Monday, October 10, 2016

Over the Greynbow

greynbow1My greynbow sweater project, like almost every sweater project, ended with a fizzle. There is usually a gap between knitting the pieces and seaming them, because seaming requires extended time at the table, during a time of day when I am awake and alert, and not otherwise scheduled. This is a rare commodity in my current life phase. But – it is done and ready to wear! I strongly endorse the use of these grippy clips to hold pieces together when seaming. They are so much better than just using locking stitch markers (which is how I did it before) and are totally worse the tool price.IMG_4070

The pattern is a CustomFit version of the Drumlin Cardigan. I chose the medium hip length rather than the longer length that is pictured on the pattern page, because I knew that would be more flattering on me.

There were a couple mistakes in the generated pattern, but nothing I couldn’t figure out with a little detective work. This is not the first time I’ve had to rearrange directions – or recalculate numbers – to make everything match up right on a CustomFit pattern. I think these patterns are not as easy to work with as the whole CustomFit idea implies. You really need to be a pretty decent sweater knitter to make it all work right.

While this sweater fits me way better than my last CF (which is now S1’s sweater rather than mine), it still isn’t perfect. There is some extra fabric around the bust/underarm area that doesn’t belong there. Do you see what I mean?

closeup

I usually block my pieces as I finish them, because my blocking board isn’t big enough to do them all at once. So by the time I worked the sleeves, I had already blocked the back and knew it was longer than the schematic said it should be. So I made the sleeves 8 rows shorter to try to address that. I think the sleeve length is much better with that adjustment. (Remember, my measurements were taken by a professional who worked at a CF shop… so if they’re wrong then that’s really bad!) I know the sleeve length is better because of this adjustment.

I also decided to work the button band separately rather than picking up stitches and working ribbing. I tried this with S1’s Christmas Cardigan last year and was very pleased with the results. Working the button band this way allows the buttonholes to be oriented horizontally on the finished sweater, which is the right way to do it. Plus, I think the mattress stitch seam all around the button band adds strength and stability to the sweater. Here is how I worked it:

CO 11.

RS: slip 1, (K1 P1)x4 K2

WS: knit the knits and purl the purls

This results in a nice slipped stitch on the exposed edge.

The pattern calls for 5 buttons but I had 6 of these special buttons I got at MDSW… so I used all 6 of them.

IMG_4165

I think the back fits nicely: greynbow_back2

When you see the finished sweater, you can tell that these handspun skeins weren’t all the same color. That is why I didn’t work the patch pockets that the pattern calls for – they would look especially patchy. I don’t have ANY pockets on this one yet… but I am poised to add them later if I want (using some tips I learned at KDO this year). I think the shoulders fit pretty well, too. Maybe a teensy bit wide, but pretty good:shoulder

But the fronts seem a little frumpy:

too_much

One thing I struggle with is how to style my handknit sweaters. What sort of shirt should one wear under it? For purposes of these photos, I just threw on a short-sleeved t-shirt. But that will not be warm enough in the winter, and besides, the neck is just a little scratchy and I don’t think I want it touching my skin all day. So even a long-sleeved tee won’t work. I don’t love fitted turtlenecks. So, something with a collar I guess… but what? I welcome any suggestions – regarding style OR color.greynbow2

At any rate, this handspun, handknit sweater is DONE. I think this may be my last CF sweater. I’ve just had too many frustrations and the results aren’t worth the headache. I’m not sure what my next sweater for me will be. I have sweaters for other people in the queue first, so it hardly matters.

3 comments:

Sharon said...

It matches your hair!

AsKatKnits said...

I LOVE it! Really, it is GORGEOUS Janelle! Wow!! As for styling - I think it would look fab with a white collared shirt (mens-wear-ish) And that might help with the scritchy-ness at the neck too! I would leave the shirt tails hanging down below the hem of the sweater with jeans. It would look awesome. (and to wear something less fitted underneath might help it not feel too big - but it does not look too big at all, really! It is gorgeous!!) I also LOVE your button choice! Brava for your handspun, handknit treasure!

Steven said...

Don't ask me about styling. I'm really bad at it. But I do like this sweater -- especially since I remember you getting the wool and being so excited about it. And I do think it looks rather smart on you.

Sorry the Custom Fit thing isn't working out. But you know what sort of things the CF method is supposed to take care of. Maybe just look for a pattern you like and then make your own mods based on the CF process and your own knowledge of things do and don't fit you? Not very helpful, I know. Still, great follow through. I need to get me some of those grippy-clippy things!