Sweater Challenge (and Lessons Learned)

We’ve had sort of a double sweater challenge going on over the past several months. In January, I announced that we were going to be knitting sweaters for the first challenge of the year. I had the hardest time deciding on a sweater pattern. There were just too many great options. I started in on a vest and then got distracted by another project (this is so typical with me – Knitter’s A.D.D.), and when I went back to the vest again, I couldn’t figure out where I left off. Too many cables and wonderful patterns in there to just jump back in and hope for the best. Lesson 1 – take copious notes if you’re going to wander off into a different project before the first one is finished. I just need to frog it and start over at some point.

DSC00317When the weather started getting nicer, I started thinking about summer sweaters. And the Universal Cotton Supreme was calling my name. I issued a Mini Challenge to see who might want to join me in working on summer sweaters, and some of you jumped in. I finished the Zoe Cardi at the beginning of July and …. it’s waaaay too big. Seriously. I’m really sad because I love the color and the pattern. In a fit of ignorance, I kept knitting away, even while imagining that it might be looking DSC00318too large as I was going along. sigh. I was trying to make it XL and I think it ended up as 2X or thereabouts. Lesson 2: Turns out that 4.5 st/inch and 5 st/inch IS a big deal difference overall. FPS. So here is a photo and now I guess I give it away or something. I have to work myself into that mindset. It’s still too fresh. (Note – the neckline is not wonky, like the picture indicates, and the true color of the yarn is the full photo, not the sleeve detail photo. Although I’m sure these things don’t bother you like they bother me in the photos.) This does mean that both my unfinished vest and my completed summer sweater were unsuccessful in this past challenge. Bugger. However, I’ve jumped into the new challenge with both feet. Since it started, I already finished one sock, and am working on granny squares to make a pillow as well. Hopefully this makes up for the last challenge.

Take a look at the other entrants into our double-sweater-challenge and do some voting! We will draw two names out of all entrants (because we combined both challenges into one gallery), but we also want to award a prize for the Reader’s Choice award. There are Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates to be won! Send us your favorite (support@theloopyewe.com) and we’ll tally them up and announce winners (and then show pictures in the blog) next week. A big thank you to all who participated. You all did a great job on your sweaters.

Our current challenge is to knit something fun with our new Loopy Ewe Solid Series line, and many of you have chosen to participate in that one, as well. Check out the details on this blog post. You have until October 1st to finish, which gives you lots of time!

Now on to the new things for the week. Tonight’s Update included:

* many amazing colors of Sereknity Yarn (I wish you could see these in person. So many in-person shoppers last week walked directly to these shelves, saying “ooooooh, these are so pretty!” because the colorways are just that eye-poppingly gorgeous.)
* more colors of Hand Maiden’s Bess (the cashmere/wool blend that is turned into a machine-washable yarn without the use of chlorine in the process)
* new knitter’s gift tag line from the Pat Aube Gray Studios
* re-stocks of WIP tubes and DPN tubes
* new reference booklets – The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements, and a new Colorwork booklet and colorwheel, for help in color combinations.
* RED Namaste Oh Snap Pouches – the ones that we had made for our Sock Club and Loopy Lite kits in May. We promised you that we had ordered some extras to have for a limited time, and they’re up and ready to go.
* re-stocks and new patterns from Wendy Knits pattern, Born to Knit patterns, and Kalamazoo Knits patterns
* a new line of THE cutest crochet patterns ever – Patty Davis Designs. (Well, at least that’s what I thought when I ran across this booth at TNNA – “these are so stinkin’ cute!”) Patty is on a mission to make patterns so fun that everyone will want to learn to crochet (if you don’t already know how). I already pulled to owl and bird pillow patterns for myself.

Just a note on the timing for Monday Updates. I generally like to do it after the west coasters have gotten home from work, but before the east coasters have gone to bed. Β That means it usually ends up being sometime between 8 and 9 pm, Central time. Of course once in awhile we’ll do a Monday late afternoon, if I’m not going to be around that evening to put things up. Or Tuesday evening, if Monday was a holiday and we weren’t here over the weekend to do the photos. But that doesn’t happen very often. Most weeks, we’re very predictable on time and date, and we’re happy that you’re all on top of that schedule.Β Pop on over to the website to check it all out!

Sheri whopromisestodo”real”gaugeswatchesfromnowon


  1. That’s a bummer about your sweater! πŸ™

    I didn’t get around to starting my Cece for this past challenge; however, I’ll definitely learn from you and knit a swatch!

    I really hope to start my Swedish fish socks for the current challenge sometime soon.

  2. Oh, this reminds me of a Yarn Harlot quote from her calendar this year….something about it being “a gift” to be able to look at project, think it looks wrong and keep knitting and be truly surprised when it is still wrong when it’s done! I read that page to my knitting group. We all had a good laugh, because we all have that “gift”!…and so do you! You’re in the club!

