Blast, you, knitted on sleeves! The sweater marinated in stash for years. Finally, I picked it apart, frogged and reknit it, with about 20 fewer stitches on each side.
This project is a saga-length tragicomedy.
First, I thought I would use up my scrap teal yarns to make an oval knit swirl--the pattern featured on the cover. However, the sweater looked awfully long (36"), so I shortened it 5 ridges or ~5-6". I thought I was really clever because that saved so much knitting.
I couldn't get the exact yarns (see scraps), but I shopped for some teal worsted wool to alternate with my scraps. The best color match was Malabrigo Rios. It's 100% wool, just like the yarn in the pattern. What can go wrong?
- Superwash wool stretches upon blocking. Regular wool usually doesn't.
- The pattern specifies a wool/mohair blend. Mohair gives the yarn grip, so it doesn't stretch out as much when knit sideways.
- The 5x5 stockinette and reverse stockinette stripes used in Knit Swirl sweaters has mechanical downward stretch. Knit fabrics have more stretch sideways; that's why sideways knit sleeves are risky.
Apply gravity and then watch the sweater morph in ways you didn't anticipate.
The sleeve length (version 2) is ok. But, the sweater is a lot more than 5" shorter the pattern. I swatched! What happened?
Gravity. Remember how I gloated about how a shorter sweater represents less yarn and knitting? The mass of the extra yarn would have pulled the sweater downward.
Notice how the 'waistline' of the sweater sits high, nearly empire? The sweater pattern was designed for the bodice to be pulled down by the long peplum. Shorten the peplum and the whole sweater goes "sprong" upwards.
I pride myself of problem-solving skills. I went to McGuckins (Boulder's favorite hardware store and a tourist attraction in its own right) and bought three feet of brass chain. I tacked every other link of the chain to the bottom of the sweater, above the first ridge. It helped some, but not enough.
I tried the sweater one with different tops and pants, with a pin and without. Nothing looked good enough to go out in public.
A friend invited me over for dinner. I brought the sweater so we can have a good cry and laugh over it. It looked great on her.
Damn. She has a new sweater.
To add insult to injury, one of my pin experiments with the sweater snagged and broke a yarn, causing a small hole.
I gave her the leftover yarn so she can darn it up herself. I am so .done. with that sweater.
I think I might give her the book, too.
I have another WIP that needs partial frogging.
I'm losing my knitting mojo.
I may have to cast on something else entirely.