After seven long months, I can now say that the second and final better sweater of 2015 is complete! Hurray! It's been quite a long journey. I cast on in May and slowly chugged away at the first panel over several months. Once grad school started in August I stopped knitting completely (sadness!), but over the Thanksgiving break I started up again and made steady progress on the second panel. I finished the sleeves over Christmas and sewed up all the pieces when I got back to the Bay on Monday. In my impatience to finish the sweater, I skipped the blocking phase...eh I know. I may block it now that it is in one piece, but honestly it fits (and looks) just fine without blocking.
If you've seen the Ondawa pattern, or other folks' Ondawa projects, you'll know that this sweater was designed to be oversized (like 10-20 inches of positive ease) in width and slightly short in length. Concerned about fit and inspired by the mods made by Raveler grimfrosties (who added two more repeats of the central cable to her sweater), I decided to do 8 total repeats of the central cable (16 twists). I achieved the suggested gauge with a size 7 needle but must have knit rather tightly because my panels are 20.5 inches across rather than 22. My length is also 21 inches rather than the suggested 17¼. I also modified the sleeves as my arms are rather slender and did just 3 increases, resulting in a total of 52 stitches on each arm before casting off.
All said and done, Ondawa was such a joy to knit! I absolutely loved the pattern and experienced zero cabling fatigue! Knitting without a cabling needle changed my life and the chart repeats flew by. If I were to tackle this project again, though, I think I would try out a modified front and back panel. Perhaps skip the twisted rib along the sides, thereby removing some of the excess ease? I'd also use a lighter (read: softer and not 100% wool) yarn. The Ondawa pattern produces a rather dense material. Add a robust wooly yarn to the mix and, well, this is a pretty heavy jumper! But hey, it's winter! I'm very content, cozy, and warm.