Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Handstrikket Before and After

I finally got a guy in the rental office to take some pictures of me in my Handstrikket. Considering it was 93 degrees here yesterday, this was a feat of endurance, I tell you. After wearing that alpaca and wool sweater for only five minutes, I busted out a major sweat.

But the perspiration and perseverance were worth it. I present to you the before and after photos of my Handstrikket. Here's the front. I wish I'd had him photograph me with the sweater buttoned so you could get a better comparison, but I didn't think of it. Regardless, you can see that the sleeves are a much better fit. In the new version, I added some additional rows at the neckline which makes the cardigan fit better over my shoulders. And the entire garment is smaller, too; note how in the original I had the front closed with a DPN and didn't even have a placket. All in all, it fits better, I think.

You can really tell a difference from the back view. First off, the hem is much more becoming than the ribbing. Great lesson learned... I'll never put ribbing that draws in on my bottom again. In addition, note the short rows I did on the back of the neck improve the fit through the shoulders. And most of all, you can see I've lost some weight - and from my giant ass, too. Wonders never cease.

I don't have a before pic from the side, but here's one of the final version. Note that the cardigan looks like it's  higher in the back than the front. This is unfortunately evidence of my hyperlordosis AKA a severe curve in my lower back that makes me forever look like I've got a bustle and makes my back and hips hurt, too. Lots of folks in my family have this. When my uncle was in the Army, his drill sargeant always screamed at him to stand up straight. He was as straight as he could get and was still bent over!

Some of you may think the modifications are subtle, perhaps too subtle to warrant reknitting most of the sweater. I'd be interested to hear what you think. Please comment here if you have an opinion.

Now for my next trick: I finished the sleeve for the Augusta Cardigan from New England Knits. Love it! And best of all, it knits up quickly. I finished this sleeve knitted in less than a week.

I had a brainstorm while I was knitting and decided to figure out beforehand the exact row numbers for increases, decreases, and cable crosses. I wrote them down, used a row counter religiously, and found the whole process to be MUCH easier. Far better than having to count and remember that six - or is that five? or seven? - rows from now I need to decrease one stitch on each side. Now I just follow the directions.

I'm happy today, at least when it comes to my knitting, because I feel like I'm getting closer to my life's goal of making a sweater that actually fits. Between the practice, education, and your great support, I'm getting there, one cardigan at a time.


  1. Wow what a difference! and you are smaller also. I'm envious.
    It was a valuable teaching tool..and a lovely outcome.
    You are a fast knitter.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, girl... and for telling me all the time that I'm a fast knitter. Makes me feel better since this damn thing took forever and a day!

  3. Beautiful sweater. I think it was worth the effort. You now have a wonderful sweater that fits and we've all learned a lot.

    Maybe I'll get brave now and finish some sweaters for me!

  4. I think the differences in the before and after pictures are very pronounced (both the sweater and your weight loss). The sweater hangs so much better and is much more flattering. The hem makes a huge difference and the short rows on the back of the neck make the shoulders fit so much better.

    I think re-knitting it was well worth your Herculean effort! Thanks for sharing what you are learning with us.

  5. Deb and Ann, thanks for the kind words and for reassuring me that you've learned something worthwhile along my way. It took me forever it seems to finally finish this sweater. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

  6. And Deb, get with the program! It's time for you to knit for YOURSELF. If I can help, let me know... and please share your progress. I'd love to see what you come up with.

  7. You are an inspiration, Julie! Way to go!!

  8. This was DEFINITELY worth reknitting! The hemmed bottom is very flattering, and the shoulders and sleeves fit much better. Wear your Handstrikket with pride! I can't wait to see your finished Augusta cardigan.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Laura and Anne! You both inspire me.

  10. It looks great, Julie! And I think the changes are way more than subtle ones. I'm laughing about how you're working your way up to making a sweater that really fits. Um... it looks like you kinda sorta arrived a couple times already! I know, there's always more to learn, but you're getting it done, for sure!

  11. Making a sweater that fits is a true quest. I'm learning so much... knitting and fit fascinate me... can you tell? :-)