Hourglass Sweater


Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (w. pattern corrections for 1st edition)
Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha, 7 balls @ 50g each
Needles: 29" US 7 circulars, 12" US 7 circulars
Knit-Along: Hourglass Knit-Along
Recipient: me

Notes: So here it is, the famous first sweater. For a first effort it is, I think, not bad, and I do think I'll wear it. It's soft and comfortable, and has enough drape to be classy when called upon. Sorry again for the just-rolled-out-of-bed look, I keep trying to justify it by saying I'd just rolled out of bed, and I had, but those who know me probably realize I always look this way a little (i.e., unkempt - it drives my grandma crazy). A few thoughts:

(1) The finishing was torture! Worse than hangnails. The sweater is knit with hems that must be sewn down during finishing. The hem at the neck opening is comprised of live stitches, meaning you have to sew down every single stitch in a straight line. Fig and Plum to hems: you suck.

(2) The pattern is relaxing or dull, depending on one's mood. There's a whole lotta stockinette going on.

(3) Yes, the neck opening is wide, as many who've made this pattern have noted. I left mine wide because I don't mind it; don't mind wearing a tank under, and my chest is modest (trying to be generous to myself here) enough that I can go without a bra, or can wear one with straps that don't scream "BRA!!!!". Some people who've made this have added a few extra rows to the neck to avoid, as it is sometimes called, the "Flashdance" look.

(4) Lots of people who've made an h-glass have run out of yarn or come really damned close. I didn't, obv - I used 7 x 50g=350g (UK balls), and the pattern calls for 8 x 40g=320g. If you're buying from the US (I got mine from a UK seller on eBay), save yourself a headache and buy one more ball than the pattern recommends.

(5) I've heard Cash Iroha is being discontinued. Some people hated knitting with it, and I get their point about weak spots in the yarn. I still really loved using it, and I love the feel of the finished garment. So do what you will, but if you want Cash Iroha, order it soon.

A few more photos:

The sweater before blocking

Closeup of sleeves (which are a bit long)

The raglan line

Posted by jess at February 14, 2005 1:59 PM

Congratulations on your sweater! I love the color and the style, it looks great on you. You should definitely wear it. I can't imagine the time and work it would take to complete a whole sweater so I think it's really admirable :) Good job!

Posted by: Cassi at February 14, 2005 2:06 PM

I don't remember my first sweater, but I know it wasn't knit from Cash Iroha and it definitely didn't look as good as this.

Posted by: Lauren at February 14, 2005 2:35 PM

Congrats on your first sweater, lady! It looks lovely. The color is gorgeous on you.

I'm with you on the Cash Iroha. I've made a sweater out of it and just want to roll around in it. I love the feel of it not only once it's knitted up, but I also love knitting with it. If Cash Iroha is being discontinued, I will definitely have to stock up.

Posted by: Jenn at February 14, 2005 2:41 PM

what a beautiful sweater, jess! well done -- and the color is gorgeous -- such a deep lovely red ;)

Posted by: andrea at February 14, 2005 2:47 PM

Great! I am working on my first sweater too! Whadya know...the H-Glass with Noro Cash Iroha....I hope mine turns out as nice as yours. I do know what you mean about boring/relaxing...I am just past my first increase on the body...


Posted by: Sarah Wooden at February 14, 2005 3:03 PM

I think your sweater looks great. Your writing is funny. And you're cutely unkempt. I just found the book so I had better get out there and pick up some yarn!

Posted by: Barbara at February 14, 2005 3:27 PM

It looks amazing! Love the color, and the neck looks great. Awesome work!

Posted by: Cathi at February 14, 2005 3:49 PM


Posted by: caroline at February 14, 2005 3:55 PM

ohhh, very nice. Now I just have to make this sweater, not only is the sweater great, but it looks great on you. What a lovely color on you.

Posted by: Joelene at February 14, 2005 4:38 PM

Great job on that hourglass sweater! I have admired the pattern many times in the book but after my dismal failure with the child placket sweater, it may be a while until I recover!!!

Posted by: Juls at February 14, 2005 7:38 PM

I have to say, the sweater looks really delicious. It's really really nice. And right smack on Valentine's with the right color too. It compliments you well. Happy Valentine's.

Posted by: LauraY at February 14, 2005 8:40 PM

Thanks, you all! You guys are so much nicer to me than anyone in real life ;) Seriously, thank you.

One thing - the photo came out a bit redder than the real-life sweater is, for some reason. It's really a lot purplier than how it looks in the photo. Probably the bottom shot, the one of the raglan line, is truest to the color on my monitor. Still nice, but I kind of wish it were redder, now that I compare it to the photo.

So, who's got ideas for my three balls of Cash Iroha?

Posted by: jess at February 14, 2005 10:03 PM

Your sweater is lovely! Thanks for participating in the KAL and for sharing your sweater and a great summary of the process.

Posted by: kelly at February 14, 2005 11:15 PM

I LOVE the sweater! I only hope my first attempt at a sweater (hopefully beginning over Spring Break?) will turn out as cute. Incidentally, I think the "long" sleeves give the sweater a really comfy look! Very nice job!

Posted by: kristiface at February 15, 2005 1:03 AM

WOW!!! Jess, that is absolutely stunning and you look gorgeous in it.I love the neck and the long arms. :sigh: I wish I had talent like that!

Posted by: pipstar at February 15, 2005 1:21 AM

Wow! Gorgeous sweater! I need to get on the ball and finish mine soon! Thanks for the great write up and great tips!

Posted by: Jenifer at February 15, 2005 11:01 AM

love it too! the shape is great, i love the neckline. you're an inspiration -- maybe i should attempt my first sweater!

Posted by: michelle at February 15, 2005 1:53 PM

What color did you use (color and number)?

Posted by: Barbara at February 15, 2005 2:59 PM

Ms Jess, first, you are *adorable* in that pic, so whatever you're doing totally works, just rolled out of bed or not! Second, congrats congrats on your first sweater. I love it and your devil-may-care approach to the open neckline. Very nice!!

Posted by: Giao at February 15, 2005 3:12 PM

Great looking! I admire your patience and skill. : )

Posted by: la chica alta at February 15, 2005 5:18 PM

Gorgeous sweater! You did a wonderful job. I love everything about it. The color, neckline, shaping. . .

Keep it up!

Posted by: Sandra at February 15, 2005 7:21 PM

Aren't you the cutest girl at the ball?! Your sweater turned out tres chic. I can only imagine how lovely your next one will turn out given that this one looks so amazing. Watch out Betsey Johnsen, here comes Jessica Lee... law student by day, fashionista-knitter by night.

Posted by: joyolivia at February 15, 2005 7:53 PM

WOW! I have to tell you, this post is my record for most comments! You are all super duper nice - mwah!

The color was #062, but I believe it's been discontinued. It's also substantially purplier than it appears in the top photo, if you should be interested in picking it up. I bought it on eBay - you might still find some there... Good luck! Anyone trying this sweater should be sure to join the knit-along, so we can all keep track of your results!

Posted by: jess at February 15, 2005 8:58 PM

very nice! thanks for the warning on cashiroha being discontinued! i LOVE how my hourglass sweater flows and slips on! i had almost 2 skeins of yarn left over and made the wrist warmers and increased the length of them by a pattern repeat (watch out, there is an error in that pattern too, you'll notice it). but 3 skeins? ... well so many possibilities. have fun!

Posted by: holly at February 16, 2005 12:03 PM

Beautiful sweater! I'm now tempted to make one. As for your leftovers, I used 4 skeins of Cash Iroha to make the Ruffle Scarf from Scarf Style. (Finished length about 76 inches). You could make a shorter version with 3 skeins.

Posted by: Nan at February 17, 2005 7:36 AM

LOOOOOVE it, want it, gonna make it, some day......:)))

Posted by: zeus at February 18, 2005 3:54 PM

Hi! Congrats on your Hourglass!
Mine is finished except for the hemming, which I've totally been dreading.

I liked the Cash Iroha quite a bit, and I love the deep purple color. Pictures on my blog, if you're interested...

Wish me luck on the finishing. I'm not sure what I'd do with 3 extra skeins. I have one extra, and I may make the wristlets from the same book...

Posted by: Michelle at March 4, 2005 7:58 PM

Very lovely and I like this sweater which is modern.
Hi, I love designing and knitting sweaters. All the sweaters I designed are extremly cute and beautiful. If you prefer, you can visit my sweater website at

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