Sweaters and I have had what you might call a checkered past. The very first thing I ever knit was a sweater. Seriously - the first stitches I cast on were for the back of a cardigan - this is what comes of deciding (after midnight, at Wal-Mart) to teach yourself how to knit out of a handy Leisure Arts pamphlet titled 'Teach Yourself how to Knit, Crochet, Tat, and Embroider' (all in less than 50 pages!) using cheap, unbleached cotton yarn. I got casting on and stockinette quickly, and once I figured out that the yarn had to go between the needles (not under the bottom of the project) for ribbing, I just knocked the thing out. By the time I was done with the back, I was bored with stockinette and added some cables to the front panels. It turned out well enough that I ended up selling it to my boss for fifty dollars. Not bad for your very first knitting project!!
But within that first project were the hints of the problems that have continued to haunt me throughout my sweater knitting career: I was willing to sell this first proud sweater because it didn't fit me. It was too short in the body and too long in the arms. And pretty much every sweater (all 5 or so) I've made since then has had the same problems. My dad bought me a sweater's worth of a lovely shade of Cotton Glace just one summer ago - with which I made a beautiful lace cardigan - that's too short in the body and too long in the arms!! (Sorry, Dad!! On the upside, it fits my dear friend Claire perfectly, so it hasn't gone to waste at all!!) I have one Alice Starmore fisherman's sweater that I love, but it's a giant box of a sweater - pretty, but not flattering. Despite the fact that I know _why_ my sweaters don't fit (most patterns aren't written for short people with big busts), I guess I haven't quite managed the energy or attention or something to fix the problems.
But that's all about to change!! (cue dramatic makeover moment music) This year is the tenth anniversary of teaching myself to knit, and as a challenge to myself, and because it's embarrassing that I've been knitting so long without making a decent sweater, my resolution for this sweater knitting season is to knit at least one sweater that fits me and looks great. My eventual goal is to have a (perfectly fitting) Threepenny Pullover from Veronik Avery, but I wanted to start with something simple, that would be easy to modify and that I know I'd wear all the time. So I measured all the relevant places, and I found a great pattern from Webs: the Yoga Hoodie (oddly, no front views available). It's knit all in the round, so I can test my modifications as I go, and is mostly stockinette (for easy alteration) but not too boring, with that fancy back panel. And I love hoodies. I'm casting on this weekend, so wish me luck!!
And just so this post won't be too visually dull, here are two of my favorite dogs pretending to be cute: