Knitting project: Backshore Pullover

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I started to really get into knitting in 2012 when I found my friend knitting up squares for a blanket she was making. I opted to help her out and found it to be an interesting hobby while sitting in front of the television on a cold day. I admit that once the warmer weather rolls around, the knitting gets stuffed into storage bins until the next winter blows in. Since taking up knitting, I have made squares, hats and scarves. I have finally decided to put aside my trepidation and (finally) try my hand at knitting an adult sweater.

I have discovered without surprise that there are different techniques, so the least intimidating type of sweater for me was the raglan sleeve sweater. What makes this style more manageable for me is that it is knit as one piece from the top down. The raglan sleeve is a sleeve that slopes down from the top of the sweater, which you mark out early on in your project. At a certain point, you will have to separate your sleeves from the body to create the arm hole, and that is when the shape of sweater starts to take form. That happens very early into the project. You can really see your progress.

I purchased an appealing pattern from Ravelry- the Backshore Pullover. I love the colours the author of the pattern used, but I could not find Augustbird at my local yarn heaven (Romni Wools). The staff at the shop gave me some recommendations, and even showed me some options from the bargain section. If I wanted some tonal yarn, I would have to pay more, so I ended up with some discounted Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK yarn. The colour choices were slim pickings, but I managed to get the only four balls in white, and I picked up some blue for the contrast colour. I would have preferred something in plum, but at $5.70 a ball, I’m not complaining.

debblie-bliss-yarn-balls

I have never really bothered with knitting a gauge swatch before, but for scarves and cowls, it’s not that important. For a sweater, I think it’s a sound idea.

debbie-bliss-blue

The best way to knit up the swatch is to have a garter stitch border around the gauge area. The gauge is always completed in stockinette stitch. The garter border helps keep your swatch from curling.

debbie-bliss-gauge-swatch

It turns out that I knit with good tension. My gauge was spot on with what was written in the pattern.

My first weekend was focused on the neck and the start of the raglan sleeves. Once I got to a certain length and number of stitches, I had to separate the sleeves. At first, I put the stitches onto stitch holders, but found that it was uncomfortable knitting in the round with two oversized stitch holders in the way, so I transferred the stitches onto some kitchen string.

This is also my first attempt at stripes and I think I have messed it up a little as I misunderstood how to create the jogless stripe. I am hoping to get this right for at least one of the stripes!

backshore-pullover-remove-sleeves

This weekend, I have completed a few more rows. I know it looks like it is a made for a toddler, but it’s knit on a 24-inch circular, and it does stretch, so I am not concerned. Technically I could, and should, transfer the stitches to a scrap piece of yarn and try on the sweater, but I’m putting my faith into the pattern being accurate right now.

backshore-pullover-continuation

I’d like to mention the needles I am using for this project. Sonya told me about interchangeable circular knitting needles and I love, love, love the idea! It makes so much sense that you have a set of needles of varying sizes that you can attach to different length cords. This Addi Click Bamboo Set looks so dreamy, but way out of my price range at US$186, so I purchased the Knitter’s Pride Nova set from Romni’s for CAD$74. It is actually delightful to knit with. The polished surface makes the yarn slide easily and the cord is smooth and does not cause the yarn to snag. For heavier yarn and depending on the stitch, the torquing may cause the needle to loosen from the cord, but you will always catch that earlier on and have time to tighten the cord to the needles, but for my sweater, I have not experienced this problem. I have not had to stop and tighten the needles once. The original set comes with a cord to make the set a 16-inch circular. For my sweater, I purchased the cord for a 24-inch. The cord cost $2.70. So far, I am absolutely loving this interchangeable circular needle set.

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