Or, how I handknit the hugest sweater of all time by making it 30% too big. Warning: the following post contains scenes of extremely oversized knits, knitting without swatching, and country house eye candy. Reader discretion is advised.
Marking my return back to "serious" knitting (read: not an infinity cowl or ribbed scarf) I thought it would be best to dip my toe in with something easy and fast. I fell in love with the Cross Country Coat when I was browsing the Wool & the Gang patterns. It's simple and boxy but I liked the shape and figured it would be perfect for wearing around the house and using as a transitional coat in between fall and winter. But because I was feeling cocky (read: lazy and stupid) I didn't swatch. I have no good answer for you. Sometimes you have to spend a small fortune on wool to learn a very important lesson. As a result, I basically made a Cross Country House Coat. Witness me in all my blanket-as -a-sweater glory:
Since there is no way in hell this duvet masquerading as a cardigan could ever fit under a coat, I basically just wear it around the house. Every day. Sometime over pajamas but mostly over leggings and button down shirts. I have gotten SO MUCH side eye from delivery guys when I swan downstairs wearing 50 pounds of wool.
As for why I knit it so damn big: the pattern did include measurements, but I didn't realize this until after the coat was knitted (I apparently forgot how to read). When I discovered what I had done (seriously, who knits this something at this scale without swatching?!), I considered ripping everything out and starting over since I had made it relatively quickly, but the idea made me want to throw myself in the river.
Speaking of rivers: have you seen The Revenant? You know all those scenes of Leonardo DiCaprio jumping in the water wearing a huge bear skin? That's basically what it was like trying to wet block this thing. It weighed a million pounds and despite my best efforts I'm sure it stretched a bit as I was trying to wrangle it out of the tub and onto my wringing towels. And while blocking is kind of magic, it simply won't shrink a gigantic sweater that you knit on the wrong needles. I am not ablogogising here; this sweater is huge. These are the facts.
Having said all that, it's a super simple pattern (literally 5 rectangles seamed together) and is a good beginner knit project so please don't let me turn you off if you like the shape. Just swatch first. Please.
I didn't use any WATG wool for this make, rather some Cascade Magnum in Ecru. My butt got saved by Emily for sending me a half skein when I inevitably ran out as it was time to seam. Because it's an untwisted strand, it is pilling like crazy. I was warned about this on instagram and thought y'all were being a bunch of Debbie Downer buzzkills... but you were right. Chunky knits pill like mad. However, when you're already swaddled in a gigantic wool sleeping bag like some kind of hypothermia victim, who cares about a few fluff balls, am I right?
Incidentally, it turns out it's the perfect thing to wear on a Vermont country weekend, even if it does take up half a suitcase when packed. Even better when you pair it with some wool slippers you picked up at a Scandinavian church bazaar and a warm fire.
Please make me feel better about this knitting blunder and tell me I'm not the only one who's accidentally knit a floor rug. What's the silliest knitting mistake you've made?