The Great Green Sweater Experiment

I have a short attention span.

A *very* short attention span.

When I first began to knit, the only things I ever knit were super-chunky 2-needle mittens and teeny-tiny baby booties. That was all I made. Over and over. For like, three years. If it took more than an hour, my answer to you was, “Hell NO.”

I have a very short attention span.

While my knitting repertoire has grown and flourished in the last year and the list of Things I Knit has expanded greatly, there is still one major knitted item I have yet to tackle — THE SWEATER.

Sweaters require time and patience — a combination that clearly doesn’t get along well with my short attention span. But still…it’s something I want to do.

Ironically, my original first choice for a sweater was Rogue. I kid you not. I bought the pattern, the yarn — everything! But, that was last spring and, truth be told – no one needs a wooly, hooded sweater in the summertime. So I put it off…

Then, I stumbled over to Froggy’s and saw this:


The Green Ribbed Sweater from Rebecca 20

LOOK! CUTE! CHUNKY! QUICK!

Not only did I totally fall in love with it, BUT it looked like the fastest knit in the east! I mean damn!

Thus began The Great Green Sweater Experiment.

I bought the magazine. I bought a substitute yarn. I even bought *two* pairs of 35US addi turbo 32″ circulars!! (Yes 2. and YES, 35s!!!!).

So now, let’s discuss how The Great Green Sweater Experiment may turn into what I now like to call The Great Green Sweater Disaster. Here are some of the problems:

  1. The Price – oh god, please lets not talk about how much I spent on all this stuff, please?
  2. The Needles – Have you ever knit with 35s? They are the most unwieldly things ever created for use by a knitter. If I didn’t need the hand at the end, I would almost say it would be easier to chop of my arm and knit with that. Just to give you an idea, here is a needle comparison, ala Michelle:


    Those are the 35s at the top, followed by 17s, 11s, 6s and then 1s

  3. The YarnElann lied. Ok, maybe not, but there is no evidence anywhere on that page of this:


    It’s uber chunky in some spots, practically DK in others! WTF?

    The funny/ironic/stupid thing is that originally I thought I ordered WAY too much yarn because I ordered it based on the weight and not the yardage (this was because, at the time, I didn’t know the yardage of the recommended yarn, just the weight-per-ball) Turns out that even though the super-soft weights half as much, it’s nearly the same yardage. So I thought I had enough yarn for *2* sweaters!

    Except.

    When I tried to knit on 35s with the lovely thick n’ thin stuff I stupidly bought, I got fabric that resembled something more like LACE than a chunky sweater. My solution? Double it (good thing I bought twice as much, eh?)

    I swatched, I checked gauge. It seemed to match. OK! ON WE GO!

Guys, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the needles. Maybe it’s a lack of yarn-substitution skills. Maybe I just suck at knitting — This thing just isn’t coming out all pretty like the picture :(


The one good thing is that it *seems* like it’s gonna fit.

Hey, did you notice how the color kinda resembles soggy asparagus? ROCK ON! (I left that off the list of problems, but yeah…NOT the color I thought I was getting.)

Now before you start going,”aww, Lara, that doesn’t look bad at all!,” Look at the close-up:


Ain’t so pretty, is it?

{{sigh}}

So, will The Experiment be successful?!? Or will it really be The Great Green Sweater Disaster??! Tune in Tuesday for an *exciting* update!

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

13 Responses to “The Great Green Sweater Experiment”

  1. Silvia Says:

    Hey, I like it. Really. I think you’ll look darling, but if you really hate it, rip it out. Return the unused yarn and regroup.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. paula Says:

    hmm.. maybe blocking will help it? but yeah, my first one was chunky (chunky as in 11’s, not those telephone poles!) I’ve decided cute chunky sweaters- not for me! So at least it takes a lot of time to get through all my yummy skinny expensive yarn!

    but really- it’s not bad! I like it!

  3. carolyn Says:

    you need new glasses. a) it looks exactly like the picture, even better. and b) that slight wonkiness? that’s not even noticeable except under a fucking microscope or an incredibly close up picture. seriously in real life people do not get that close to your ribbing. or if they do they are more interested in what’s underneath it so they definitely won’t be noticing. hand knitting is just never as perfect as machine knitting. don’t fret.

  4. froggy Says:

    i like it and you know i love that color. i like it more that the zermatt, but it about what you like. if you decide to keep the remaining part of the yarn, knit the top St st part and then see what you think about the two textures together.

  5. Carrie Says:

    Seriously, it does look great. Finish it and then give it to me if you don’t want it. Just kidding. But not about finishing it! It looks good! and I LOVE the color!

  6. lynette Says:

    Your chunky sweater does look uber great so far. I wouldn’t frog it. I want to see the finished product.

  7. Erika Says:

    I like it! Chunky sweaters look best on svelte figures like yours. I say keep going!

  8. Becky Says:

    Hey! I think it looks kinda cool. The ribbing gives it shape. Why not keep experimenting? You might like the end result. If you don’t, THEN you rip. But I say: Keep knitting for now!

  9. suz Says:

    that’s what thick ‘n’ thin yarn does to ribbing.
    i don’t think it looks bad…not at all!

  10. Angela Says:

    I love it. LOVE it! Sit it aside for a few days, and then look at it again–perhaps you’re just a little sick of The Process. I think it’s amazing. Definitely something to be proud of!

  11. Jennifer Says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but don’t think I’ve ever commented before. In regards to the green sweater, perhaps after blocking it, the wavy look of the ribs will go away. Also, I studied the picture you provided rather closely of the model sweater and if you look in the bottom right-hand corner, near the bottom of the sweater body, there is, indeed a bit of wave in one of the ribs near the bottom. If you absolutely can’t stand the sweater pattern, or the yarn, I know of a similar-looking sweater in the Hollywood Knits book by Suss Cousins. The shape of the sweater (it’s called the Fitted Ribbed Turtleneck) is relatively the same, but the rib pattern is 1 x 1 instead (the ribs do not at all look wavy), and the yarn she uses for the model sweater is Muench Goa; perhaps a change in yarn or pattern will give you the results you desire? Unfortunately, it’s knit on size 10s, not 17s or 35s, so you may be knitting a bit longer than with the other pattern. Personally, I think the sweater is cute just how it is, it even looks cute as a tube top! Well, I’ve more than put in my two cents here, so I’d best be off. Hope this helps!

  12. Sondra Says:

    What amazing progress on the sweater, despite the foibles…press on, but maybe take a wee break. And I hear ya on the short attention span thing…I tried to cure myself by knitting my first sweater for my roommate, thinking that would keep me motivated…let’s just say next time I knit a big project for someone, I’m going to include a “no whining at me about your unfinished item” clause! :) But I am very proud of the limited progress I have made so far…

  13. Stacey Says:

    I love this sweater..please finish it so I can see how it turns out :) I may have to make one…