The purple sweater, blocked way back in November and sewn together by early December, is finally wearable. And wear it I do. Funny how long it takes me to go button shopping when two shops carrying buttons are less than a 10-minute walk from home:  

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This photo makes it look more blue than purple; trust me, it’s very purple:

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In this photo I like the sweater less but myself more than the previous one, so you get this one, too:

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Pattern: Tangerine Twist by Susan Todhunter, as published on knitty.com
Yarn: 4 skeins Classic Elite Yarns Provence, 100% mercerized Egyptian cotton, color 2617
Buttons: Dill-buttons #809
Needles: size 6 for most of it, used sizes 5 and 4 for shaping
Size: own (I could not use any of the published sizes)

I made several alterations to this pattern.

First, the body part is written to start with the smallest needles and work its way up to the largest needles to create waist shaping. The picture shows the finished sweater with an hourglass shape but the schematic is obviously tapered and the instructions made me think it would end up tapered. I like an hourglass shape if I can manage it, so I started with the largest needle and worked my way down to the smallest, then back up again.

Second, the published gauge made for a floppier fabric than I like and my desired chest measurement was between two sizes, so I re-calculated the number of stitches for my tighter gauge and went on my merry way with my own custom size. 

Third, I knew I would not wear a thick-ish cotton sweater with itty bitty sleeves so I made my sleeves long. Many, many thanks to Daryl of KnitU for sending me that partial ball of an odd lot! I came very close to running out of yarn on this after deciding to lengthen those sleeves and that odd lot came to the rescue so I could sew my seams. There is nothing like an Extreme Cast-Off Yarn Challenge (from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off) to make for an interesting knitting evening.

How about a good look at those buttons?

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I love how sewing on the buttons without creating a shank formed those gentle curves along the buttonband, echoing the curves of the traveling twisted stitch. The buttonband is knitted perfectly straight.  

The really odd thing for me is that this is the first sweater I’ve ever made that is not grossly oversized. For years I wore huge (sometimes men’s) sweaters and couldn’t figure out why I always looked so shapeless. Then about 3 years ago I started watching What Not to Wear and learned about fit. Well, duh, and the little light bulb went on. Strange how I never figured out on my own the correlation between poor fit and poor visual impact. Looking back on past sweaters; nay, trying them on, you could easily put two of me in some of them and one-and-a-half of me in the rest. Since then I’ve learned and my purchased sweaters fit me but I haven’t made finished any sweaters of my own creation since then. This is the first. My Tangerine Twist could stand to be an inch longer, I suppose, but it fits me so well in the torso and shoulders that I love it the way it is. Plus I have no more of this yarn.

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