  3. DAG NABBIT on the sweater! It’s lovely! This is why I normally make scarves, shawls, and things where gauge is not important. πŸ˜‰ Does this mean it goes back into your queue to make another one?

  4. The sweater is beautiful, but I am sad that it will not fit you. I hope that the lucky person to receive the sweater will really enjoy it. It is just lovely with the cable down the front. I think we all learn our lesson one time or another, I did the same thing with a sweater that I was making, only problem is, I never finished the sweater and really I could rip it all out, but do I really want to do that. Not sure, I love my sweater and the way it was coming out, maybe I only have to rip out the back, but I will check my guage the next time, and I know I won’t do that again. To much work involved.

  5. Oh shucky darn! I assume that you washed and dried the sweater in the machine. As you know, cotton blooms something fierce. My daily sweater is Cascade Pima Melange and it fits pretty good when I put it on in the morning and by lunch I’m pulling it back on my shoulder every five seconds.

    I learned the swatch lesson last year on a kid’s sweater. I had extra so used the first one as gauge swatch for second. When I swatch in the round my gauge is significantly different from my actual in the round gauge. The only thing I don’t gauge is socks. I use the cuff or toe as “swatch.”

  6. Well, now I’m worried about this FIRST sweater I am making–too “busy” to swatch it also….I’ll let you know how it goes. When I measure the fabric it looks close. I used the larger needle in the pattern because I usually knit so tight….I’ll let you know how it goes, again. It’s Lorna’s Laces Amy’s Vintage Office and looks a bit patterned for a conservative color person like me. I love that color of your sweater. And I’ll bet what happened was It is the right size but maybe you shrunk with all the running around you’ve had to do this spring/summer!

  7. I think the sweater looks gorgeous. Could you wear it in winter over a turtleneck or something? Could it be shrunk? Could you insert a small pleat at the center back of the neck to give it a swing shape? It’s such a lovely piece! Maybe you are right, you just need to find a larger person to give it too and move on to another project. Sigh.

  8. I’m with you on that gauge/swatch lesson. I cast on for a sweater in WM (not wasting time/yarn on a large enough swatch) and after knitting about 6-8 inches in the round, decided that it looked too big. I set the first aside and started over – fewer stitches and smaller needle. After I was satisfied with the 2nd attempt, I frogged the first (that was a giant swatch). I was afraid to rip the first in case the 2nd was going to be too small. I am almost done with the sweater and love it. I will post a picture as soon as I finish. It was also a challenge for me because the pattern was only available in French, so with the help of another raveler’s translations and some knitting glossaries, I have a beautiful WM sweater.

  9. That just stinks! I have been relatively lucky with most of my sweaters, though I have been bit a little by one sweater I made that the yarn grew when I washed it. It went from a sweater for a woman with a large 38DD or so bust to something that would fit someone with a 44DD bust. I didn’t really swatch for my last sweater, but it was sock yarn so I already had a good idea of what my gauge would look like.

    Thankfully, I have a friend that can fit it and away it went!

  10. I’ve had to frog quite a few projects lately because of unsatisfactory results. It’s just part of it all I guess. If you don’t love it, you don’t love it. No sense in going through the mental gymnastics of trying to pretend it’s something other than what it is.

    It’s cute though and I bet you’ll make somebody smile with it. Might not smart so much then. πŸ™‚

  11. Such a bummer that after all that work you can’t wear it. πŸ™ I am thisclose to finishing my Summer Solstice cardigan from the January challenge, I’m hoping to get it done tonight – it *should* fit great, but we’ll see how much it grows in the blocking.

  12. I’ve personally been so “bullheaded” when knitting – once I actually got to the toe part of a sock – after telling myself the WHOLE time something was off and didn’t look right – even tried it on part way and it was too “something” but just kept knitting. Was only when I got to the toe and (lightbulb goes on) it hit me I still had to knit the mate to this sock …that’s when sensibility kicked in and I frogged the whole toe-less sock. I did re- knit a month or so later and it came out nice – but I know the feeling from socks to a sweater. It’s such an investment in time though – not like grilling a burger when if you burn one you just slap another on in its place and you’ve wasted all of 10 minutes πŸ™
    For what it’s worth – I DO love the details and color of your sweater – VERY PRETTY!

  13. Sorry about the sweater, Sheri. It’s beautiful. I guess you don’t want to just eat ice cream until it fits you? You have reinforced my habit of obsessively measuring when I make a sweater, so thank you!

  14. I knitted something in the very same yarn ….. And the 18-24 month jacket came out for a 3 year old. Everyone needs to swatch this. But, it is a beautiful yarn to knit with ….. Very soft. I plan to use it for a few more projects πŸ™‚

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