Many weeks back, Amy Herzog published a pattern called Afterlight, and I was instantly smitten. It’s one of those sweaters I like so much, ones that are garments, things you’ll wear by themselves as a top, rather than over another top. I know the distinction is likely silly to most of you, but there you have it. I decided to make it, but it’s an investment. The sweater is finely knit, with fingering weight yarn on small needles, and the yarn, while not ridiculously expensive for what it is, was going to make a considerable dent in a few months of the yarn budget. I decided that I would go ahead, but wait until Amy’s book came out first. If I was going to make this thing, I was going to make it perfect. Knit to Flatter arrived in the mail, I read it (you should too, it’s quite good) and then set about altering the pattern to make it smashing. One of the things I’ve learned from Amy, is that it makes no sense to make a sweater bigger all over if you’re really only bigger in one area, something I’ve been guilty of over the years. I’m not a big woman, not really. My chest measures 37 1/2 inches, and that’s the size sweater I’ve been knitting for years – with some disappointing results. It took Amy to teach me that the issue is that I’m big in the front. I’ve been choosing sweater sizes like my chest is that of a woman who’s almost 38" around, and I’m not.
What I am is a woman who would be a size 34 if you saw me from the back, and a 38 if you saw me from the front, and thanks to Amy and her book, I’ve realized that I should think of myself as two sizes. Petite in the back, and er… not, in the front. Yes, I need some extra fabric to get around my assets, but my breasts are located on the front of my body, and that is where the extra fabric to cover them should go… not all over. Following her instructions, I’m making one size for the front, another for the back, altering the length to recognize the fact that I’m short all over, and dropping the vee in the front of the sweater a little deeper to try and balance my broad, square shoulders. I’m really happy with my plan, and over the last few days I’ve been knitting away. (For the record, making those changes and combining the pattern pieces turns out to be easy.)
I’m almost at the armhole shaping of the back, and I love the sweater, love the yarn, and have high hopes for its eventual greatness. I even swore a vow of monogamy to it – but then, oh then I went to Yarnover, and there was this booth (it was Angora Gardens – thanks for the detective work, my friends) and in the booth was this little baby sweater that I can’t stop thinking of. The sweater was just a little garter stitch bit of business, but it was knit out of a wool/angora combo that was almost perfect to me, but for two things. First, the yarn had a little more angora in it than I would choose – which is not to say that it had too much angora – it just had more than is to my taste, precisely, and second, it wasn’t free. It was reasonably priced – but there’s no reasonable price for yarn if you’ve just blown your budget on some snazzy Ultra MCN for a sweater. I left without it, but I just can’t stop thinking about it.
I can’t stop talking about it either, and so yesterday when I was waxing poetic about it to a knitting friend, she said it was too bad that I didn’t have any angora – because if I did, I could fix both the proportion of wool to angora – and the cost by spinning my own. Lo, the heavens opened, a bit of angora rabbit has been fetched from the stash, I’m hunting up a bit of something good to blend it with, the drum carder is getting dusted off and…
I swear I’m going to finish the sweater too.