le cirque cowlneck sweater from metropolitan knits by melissa wehrle

lecirqueCEYvail01Believe it or not, but I knitted an entire sweater. A sweater that is wearable! I feel as if I’m rediscovering the joys of when I first starting sewing, especially the moments of hesitation that finally results in pride and accomplishment.

lecirqueCEYvail02The pattern is Le Cirque from the book Metropolitan Knits by Melissa Wehrle. I found the book in my local library, and out the hundreds of books there, this was the only book with multiple patterns I liked and could envision myself wearing. Most books only had one pattern I’d consider, and then the majority of books had patterns I’ll never touch. But to each their own, right?

lecirqueCEYvail02aMy yarn is MountainTop Vail by Classic Elite Yarns and I purchased seven hanks from The Knitting Fairy. However I only used 5.2 skeins so there will be a hat made with my leftover yarn. I can’t recommend The Knitting Fairy enough, the owner and her daughter helped me a ton. As this was my first attempt ever at making a sweater, you bet I needed some explanations and guidance. I started with a humble gauge swatch and they inspected it to help me figure out my needle size.

lecirqueCEYvail03Then I cast on my 228 stitches and started knitting away. Mostly in front of the TV.

lecirqueCEYvail03aGradually it grew and grew… This project was started in March, by the way.

lecirqueCEYvail04Then I had to sew the shoulder seams.

lecirqueCEYvail05Next came the sleeves and armhole sleeves.

lecirqueCEYvail06So many ends to weave in…

lecirqueCEYvail07Paper, pen, and post it notes are the best way of keeping track of knitting progress. Apps and gadgets just don’t cut it for me.

lecirqueCEYvail08I have my own complicated system for remembering rows. I write the numbers, circle any special rows where increases happen, and then when I have to repeat I draw squares around them for elimination. I don’t trust my ability to “read” my knitting so I prefer keeping meticulous notes to ensure that my sleeves are the same length.

lecirqueCEYvail09Ta da! Ta da! Ta da! My first ever knitting garment! It fits! It looks good on me! I feel good wearing it! I love it! No RTW can make me feel this way.

lecirqueCEYvail10Unlike the model’s photo from the book, my cowl wasn’t super drapey.

lecirqueCEYvail11I assume it is because I have a wide upper torso, so the cowl flattened out.

lecirqueCEYvail12But I don’t mind, not one bit.

lecirqueCEYvail13There were supposed to be three buttons on a faux placket on the back, but I’m currently out of town and not near my button stash. So the buttons have been left off.

lecirqueCEYvail14Speaking of out of town, that is the best part about knitting – it’s a lot more portable than sewing. And other than a calculation every now and then, it’s also quite mindless and I can zone out. Not so much with sewing. And lately life has been a bit up-and-down so I appreciate being able to knit to let me decompress and let my mind figure things out. I find with sewing I must be 100% focused on sewing, but with knitting my mind is allowed to wander to other thoughts.

lecirqueCEYvail15Flat detail. I picked this pattern for my first sweater because of the drop shoulder sleeves. Because the sleeves are naturally wider at the top, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about fitting.

lecirqueCEYvail16Back. Here it’s easier to see the placket. Mine is a bit wavy but I don’t mind.

lecirqueCEYvail17Stitch detail. The sweater is basically made up of stockinette stitch, yarnovers, and k2togs. If you can do those you can make this easily!

lecirqueCEYvail19I made the sleeves too long so I cuffed them on the first yo/k2tog rows and the length was perfect. Whew! I was told there was a way to remove the excess yarn to shorten it, but I didn’t want to mess with that for my first sweater. Keeping it as simple as possible was my goal.

Pattern: Le CirqueLe Cirque from Metropolitan Knits by Melissa Wehrle
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Mountaintop Vail from The Knitting Fairy
Ravelry Page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/cathytxtwfr/le-cirque-cowlneck-sweater

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