a picture of me outdoors so that I can get a non-backlit photo of my second completed sweater, “the Ben“,  by Nora Gaughan. This one took less than a third as long as my first sweater, thank goodness. The Ben only took me about 7 months, but I wasn’t working on it all the time, and in fact almost 30% of it was knit just on flights to a physics meeting in Australia.

Incidentally, that trip was the only time I’ve ever had knitting needles taken from me by airport security. Bamboo circular needles! Surely pencils are at least as dangerous as bamboo circs, and I’m sure no one would take them away. Even the other passengers thought that the security people didn’t understand the policy. So I think it was a case of one security crew being uninformed rather than an Australia-wide anti-knitting-while-flying phenomenon. I did knit on my first two flights in the country without objection from anyone…

I think the cables show up better in this picture of the sweater parts prior to assembly.

I really like the color of this sweater, which was knit using Berrocco Classic Merino in the “new denim” colorway. The yarn feels pretty nice, and was a very reasonable price for 100% wool. This was the last project I knit with yarn not purchased at a local yarn store (before my fiber snobbery reached its full force.) The only drawback to this worsted weight merino has been that the sweater is far too warm to ever wear in the office. Fortunately, we keep our apartment cold enough to make the sweater pretty comfortable at home.

Features of this sweater that were new for me include the v-neck, and the set-in shoulders (Beth’s Aran sweater had a crew neck and drop shoulders). I love v-neck sweaters. Also, I like sweaters with more shaping. Knitting the set in shoulders was much simpler than I thought it would be. Unfortunately despite having set-in shoulders, this sweater does not look very shaped because it’s a bit too big. I did swatch, but apparently not carefully enough; I didn’t block my swatch, and this sweater is so heavy, it stretches some under its own weight. I know I can’t shrink this sweater to fit, because this yarn felts really well.

I was talking about my fit problems with Rick, one of the owners of our LYS, and he mentioned that Margot (his wife, the other owner) is not at all squeamish about taking scissors to ill fitting sweaters. The idea would be to cut the cuffs off the sleeves, then pick up the stitches at the cut edge and reknit the cuffs to make the sleeves shorter. The same could be done to shorten the body, and I might be able to reseam the edges to make the body slimmer. We’ll see…

In the meantime, the Ben is one of Rhianna’s favorite beds when I’m not wearing it:

Actually it’s one of her favorite beds even when I am wearing it!

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