Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Perfect Sweater

If you asked a hundred knitters to describe The Perfect Sweater, you'd likely get a hundred different answers. That's part of the fun of the online knitting community; everybody has different tastes, styles, preferences, ideas, etc. and we all get to see such diverse work as we pop from blog to blog or Ravelry project page to project page.

I posed this question to myself earlier this week. What is my perfect sweater? The answer was right there in my closet. For me, the perfect sweater is a casual one, since my lifestyle is certainly as casual as they come. A good fit is, of course, a necessary element for the perfect sweater. I'm also frequently cold and so I like something quite warm and even a bit bulky. Neckline is easy; just about everything I own is either turtleneck or crewneck. It's also got to be a pullover. I'm just not a cardigan sort of gal.

All I had to do was look in my closet and I found something that is pretty close to my "perfect" sweater. It's a turtleneck pullover, slightly bulky, in a simple allover rib. It's not handknit, so lacks a bit in perfection in that way :) It's the sweater I always reach for first throughout the winter. If it's not in the wash, it's probably on my back.

Obviously, I'm heading somewhere with these rambling thoughts and I think the destination is clear. It's about time that I get a sweater on the needles. I really need a few things for winter and I'd like at least one item to be a handknit sweater and I'd like it to be something that gets a lot of use.

I've settled on the idea of an allover rib pattern, turtleneck with raglan sleeves. After swatching a bit, I settled on this rib stitch:

It goes by various names, sometimes called Mistake Stitch Ribbing or something of that sort. I chose it for a couple of reasons. First, it's not nearly as stretching as a plain K X P ribbing. I think this will work nicely to give the sweater some shape, but without moving into the realm of clingy. I have nothing against a nice form-fitting or even clingy sweater, but I'm 43 years old and must admit that the world really doesn't need or want to see me in anything too clingy. Trust me on that. I also love the texture that the stitch pattern creates.

The upper portion of the swatch is a plain 3X1 rib and will be used for the turtleneck, since I do need some serious stretch in that area.

Before you think, "OMG, she's going to knit again in rusty orange!" let me mention that the swatch is just some leftover yarn from my last project. I'm using the same type of yarn (my Heavy Worsted Weight Merino) but the color for the sweater will be the "Majestic" colorway.

I've actually cast on already last night, but don't have quite enough to show off yet. I have a feeling this one's going to fly off the needles though, so look for lots of progress to show next week.

All of this talk of the Perfect Sweater makes me think what a great KAL that would be. Wouldn't it be fun to see everyone's various takes on the perfect sweater? So many different points of view, varied choices of yarn weights and fiber content, different styles, etc, but all aimed at something highly wearable, versatile, timeless, etc.

What about you? Have you thought about what your perfect sweater would be?


Stephanie said...

I think that's a great question, one I wouldn't think to have an answer on right this second. I'm definitely going to be saving it for a future blog post though. Thanks!

Lynne E. said...

Still looking for the perfect sweater. However, mine would be along the lines of a classic cardigan with some cable detail.

Namaste Knitter said...

I think you'll look terrific in the dark blue colorway!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

I have been lusting after Veronique Avery's St. Denis Sweater. The price of the yarn is daunting though! Have you seen this sweater? Here is the link - scroll down to St. Denis: