Sunday, May 18, 2014

Finalement!

grey1 My sweater projects tend to be endurance runs rather than sprints. I got this yarn as a gift in August 2013 and it took me forever to figure out how to use it (including an emergency shipment of extra yarn from France). I worked on CustomFit measurements and swatches throughout the fall. On December 30, I cast on – and I finished the final seam on April 30, 2014. Four months for the knitting, longer for the gestation.grey6BUT IT FITS! LOOKEE!

I follow Amy Herzog’s advice and made my first CustomFit project a plain stockinette garment. I chose a boat neck, 3/4 sleeves, and turned hems on all edges. I really love the turned hem on the waist and sleeve cuffs, but maybe not as much on the neckline. The waist and cuffs are very smooth because those were cast on edges – just CO, knit some rows in a smaller needle size, change needles, work the purl turning row, and proceed. Fold hem and sew down. grey5But the neckline is a bound off edge, and stitches need to be picked up to work the turned edge – that leaves a little seam bump on the inside of the hem so it’s not as smooth. Also, the neckline instructions were a little too sparse for my taste. They were exceedingly clear about how many stitches to pick up (the ratio varies depending on whether you’re picking up on the diagonal, the vertical, or on a BO edge), but then it just says “Join for working in the round. Work in folded hem for 6 rounds. BO.” After a first attempt which I ripped back, I settled on purling a round after I  picked up stitches in knit, then knitting 6 rounds on the smaller needle, and binding off.

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I’m pleased with the fit of the body. As I was knitting, I was SURE it was going to be too long. The pieces just seemed really long. But after seaming, the fabric stretches some horizontally and pulls up. At least, that’s what I assume happened.grey4 The setting in of the sleeves went really well. This gets easier every time I do it. I do have one quibble about the sleeves – they seem an eensy bit short for 3/4 sleeves. And the pattern-creating elves made an error on the sleeve instructions which caused me to have to reknit one sleeve. My pattern said:

Work even until sleeve measures 7 3/4 in/19.5 cm (17 rows from last shaping row, 58 rows from beginning), ending with a WS row.

17 rows from the last shaping row isn’t 58 rows from the beginning… it’s only 52. I checked it half a dozen times and the sleeve wouldn’t have made it to my elbow if I’d stuck with the 17-row instruction. I do love that they give the instructions both ways, and I made liberal use of locking stitch markers to keep track of shaping rows…

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The finished sweater weighs 346 grams, which means I used 924 meters/1011 yards. That’s about 3.5 skeins (I think I used half a skein in my liberal swatching). I have an entire untouched skein left for some kind of shawl project perhaps.

Overall, I’m pleased with my first CustomFit sweater and there will be more in my future. S1 is already asking for one and we’ve purchased yarn for it – I couldn’t resist the WEBS anniversary sale and got a sweater’s worth of this Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for her. The color is Blackcurrant. Maybe for fall 2014?IMG_3250 But first, I have a blanket to make for our living room. A new couch will be arriving soon and of course it requires a special blanket. OF COURSE IT DOES.

4 comments:

bonitoclub said...

Looks great Jenelle! Getting sweaters to fit is such a challenge, my first ones seemed to be either half a size too small or half a size too big!

neagley said...

I am in love with silky wool. I'm thinking about using it for a future stranded knitting project.

Bonny said...

Slow and steady wins the race and you certainly did! The fit looks impeccable in the photos, a great sweater you won't have to fidget with and pull at to make it feel right. I do agree with you re: the sleeves. I'd call them 2/3 sleeves rather than 3/4, but they are flattering. Congratulations on a great custom fit!

Steven said...

Beautiful! Hip, hip, hooray for gray! I'm glad you got the custom fit system to work -- and that you weren't afraid to ignore it when titles might have led you astray. You continue to be my knitting hero.