Pattern: Heirloom Aran Pullover by Sue Mink
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Karisma Classic, colorway 16, 120 yds/50 gr, 14 skeins.
Needles: US 4/3.5 mm and US 6/4.0 mm circulars.
Gauge: 20 stitches/28 rows in stockinette
Start/finish: 20 October 2010 - 24 January 2011
Comments/modifications: this pdf is quite a minimalist pattern (all of 2 pages) with no charts, which (as a dedicated chart-ist) I found irritating. However, it is a pretty straightforward pattern. The other thing is that I used DK weight instead of worsted weight yarn, so I ended up using US 4/6 needles instead of US 7/9 - I still got gauge, so that was fine.
I started with the sleeves for a couple of reasons. 1) I hate knitting sleeves because they take forever, and 2) I wanted a chance to learn some of the cable patterns before launching into the front and back, particularly as I was changing the big middle cable panel. I think this is the first time I've knit both sleeves at the same time and, while it meant that all the increases and decreases matched up fine, it also took me a month. A solid month of knitting, to get two sleeves. Bah!
I swapped the odd, very in-and-out middle cable panel from the pattern with a much more uniform one from the Harmony Guides (the Lattice Cable, page 162 in cables & arnas if you're curious). Back and fronts went fairly smoothly. The yarn was really nice to work with - a bit stiff in the ball, but lovely and soft once knit up. And extremely economically priced, as these things go.
I blocked all the pieces before seaming and doing the neckband, but then had to reblock as the finished sweater was a bit too close fitting for Himself, and the sleeves were a bit short. Blocking took care of that but I may have to go back and redo the hip band - like a doofus I didn't check my notes on how much ribbing I did on the sleeves, and the waist ribbing is probably an inch too short. It was deemed acceptable by my husband, who has been waiting for this sweater for two Christmases now. But I can't guarantee that I won't be redoing the ribbing and trying to graft knit 1, purl 1 rib at some point in the future. I just couldn't face the prospect right now...Another thing that I would do over: I'd add some short rows at the back to get it to hang a little better. There's just not quite enough fabric coming up to the neck there.
So, Sweater #1 of 2011 is done. Thankfully sweater #2 is up to armholes on both body and sleeves, and might even be done before leaving for our ski trip in a week and a half. Which is good - Devil needs a new sweater!