To start off with I know I am not an eloquent writer. My brain fog makes it difficult for me to remember who I am on a good day. But I thought that if I at least try to write about my thoughts or my difficulties with various knit projects that maybe it might help out others in the long run. Or perhaps let you the reader know that yes, you are not the only one who has experienced these things.
Coming off the high and success of my Rhinebeck sweater I felt the need to try and come up with something that is at least on par with that project. Enter in the Betty & Judy Lodge Sweater by Amy Appel. I have never had a "holiday" sweater and I feel that it is about time. My MIL is the Queen of holiday sweaters- I think half of her closet is dedicated to them. She wears one for every holiday from St. Patrick's Day to Thanksgiving. I think some may even qualify as "ugly sweaters". But I think it would be awesome this year to join in the holiday sweater fun.
I decided to go with my Comfy worsted yarn for this. However, as much as I love a good holiday sweater it still needs to reflect me and my goth loving, hearse owning, vintage crazy cat lady persona. So of course the body would have to be knit with my Midnight colorway and I decided to use some Snow, It's a Hobbit Thing, and Rustic OOAK for the colorwork bib.
Before I even began the project I knew I wanted to alter that chart like I did in the last sweater. And I spent several nights doodling in my sketch book and playing around in Stitchmastery. There were several times when I became so frustrated I thought I would give up and just go on to something else. My list of sweater knits is becoming super large, but I digress. In the end I decided to go with a simple alteration so that the sweater is still maintains its initial holiday appeal while at the same time meeting my new need to add skulls to all my sweaters.
But after getting to this point I decided I was not very fond of how this was coming out and ended up frogging completely back. And this disappointment had nothing to do with the fact that I was doing Intarsia. I had even played around with altering the death flake chart to fit in but it still didn't seem to meet the blurred vision I had in my head. So I went back to the drawing board.
This is just one of the many charts that I had created and there were countless variations made off of this one. I had even played around with the skulls not having the cross bones. But visually it left too much open space.
In the end I decided to simplify it some more and ended up with this being the final chart. I also decided that I was going to add some french knots over the berries to give them more of a 3-d effect. I had not realized at the time that my Holly Berries had a bat feel to them. But when it was pointed out I was totally ok with it.
Knowing what I know now I would have done a few things differently. I'm still kind of new to color work and instead of cutting the colors after completing each line I though I would wrap it down and continue. Trying to cut corners and not have tons of ends to weave in back fired in this instance. It wasn't until I was done that I noticed the ends of the bib started to pull and not remain flat by the shoulders.
I also decided that the white area left above the colorwork was just to plain and left a weird visual void. I ended up going in with some extra yarn and a darning needle and stitched on each of those individual black stitches. I am so happy I did this, it seemed to bring the whole thing together.
In the end I am still not quit sure how I feel about this sweater. I ended up becoming very sick over the holidays so I never got to wear this as I had intended. And I think the various bumps in the road I experienced also disenchanted me a little. Perhaps next year when the holiday's roll around I may feel different about it. However, It did teach me a lot. So there is some silver lining to all of this.
For more details about this particular project please visit my project page on Ravelry.
The alterations made to this sweater were done after I purchased the pattern. I do not in anyway endorse someone making similar mods without first crediting Amy Appel as the designer who holds the copyright on this particular sweater design. If you plan to use my mods I invite you to do so but for your own personal use. Non of these alterations should be used in any way for commercial gain. I have no problem sharing my creativity with others but please use this creativity respectfully.