Monday, January 5, 2009

A review of the Apres Surf Hoodie

I have been thinking about something which I see very few(if any) knitting blogs do, which I would find extremely helpful, and that is review a sweater after it has been worn (or not worn) for a few months. I have knit many things which looked cute in the pictures I took right after I finished it, but don't get worn for a variety of reasons. So I am going to try and review a few of the FO's I completed this year. The Apres Surf Hoodie was my first choice, possibly because it took me a long time to knit it and I tried to be careful to knit it correctly. I bought the yarn for this from a lady at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene in June. Her Ravelry name is sweetodie, and her business is Sweet Grass Wools, in Helena, MT. She was also at the Flock and Fiber Festival in September, and I wore this sweater to show her how beautifully it came out. (Due to good design by Connie Chang Chinchio, and good yarn more than knitting skill!) The yarn was called Panda, and I have found a couple different yarns registered on Ravelry here and here, and here too. It is one of those yarn bases that is dyed by many indie dyers, but I can't find what I think is the right one from Sweet Grass Wools on Ravelry. Anyway, the point is, I swatched, and I knitted the sweater with a bit of positive ease as was recommended by the Interweave Knits staff (or the pattern writer). The sweater was beatiful, and it fit pretty well, but then it started to grow, the sleeves inched out over my hands, and the body grew at least three inches, possibly more. The other problem was the hood, it pulled the sweater down at the back, so I had folds of sweater fabric hanging at my waist. It also slid off my shoulders all the time, which was really irritating. I would put it on in the morning, and then a couple of hours later I would take it off and put on something else because it was driving me nuts. Finally I decided to try and shrink it. I washed it in the machine, (cold, delicate, with wool wash) and put it in the dryer and dryed it all the way to dryness..and it worked, it didn't felt (the wool part of the yarn is superwash) and it shrunk quite a bit, which is perfect because the lace pattern is really stretchy and now it fits again as shown in the photo. There are a few less than perfect things, the i-cord bind-offs on the sleeves and hem pull them in a little bit. This creates a little bunchiness there. The i-cord bind-off on the hood and neck rolls, so it looks like a rolled stockinette edge, but excessive blocking only temporarily combats this, so I have decided to live with it rather than fight it.
The yarn is starting to be a little fuzzy and pill, which is surprising, because I think it was intended to be sock yarn, I would have expected it to be tougher than that!
Anyway, please leave a comment if you find this sweater review helpful, or if you do a sweater review yourself. I am trying to choose a new sweater project, but I really wanted it to be something that I can wear and wear so your sweater reviews would be helpful for me.


Martha said...

Yes! Thank you so much for the review. It is very helpful to those of use who are planning to make this sweater. I really appreciate it.

Your sweater looks great!

Connie said...

What a good idea! Usually people write about sweaters right after they finish it when it's new and pristine. It's interesting to read about sweaters after they've been worn. I'm sorry you had some issues with the i-cord and with growing. You came up with an ingenious solution to combat the growing.