Deadline Knitting: The Big Sur Pullover
I’m not a fast knitter. That is, I’m reasonably speedy when I’m actually knitting, but finding the time is hard. So when I offered to knit Norah Gaughan’s Big Sur Pullover from Wool Studio Vol. II, I knew I was asking for it. But the brioche knitting was calling to me . . .
Norah is hands-down one of my favorite designers, and the sweater is gorgeous. A big cozy drop-shoulder design, it’s knit in a variation of brioche, my current obsession. There is almost no shaping beyond a v-neck, and it has this awesome divided collar that I knew I just had to try. Everything looked super straightforward, so I figured I could get it done in record time.
I’m one of those people who modifies practically everything I knit. Mostly it’s for fit, as I’m 5’ 1” even with good posture, and short-waisted as well. A drop-shoulder sweater seemed like an easy exercise, but in addition to shortening the sweater length, I needed to adjust the collar depth so it didn’t hit my navel. The cheater method for this, btw, is to simply divide for the v-neck at a higher point than the pattern calls for. I then worked fewer decreases when shaping the v-neck because I have narrow shoulders, the collar is roomy, and having a sweater fall off in the middle of a meeting is unseemly. So far so good, and since I was knitting less than the original pattern, I should get done even faster, right? Except I didn’t plan when I knit the back, so I needed to rip out and readjust the shoulders, so the front and back pieces would match.
For those of you who don’t knit a lot of brioche, it can be a beautiful heartbreaker of a stitch. All those yarnovers make a gorgeously squishy, textured fabric, but they also make a very short fabric, compared to the same stitch count in plain stockinette. I felt like I was knitting in a black hole at times. Please note, do not let this dissuade you from trying brioche. It’s totally worth it, just maybe not when you have 2 weeks to knit a sweater in your spare time.
This is the part where I’m supposed to have a cute photo of me wearing the sweater, doing happy model-y poses. Except I’m not over-the-top cute, and the sweater isn’t done yet. The main parts are blocking, and I need to finish one sleeve. For me this is total speed-knitting, so I’m happy even if my editor is not. And I will have a gorgeous sweater that I’m proud to wear.
If there is any moral to this story, it’s that doing something properly takes time, but it is worth it. A textured stitch takes longer to knit, but you get a beautiful fabric. Alterations take longer to do, but you get a sweater you look great in and wear over and over. And a fussy-seeming collar takes longer to finish, but is definitely worth the fuss.
Whatever your next project is, I hope you can take your time and make something you love.