Amy Artisan

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Never Say Never!

As a child, you associate September with the start of school and learning new things. These days I associate September with learning stitches: September 1997: Grandma teaches me to knit; September 2001: I pick up the knitting needles again in earnest; September 2007: 10 years of knitting & I begin to knit a sweater; September 2008: 1st Sweater complete!

While the elapsed time to complete this sweater is indeed one year (ugh!) – the actual knit time was much, much less. The back half was knit from October through New Year’s Day – in the midst of a fair chunk of holiday knitting. The front half was off the needles in early April. And then…both pieces sat & sat – all through the spring & summer. After I finished my Olympic shawl in August I knew that one of the next things would be finishing up my sweater. The trip home to the Ville was the perfect catalyst to get it finished so that I could show it to Grandma & have the backyard as a backdrop for pictures. As September rolled in, there was a bit of crisp in the air that helped spur me along to block, seam & finish the sweater on September 7th.

It was fun to walk into Grandma’s den wearing my new sweater. The conversation went like:

Me: Look at the sweater I knit, Grandma.
Gma: Oh my!
Me: When you taught me to knit dishcloths, did you ever think I’d knit a sweater?
Gma: Well…no…
Me: Me neither!

Overall, I’m very pleased with the sweater. I made some dumb mistakes along the way that involved frogging back a couple of times. When I blocked the sweater I was concerned that it was much larger than the pattern measurements – but when it was all seamed together & I tried it on I didn’t end up with a tunic sweater like I thought I might. My sweater isn’t nearly as scoop necked as the one in the pattern picture. And when I went to pick up stitches on the neck & armbands I couldn’t get near the number of stitches picked up as the pattern indicated. I could rip back the bands and try again but I would rather move forward with my knitting.

When I first picked out this pattern, I envisioned wearing a white blouse underneath. Now that it is finished, it’s obvious that it is more of a ‘knit top’ sweater. Over the weekend I found a berry colored long sleeved t-shirt that brings out the berry thread in the “blueberry mix” of the yarn.

The Details: Sleeveless Top from Knit Simple, Fall 2007 (rav link)
Yarn: Berreco Ultra Alpaca in Blueberry Mix – less than 5 skeins
Needles: Addis size 8 & 9
Started: September 2007; Finished: September 7, 2008
Modificiations: Fewer picked up stitches for the arm bands and neck band

And now, the weather here in Chicago has had a hint of the fall- before long this sweater will indeed be part of my wardrobe.

What a journey of stitches I have been on since the hat class several years ago where I commented “it’s not like I’ll ever make a sweater.” This was an enjoyable project and it was exciting to think about making an actual piece of clothing instead of just an accessory. Since I cast on for the sweater I have indeed queued a couple of other sweaters to make. I have several holiday knitting projects to get through in the coming weeks; however, I anticipate that it won’t be long until I have another sweater on the needles. Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement on the journey of the first sweater – I’m glad to be finished!


  1. Great job. The color is great on you. You will get lots of wear out of the sweater. What’s next ?

  2. Cute, cute, cute! And a HUGE congratulations on finishing your first sweater. That is quite an accomplishment.

  3. Ooh! Very nice! Be forewarned, though. Sweaters are addictive!

  4. Oh it’s pretty!! Congrats on your 1st sweater! That’s quite an accomplishment. My fist sweater was something I never really wore so I finally gave it away a few years ago. Yours is definitely one to wear proudly!

  5. Woot! That’s a beautiful sleeveless sweater, Amy.

    A year is average, isn’t it? It sure is for me.

  6. congratulations and good job you! an absolutely beautiful sweater! i have a hard time finishing things too. i have never crocheted a WHOLE blanket but i can finish the edges once or twice around. i have such a short attention span and lately i have been misplacing things! someday when everything calms down i want to try my hand at a whole something!

  7. Great sweater, Amy. How did you like the Berroco Alpaca? We are still sweltering down here and i’m looking at bamboo for a cardi.

  8. “What a journey of stitches…” A perfect sentiment, Amy! Congratulations on completing your lovely blueberry-colored sweater.

  9. beautiful! what a fantastic blue, and great job!

  10. Beautiful work Amy!! I love the color and it looks great on you!

  11. Very pretty! Congratulations!

  12. Congratulations on a job well done!

  13. Beautiful color! I love that “berry” thread peeping through. Great pattern, too. I hear vests are going to be very popular this year. You’re ready!

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