Vogue Sweater Challenge

Vogue sweater challenge

Vogue Sweater” was my 11 week  long project + some weeks off lasting from January 4, 2016 to March 28, 2016. I woke up on January 2, browsed around in Pinterest, and thought about why on earth I don’t have a cabled sweater. It’ not that I can’t knit, you know…

I didn’t think about it long, browsed through Craftsy classes and found what I was looking for. I didn’t want just another pattern. I wanted to do it by myself, starting from 0.

Although I have knitted sweaters and pullovers, I haven’t knitted them without a pattern. I haven’t calculated the stitches and fitted the cable patterns… I haven’t done the hard work…

So,  Custom Cabled Pullovers by Carla Scott it is (very Vogue by the way).

Custom Cabled Pullovers

Carla talks about everything. About planning – charting and ease. About yarns and colors. Taking measurements, calculating (this was the most scary part for me) and how to place your cables. All the designing parts – sleeves, front and all the shaping. Binding off and blocking. Even how to seam your sweater together.

Of course, I didn’t know what kind of sweater I wanted to knit, so you can see my taste on this post on Week 1.

By the end of Week 2, I had gone over the class 2 times already without actually knitting. Think I was afraid? Sure I was…

 Finally, after finishing Lesson 2 and Lesson 3 forth time, I was ready to start with measurements. Class had a printable for this. Very nice of them.

Craftsy sweater class printables

I also chose my yarn. While playing with the thought of deep red, white or grey colored yarn, I decide to use pink. This pink:

sweater yarn

Week 3 was for swatches. Knitting and blocking and everything. Take a look at this post for pictures.

I love playing with cables. I really do. And if I can add a lace to it too then I’m in pure heaven (not for this project though).

And a funny story from my mother:

20 something years ago when my mother and step-father started dating, she decided to knit a cabled sweater for him. So, she chose a sweater with lots of cables and used some expensive yarn. She worked hard on it and knitted several months. Every. Single. Day. Finally, she finished it, my step-father put it on, and guess what….

…he burnt a hole in it! On that very first day! It feels like she is still angry about it ?

I can’t help it – it’s so funny. It’s one of those things – sad and funny at the same time.

Week 4 was all about calculations. If you’re “a first timer” like me then first of all – it’s scary; second of all – it takes time; and third of all – you’re not very good at it… It took me in total of 12 hours to get it done.

Calculation of sweater stitches

It took me 12 sheets of paper. Oh, I just realized – 12 sheets in 12 hours. That’s 1 sheet per hour?

After I had finished my rough draft, there were no way to understand what number goes where. So I started again (YES, from beginning) and this time I managed to write it so that I could make sense… To find anything good in all this time spent – I can understand all the numbers and increases and decreases that are needed in sweater patterns now.

I also managed to start knitting:

Start of a cable sweater

I thought I’ll give you few tips for your calculating process, so that you don’t have to spend 12 hours doing it:

  • Do it when it’s quiet – kids and husbands won’t be exactly helpful…
  • Do it when you feel bright and rested – for me it’s mornings, but I started at night…well, you saw how it turned out…
  • First, before you do anything else, watch all the lessons for calculating – I started my calculations immediately and I just wasted my time; it was so much easier to watch all of it and then start….
  • Take it slow. I mean – really slow. Pause after every sentence or word if you need to. Make sure you really understand every number and every calculation. It’s crucial for your success.
  • And last, but not least – don’t give up. I repeat – DO NOT give up. There are some complicated parts, but those are not insurmountable. If I could do it then you can do ?

I finished a front part of my sweater on Week 5 (with mistakes of course):

Cable sweater front side

Week 6 was a breaking point – I was losing my motivation, but still managed to start with the back side part:

Knitting my cabled sweater

Week 7 – still no motivation, but a thought of posting an empty post was worse. As I was taking pictures, my teenager came to see what I’m up to. She notified me that if this sweater won’t fit on me then she will take it. And if it fits…well…too bad because she’s gonna lend it then.

Punch line of this little story is – she have told me before that she’s too cool for knitted sweaters… ?

What did I learn from this? You have to show a little pink, of course ?

Knitting the cabled sweater

I finished the back side of the sweater on Week 8, which was my birthday. I was happy and proud. And as it turned out – my future sweater fitted (that’s major if you’ve done all the calculations and you’ve no way to be sure if everything is correct)…

sweater challenge almost done

Everything was fantastic until I got flu. I was down for 2 weeks, and I don’t count that into my project length. If I’m being blunt – I was “down and out” half of the month… – awesome, isn’t it?

I also got a lecture from my grandmother who (very gladly, I must say) took advantage of my inability to run away.“If you don’t take free days to rest then life will put you on unsolicited holiday” was a moral of her story. Only longer… And far more detailed… With the “I told you so”…

So, after all that was over, on Week 9, I started with my sleeves (I had a supervisor to motivate me).

knitting sweater sleeves with cables

Sleeves was hardest to knit. Not because they were complicated, but because I was tired of it. You can read about my whining on this post for Week 10. There are also few things mentioned that I will be doing differently next time.

Week 11 – FINISHED

I won’t bore you to death with my overall conclusions and happy shouts. You can go back to this post and read it. I’l just show it to you:

Vogue sweater challenge finished

Knitting a cabled sweater with Craftsy Vogue sweater class

Buy the course here:

Custom Cabled Pullovers

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