I don’t know how else to say it besides the title, guys. It’s official, this sweater is DONE!
I have to admit, it was not the revelatory experience that I was expecting. I thought I’d pull out all those pins, try it on, and be instantly in love. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Instead, I tried it on and felt instantly anxious. First thing I realized? The sleeves turned out waaaaay too long. Ironic, really, because earlier I was worried that they were going to be too short! Never doubt the powers of blocking.
And in the same way that the sleeves grew significantly, so too did the body.
I knit the body to the exact length that I wanted it, which was foolish in the first place. I should have known that blocking would add at least some length. I just thought that the pattern accounted for this, and that it wouldn’t call for me to make it longer than what the pictures showed.
This was flawed thinking for two reasons. First of all, I wasn’t using the yarn the pattern called for, I was using something of my choosing that certainly didn’t have the same stretch of the yarn in the pattern.
Second of all, I am short. I top out around 5’3”, nearly 5’4” if I stand super straight and put my hair in a ponytail. That kind of stature comes with a short torso and short legs. I have no idea what the height of the woman in the pictures for the pattern was, but odds are she was taller than me.
The result? This cardigan is a dress. It ended up being something like 6 inches longer than I wanted it to be. I can stand perfectly straight and hang my arms down as far as they’ll go, and the tips of my fingers aren’t even close to the bottom of this thing.
I was not happy.
In fact, I was so “not happy” when I first tried it on that I started crying. I was just so disappointed!
After my little cry, though, I put it back on and went into problem solving mode.
First thing’s first, what do you do when you’re getting to work on something? You roll up your sleeves. So I rolled up the sleeves on the cardigan. And actually, they look really good rolled up!
That was the arms settled, then, what about the body? If it’s dress length, can I make it a dress? If I did that, I could add some buttons up the center, which would be super cute! But, no, it would be too short, I wouldn’t wear it very often as a dress. What if I steaked it up the side? How about some darts or some gathering in the back?
But then I put on one of my maxi skirts (instead of the PJ pants I was wearing, which really clashed with the cardigan) and added a belt, then I got my boyfriend to help me even out how it gathered in the back, and took another look in the mirror.
Sure, it still seems way too long, which is a real shame, but it is wearable!
I learned an important lesson here, guys. Always, always, always remember how much blocking can affect your work.
I should have measured my swatch before and after blocking, not just after. Even though that wouldn’t have accounted for the extra length you get from the weight of the piece, it would have at least given me a better idea of how it could be affected, and would have helped me keep in mind the potential growth that would occur after blocking.
Barring this disappointment at the end, though, knitting this sweater has been a joy.
I have two verdicts to deal out now. First, how I feel about this pattern specifically, and second, how I feel about sweater knitting in general.
The Snowbird pattern has been a great first sweater to knit. For the most part, the pattern was very easy to understand, and the techniques it employed were basic and easy to do. The sizing hasn’t quite worked out for me, but that’s not the fault of the pattern, that’s my own mistake.
Would I recommend someone knit a Snowbird sweater for themselves? Absolutely! But I don’t think I’ll knit a second one of these. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern, I’ve just done it, and now I want to try other patterns.
Which leads me into the second part of this review, how I feel about sweater knitting in general.
In short, I’m obsessed.
I cannot wait to knit another sweater! It was so much easier than I anticipated, took less time than I expected, and was considerably more rewarding to complete than a lot of the other projects I’ve finished.
Next time, I think I’ll knit a pullover instead of a cardigan. I hope you’ll stick around and read all about it when I do!