Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Unluckiest Halloween Ever

All that's left of Halloween now is the candy, and of course the pictures. This year I did something I don't normally do, a big involved project straight out of horror movie history. I designed and hand knitted Pamela Voorhees' sweater from Friday the 13th. The protective, murderous mother who started Jason's numerous killing sprees around Camp Crystal Lake.

Here I am with my doppelganger Betsy Palmer.

If it weren't for my inability to make a scary face, you could hardly tell us apart!

I became interested in this design when Google revealed that no one else (I could find) seems to have made one. I found my calling! Then I only had to buy a comparable yarn, figure out all the cables, determine a gauge that would space them correctly, and design the sweater shape and fit. No problem, right?

Did I mention this was my first time designing a sweater?
Yep.  I do like to make things as complicated for myself as possible.

To match Mrs. Voorhees' classic silhouette, I went for a loose and boxy design, with about 3" of ease around the bust and 2" around the arms.

A loose fit keeps you mobile for murderousness

The yarn is Lettlopi, an Icelandic wool I picked up from Craftsy, in the colorway Ash Heather. It's a slightly fuzzy wool, variegated in white and gray. The recommended needle size is 8, but I found that too loose, and used size 6 instead.

One particular struggle I had was the the rather flat looking cables in the center panel. It took a few experiments before I discovered the wonder of uneven cables. Though I've made more than a couple projects with cables, I'd always used the "even" methodcrossing 2, or 3, or 4 stitches across the same number of stitches. For this project I tried a variety of number of stitches and rows, but whatever I tried, it didn't look quite like the original. They stood out too much and didn't have the softness I was looking for. A little research revealed that uneven cables can achieve the look I was searching for. The very simple solution was crossing 3 stitches over 2! 

I used another new-to-me method on the cuffs. They appeared to be folded over in the original, so I made the cuff twice the length I usually would, then folded it up and stitched it into place. 

This required that I seam it so the right side of the cuff was opposite to the right side of the sleeve body. 
The seam is on the outside of the cuff.

It become invisible once the cuff is folded up.
The collar was made using the same method, giving it a thickness that keeps it very stable.

I had a lot of fun with this project and looking forward to wearing my very unlucky Friday the 13th sweater all winter long.  I hope to have the full pattern up for sale in time for next Halloween!

Ready for anything.