I know you're all expecting a finished sweater and some excellent notes about how great and fast it was, but this is how far I got:
And then I really measured and admitted to myself that my gauge was too tight. It's pretty embarrassing, (especially since I got so far), but that's how it goes. I'd been measuring gauge all along by checking how many stitches were in two inches. But I didn't check the overall fabric, which is, of course, much more accurate. My rookie mistake left me a bit discouraged and it's taken me some time to decide how to proceed.
Whenever I have a problem that requires starting over, I take the opportunity to re-evaluate the whole project. Since I'm starting over anyway, I want to think it through one more time to make sure it's as amazing as possible.
So, on the next iteration, I'm going to do a couple of things differently:
1. Obviously I'm going to work on a larger needle to get the gauge I got in my swatch and actually make a sweater the size I want.
2. After looking at a bunch of Cowichan sweaters, I've noticed that a lot of them don't have facings between the main body and the zipper. I like that look, so I'm going to add some more stitches to the body and leave off the facings.
I'm still really excited about everything else going on with this sweater though. I love the color work, and I think the pocket placement is going to work well. (If you look closely at the photo above, you can see where I knit in some green waste yarn for adding the pockets at the end.)
The yarn is pretty delicate when it's not knit up (since it's spun loosely), so I'm a little nervous about tearing it out, but I think if I'm gentle, it'll work out fine. Hopefully I'll have some actual progress to report in the next few weeks.
It's almost fall, and time to get knitting for the cooler weather! If you're looking for some knitting camaraderie, there are a couple of fun knit alongs going on right now that I'm planning to participate in. The Hazel Knits Ravelry group is hosting a cabled-themed KAL and Knit 'n Needle Yarn Shop is hosting a Dinar KAL. I'm planning to knit me some Dinar's in Hazel Knits DK Lively in Low Tide, a color I've always adored, but haven't knit with before. Join me for one or both of the KAL's!