I realized that I never shared any final photos of my improvised sweater from the Fringe and Friends Knitalong! Oops.
It's taken me awhile to decide if I'm really done with it or if I still want to make some changes. In my original plans, I decided I would steek the back and add a decorative button band that was inspired by my favorite ready-to-wear sweater.
But now that I've finished, I don't know if I want to change it! I figure I can always decide to cut it later, but I can't decide not to cut it. Better to live with it for a while first.
After lots of frogging and re-knitting, I finally ended up with a fit that I really like. It's not too oversized and shapeless, like most of my sweaters these days, but it's not so fitted that I can't wear a button-up shirt underneath.
I added a few short rows to have a very slightly dipped hem in the back and it turned out just like I hoped. That said, I realized that my tension is definitely different when I'm knitting in the round versus knitting back and forth!
Blocking made all the difference so that there wasn't a line of tighter knitting along the bottom of the sweater. It's still not perfect, but much less noticeable! Next time, I'll have to pay more attention to my gauge between the two techniques.
While there were times that I was super frustrated with this sweater and wanted to give up (somewhere around yoke attempt number three), I'm really glad that I persevered and finished it. It gave me so much more confidence in my knitting!
I'm fairly confident in making pattern adjustments while sewing, but it took me a long time and a lot of mistakes to get there. Once I had that confidence and understanding of apparel construction, it really took my sewing to a new level and I felt ready to take more risks.
Until this sweater, I hadn't felt like I could make the same changes in my knitting projects. Even though apparel construction is somewhat the same in both crafts, I didn't understand what to manipulate to make the changes that I wanted to see - it just wasn't as straightforward in my mind as sewing alterations. Knitting a sweater from scratch without a pattern was absolutely the best way to gain confidence in what I was doing. I'm so excited to take what I've learned and apply it to my next sweater!