I finally bound off Grettir on Monday night. The moment was perhaps robbed of its usual excitement, because I had gotten home at 22:30 and I was tired (and hungry), but I’m very satisfied with the completed project. Although I think that I’ll take a break from knitting Icelandic-style sweaters for awhile…
When I picked the colors for this project, I had woods and lichen and the hiking we do in the Catskills on my mind, and I think the color scheme works well with this pattern. There were moments when I wasn’t sure whether the dark green and brown or two greens would be contrasty enough, but once I started knitting the yoke, I realized that all of the colors work together. As with the Riddari yoke, now that I’ve knit this, I see even more color combination possibilities, and I think it would be fun to work in additional shades of greens and golds. Why stop at four colors?
I made very few changes to this pattern, and the ones I did make were minor. I skipped the tubular cast ons and sewn bind off, because #lazyknitter. Instead I went with my usual stretchy cast on and bind off. I knitted extra long cuffs, because I like the look of folded cuffs. I skipped the waist shaping, because I don’t really care about having a “feminine shape” on the sweaters I wear with lots of layers in the winter. I went with a plain, ribbed collar, because that’s what I like.
As far as Things I Would Do Differently (And Other Small Quibbles), I think the sleeves could be longer. When I measured the length of the sleeves, I measured them with a folded cuff, so I added almost 2″ to the length spec’ed in the pattern (assuming I wear the cuffs unfolded), but I could have knit at least another inch of stockinette. When they’re cuffed, the sleeves stop just above my wrist, which is a little bit too short for my tastes.
Additionally, I have a smallish frame, and the yoke is definitely too deep for me. As I move around in it, the fabric stops lying flat across my chest. I was aware of this situation before I started knitting, because the Grettir chart has more rounds than my final Riddari chart, which, even after I reduced the number of rows in the yoke, is also a little bit too deep. By contrast, both of my Strokkur sweaters have a yoke depth that’s more appropriate for my body and, as a result, they don’t bunch or gather. (The only solution I’ve found is to periodically pull down the front of my sweater, but if you have better advice, please do share.)
This fit issue is not, however, a show-stopper for me, so I proceeded with the Grettir pattern. I still wear my Riddari regularly, and I’ll likely end up wearing this sweater frequently too. (My black Strokkur gets the most wear, as it’s the closest thing I have to a black lopapeysa and, in the final analysis, I will still always prefer to wear all black.) My wardrobe preferences gravitate much more towards the practical, with warmth and layer-ability taking the lead. If I can comfortably bicycle 20-miles in it in the winter, it’s a keeper and funny fit be damed.
And on that note, it’s 40°F outside and dropping: time to take this sweater on its inaugural bike ride to work!