So I won’t actually get to wear it for more than 5 minutes this year, unless I want to sweat buckets. The 5 minutes to get photos, was hot enough. So I did not meet my last set guideline and therefore was still working on it at Thanksgiving. That ended up being for the best, because as I remember the night before I’m never wanting to be in a sweater when the house (whichever it is at for the year) is filled with the extra heat of a group of people. Plus I got to wear something else I made and my lamentably not useful in the tropics boots (which being brown I could not have worn with my lamentably not useful in the tropics bohus sweater). However, I now have finished it. I now have tucked in all loose yarn. I now have a sweater with a tag noting it as mine. It now falls to an appropriate place and does not show my white underbelly. It now has sleeves that I will not constantly be pulling down at because they just quite are not the right length.
I bought the Bohus Forest Darkness kit by Annika Malmstrom-Bladini back in January 2010. I then proceeded to wait I bit before getting up the urge to work a sweater on 0s and 1.5s. I also looked around to see what others had done and found The Yarnaid’s blog on her alterations to the pattern. I agreed with her that I would rather work in the round and decided I would like it to be more fitted than planned.
At the end of January in 2011, I decided to get started. I got started and then distracted. Many projects superseded what I clearly knew would take a while. And then I got invited to accept a Volunteer position with Peace Corps down in the Dominican Republic and brought it along although I had other projects overdue to finish first, like the purple elephant sweater and my sister’s mittens (to be shared next). So come this past summer I still was working on the colored section of the yoke, and that was not quite transportable. I can honestly say I did not pick up another knitting project, so fidelity did occur. Although that does not mean I constantly picked up this one. When I go to the part of the instruction to split up the sections I did spend some time thinking over whether I should knit it flat or in the round not yet splitting. I was stressing about making irreparable mistakes but not just following the instructions, but that slim possibility sounded better than sewing seams. So the front part when I was doing short rows was the only time I steadily purled stitches, which is awesome because I prefer the knit stitch action.
Once I was on solid color, I felt fine bringing the project places. One time was when I went to Juan Dolio with my friends to see a band, and go to the beach. We were all on the guagua (a minibus) and I was sitting next to a Dominican man. I was balling up a hank of yarn and almost done when the last part had gotten tangled (the yarn is fuzzy) and I so I brought it for the bus ride to untangle it. It had created an Ashley as the women I would regularly knit with in the states would call it. So I am fruitlessly trying to untangle at most 3 yards of yarn (the fuzziness and color being black made it difficult) and the man next to me says nothing, just takes it out of my hands and starts trying. I of course get my friends attention so they can share the joy of it. We got a picture, although you can’t really see what is going on because the yarn is black.
So now I will share how I knit it to fit the way it does, just skip the italics if you don’t need to know that.
When I separated the sections the front middle was 1.25 inches of solid black rows, and the sleeves and back were 3 inches. The sections by stitches were front – 137, sleeves – 99, back 134. I cast on 14 stitches on each side to connect the back and front while putting the sleeves on spare circular needles. Around an inch from the armpits I began to decrease 4 stitches every 4th row for a total of almost 12 times (tweaking at the end to have uniform stitches for the front and back) for a total of 252 stitches. Then I decreased the amount to 228 stitches by knitting a row, knitting 2 together every 20th stitch the next row, knitting another row, and knitting 2 together ever 19th stitch. When I reached 10.5 inches from the armpit, I switched to smaller needles and did 2.5 inches of 1 by 1 ribbing and tried it on. I was wearing a crop top. Well not that short, but skin was showing. That was at the beginning of October. So I tore back. I increased by 4 stitches every 3rd row (6 times) until I had 254 stitches. I must have made a mistake one of the times to end up with two extra stitches. It now measured 13 inches from the armpit. I redid the ribbing, and it took forever in my mind so I got antsy and bound off at 2.25 inches, it looked fine and it was a week before my deadline of Thanksgiving. The pattern recommended 3.25 inches, which to me seemed excessive since the ribbing was not the main draw of the pattern.
Finally I started on the sleeves. I transferred the sleeves onto doublepoint needles and picked up the 14 from the armpit area, getting rid of the need to seam that later. I decreased two stitches every 3rd row around 12 times, to end up with 90 stitches total. I then worked it straight and decreased in a manner that was later reversed, so I will not detail it. I did 2.5 inches of inches of ribbing. I had finished both sleeves and thought I was done. So I tried it on and found out the sleeves were a tad bit short. So I threaded lifeline 11 inches from the armpit ripped back. I decreased 2 stitches every 6th row until 14 inches and then every 4th row. At 17 inches there were 71 stitches and I decreased every 9th stitch. I then switched to the smaller needles and did 2.5 inches of 1 by 1 ribbing. This time I tried it on after only altering one sleeve and determined it was the length I wanted. I then carefully made sure I was going to undo the shorter sleeve, but I most have blinked and an elf switched it, because I ended up realizing after pulling out the ribbing and a bit more that I had just done it on the sleeve that was right. So after refinishing that one and then the other, I tucked in all the yarn ends and sewed on the tag my sister had made me (that I thought I lost but, had really cleverly stored inside the sweater, sometimes I am too clever for myself).
I waited to the next morning, and went outside to get a picture of the finished product in use and realized, with the length I would be fidgeting with the bottom when I was wearing it, because it just wasn’t quite perfect. The picture to the left is what happens if I wore my dominican jeans that site below my belly button and have moved my arms upward. Since I had no pressing need to wear it, I decided to add length to the ribbing. I thought I no longer had the right size (I had accidentally left a circular pair in my father’s car when I was in the states) so the last inch is a slightly wider rib, but I don’t believe most will notice when I’m wearing it unless an inch from my waist and scrutinizing it. So in the end, I had 3.5 inches of ribbing for the waist.
I am quite pleased with the resulting sweater. It’s not perfect, when the arm first splits, there is a portion of extra fabric. And the sweater is more fitted than I originally planned, so it will be a deterrent against gaining weight. But to me, looking at it, it is beautiful and wonderful. The pictures are slightly crocked, because I rested the camera on a wooden ladder run that seems to not have been completely parallel to the ground, or the ground may not be level.