I knit myself a sack to wear and let me tell you it is the most fashion-forward sack the world has ever seen, because it is from a pattern in VOGUE.
If the sack were an item you could order from the JCPenny catalog this shot is exactly how it would be represented.
The pattern is actually called bulky topper, and it appeared in the all-around fabulous issue of Vogue Knitting from fall 2011. As is apparently my MO now I knit this sweater along with my best girl Minty - you can see her post about it right here!
When I first picked up this issue of Vogue I flipped past this sweater in favor of drooling over the numerous fabulous colorwork designs on other pages. Those are normally more my thing. But Minty pointed out the sweater to me, and once I looked at it with fresh eyes I fell completely in love. It's like that cozy sweatshirt you've always loved, but with some structure (seams! set-in sleeves!) so it's something you can wear out of the house. It's a whole lot like a knit version of the cowl-sack from Target that many of us twitterers have been into these last few months. But HAND KNIT.
As far as the knitting went, the pattern was completely straightforward. No stories of adversity overcome here - it was totally clear. There are a couple minor things I would change, were I to be able to go back in time and do this again. First, I would pick up the stitches for the back layer of the pocket - not cast them on and sew them down later like the pattern tells you to. Minty was smart enough to pick hers up. I thought a seam would add stability at the bottom of the garment but, eh, it doesn't really seem to do anything. Secondly, I would most definitely figure out a way to work that collar so it doesn't have to be seamed all the way across my chest. The thing that is not apparent from the pictures is that the entire collar - cowl all the way down to the ridge on the chest - is knit off the back of the garment, and you sew it down all the way across the front in the finishing. And let me tell you, that is a hard seam to sew so it doesn't look like crap.
But all said and done, for how much I like this sweater now these critiques of the process aren't such a big deal. I'll admit, it took a couple days of wear for me to get used to the fit. At first I freaked out thinking it was too big - in a way that's beyond what it should be. I think I'm just not used to sweaters that fit so loosely.
Here are the deets:
I went down a needle size to US9s. Apparently I knit more loosely than I once did. The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky, which I thoroughly loved working with. I've sung the praises of worsted weight WOTA before; all those complements apply to the bulky version as well. It's reasonably priced with generous yardage, and a nice wooly wool that softens up some with washing. I actually had this lot of gray from a kit I ordered off the Knit Picks site a million years ago, and then decided I didn't want to make that pattern. I have a couple skeins in some other colors that I haven't decided what to do with yet... And if anyone is wondering about my fuschia jeggings - yes, I am wearing fuschia jeggings. You may love em; you may hate em. I love em. Like everything I wear they're from Target. And no, I do not accept advertising/freebies for blog posts. I'm just poor so all my clothes are from Target.
...And I have a preview of things to come to leave you with:
You can click through to flickr for a full explanation if you're curious.