Let’s get to the knitty gritty of this project! The pattern was The Perfect Christmas Jumper by Susan Crawford, and I knit mine using Quince and Co. Finch on the recommended needle sizes. I ended up using one skein of the white and slightly more than six skeins of red. I was in between the third and fourth size, so I looked at their finished bust measurements and ended up choosing the smaller of the two because I’d rather have a sweater with zero ease than one with five inches of positive ease. I really should have paid attention to more of the measurements and run more numbers, but I neglected to listen to my own advice on choosing a size, and that did cause me some problems later on.
The only modification I had planned from the beginning was to add waist shaping. I didn’t want to make many changes to the pattern because it was my mindless, just-for-fun project to knit when I wasn’t knitting for work, but I can’t pull off pullovers without any waist shaping. To keep things simple, I cast on for the second size and then just worked increases every four rows at the sides until I got to the right number of stitches for the third size. I also knit a few too many rows before separating for the button placket on the back so I decided to just use three buttons. Other than that, I knit the body and first sleeve as written. When I finished the first sleeve, it looked kind of short, so I basted it onto the sweater, and I did need some extra length. This is the first issue I ran into from sizing down. If I had knit my sleeve to the length for the larger of the two sizes I was in between, I would have been fine, but I didn’t and had to rip back and add length.
My next size-related issue was discovered at the last minute. I seamed up my sweater and put it on only to find that the armholes were way too tight. I measured my sweater and ran the numbers on the pattern to compare. That’s when I made my unfortunate discovery. Although my sleeves were way too tight due in part to how I eased in my puff sleeves (That’s the annoying thing about puffed sleeves. It can sometimes take multiple tries to get them eased in just right because there are no clear guidelines other than the center top and bottom.), they were always going to be on the snug side because I neglected to check the armhole depth when I chose to size down. Oops.
Once I redid my sleeve cap seams so the fabric was distributed slightly differently, my armholes were much more comfortable, and the sweater was totally wearable, despite not having as much armhole ease as I’d like. The sweater is only going to get worn a few times a year, so I’m pretty content with it the way it is. Plus, those reindeer are so cute!