I've been working non-stop and exclusively on my Mariah sweater (pattern from knitty.com here) for the past couple of weeks. It's been 13 days and I'm on the hood now, I reckon the knittiing will be finished in a couple of days. I'll still need to find a zip and sew the seams, but that shouldn't take too long. I'm very excited about the sweater nearly being done, and I want to wear it now!
I've made a couple of mods with this version. The last time I made this sweater, I just followed the pattern straight, and I hardly paid any attention to what was actually happening, it seems. I couldn't even remember how the yoke was put together. You knit the pieces on straight needles up to the armholes, then you join them all and work raglan shaping. I think when I made it last, I didn't even know what raglan shaping was. I just did what the pattern told me. It turned out great, but it's so different to use a pattern and actually to understand what's going on.
The first mod I made was in the raglan shaping, and it was actually unintentional. Instead of decreasing, knitting the 2 stitches either side of the stitch marker, then decreasing again, I just decreased either side of the marker, without the knit stitches in between. There was a decrease right at the edge, at the beginning of the shaping, to remove the selvedge stitches, and I just continued decreasing at that point, without going on to read the next bit of the pattern correctly. It looks fine though. I didn't actually notice till I was about 10 rows into the shaping, and there was no way I was ripping back all of those yoke stitches!
Oh, actually I'd made a change in the arm patterning before that. You're supposed to increase in the rib pattern, adding cables when you have enough stitches, but I just increased in stockinette. It just looked tidier, and I couldn't be bothered fiddling about adding in all those extra cables ;)
I changed the top of the sleeve too. When you finish the main cable pattern, you're supposed to work up to the neck in the cable rib pattern, but again, I just went straight into stockinette for the tidiness, and the ease of working decreases into it.
Also, I was working the medium size, but then I continued decreasing in the yoke until I had the right number of stitches for the small size. One thing I had noticed with my original sweater was that it sat kind of low down on the shoulders, so I wanted a little extra fabric to bring it closer to the neck. It makes it a little more snug around the neck too, so it won't be slipping down all the time.
Normally I wouldn't make all these mods, I would just follow the pattern even if I wanted to change something, because I would think the pattern must be right, it must be me that is wrong. Maybe it's because I've made this pattern before, or maybe I'm getting a bit more confident with my knitting. I think it's probably a bit of both, but it's quite liberating thinking "oh, I'll just change that" and going straight ahead and doing it. It definitely helps that I now know a lot more about sweater construction anyway. Who knows, maybe I'll become one of those knitters who can just look at a pattern and hugely modify it straight off! I've often been jealous when people say stuff like "I liked the cable pattern, so I just put it into this sweater, and tweaked the numbers, and added some shaping as well." Actually, come to think of it, shaping is something that scares me a little. I didn't add any into this sweater. I don't quite get the 3d-ness of it all. Maybe I'll have to try adding that into something soon, to get over that :) I'll be a fearless knitter eventually, lol!!
(some pretty cable pictures!)