Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fighting the sweater monster!

I have been arguing with my Silken Scabbard pattern off and on now since March 4th. The argument started even before I cast on any stitches with the Knit Picks website picture of the Aegean color of their Elegance yarn being completely WRONG as to the actual color of the yarn. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely shade & I am still using it, but the color is nowhere close to what I expected based on the website image. As for the beginnings of the actual sweater, I'm going cheat a little and copy and paste from my project details on Ravelry so you can see what has happened thus far. After starting on March 3rd, and getting the joy of re-reading each line of the pattern about 5 million times to understand it, this happened on March 14th:

Getting ready to put the sleeves on waste yarn after knitting only 6 repeats of the raglan increase pattern (pattern calls for 7 1/2 repeats). I am concerned about having enough to go around my upper arms for the sleeves, (should have listened to that inner voice!) but I don’t want the neckline creeping up any higher, I may end up ripping some out if it seems to high to do less raglan increases. We’ll see how it goes! Later: Yup, as feared the collar was much too high so I frogged back to 5 raglan increases, I’m afraid if I drop it to 4 repeats the bra straps would show and that’s just tacky!
And just to prove that not only am I NOT smarter than this pattern but that it is the sweater from heck due to my own complete incompetence, this happened next on March 18th:

Now the armpits are way too tight! Collar is perfect though, oh well, frogged up to the sleeve divide and will add back on what I had taken out earlier this week, sigh. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea for my first sweater!
So to make this thing work for me I altered the pattern just a little, not much considering what others have done with this sweater. For those who care exactly what I did, read on, if you don't care just skip to the next paragraph.  I made the horseshoe cable under the arms start out at 16 stitches rather than 12 stitches. I decreased the cable by 2 stitches on the row where you first use the cable needle by slipping 4 stitches to the cable needle, knitting the next four stitches, and then off the cable needle knitted the next 2 stitches together, and then knit the next 2 stitches. On the second half of the cable I put 4 stitches on the cable needle, then knit the next 2 stitches then knitted a ssk decrease and then knit off the cable needle. I 'moved' the stitches to the stockinette area by doing the bust increase as directed for the plus sizes. I decreased again at the next row where a bust increase was called for by knitting 2 stitches, knitting 2 together, knit 6 stitches, then did a ssk decrease and knit the last 2 stitches. Voila, comfortable underarms, and enough room that it doesn't stretch totally unattractively across the bust.  I have finally gotten past that section of the pattern and will be moving on to the waist decreases next. Oh, please knitting fairy wherever you are, don't let me f@#* this up and have to tear out multiple rows AGAIN!

I will say the yarn held up amazing well to being knit, ripped, then knit again, ripped again, and knit a final time. It looked a bit frizzy before I knit it that final time, but the knitted fabric looks just fine. Of course, knowing my luck after I wash it that first time I'll have a pilled worn looking messy stripe right under my arms and across my chest and back!

1 comment:

  1. I am finally winning the argument! The sweater is currently completed down to the hips with just a few more pattern repeats to go before casting off, just trying to get it at the right length. Hopefully there will be enough yarn to do the 3/4 sleeves I am hoping for!


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