Sunday, June 16, 2013

Vodka Lemonade – not slimming

Okay folks, I finally got around to getting some photos of the Vodka Lemonade sweater, which has been off the needles for three weeks. Here she is:vl1crop I measured everything so, so carefully… but the sweater did not come out at all as planned and it’s too big on me. The bottom line is that gauge lied. My blocked swatch measured 21.5 st/4” (pattern calls for 22 st) and 31 rows/4” (pattern calls for 32). I made adjustments to get the size I needed – I knit the size 36” intending to get something more like 38”. But I just measured my gauge in a stockinette portion of the finished sweater, and it’s more like 19 st/4” (very different than 21.5). I also measured the body width after raglan shaping (which is one of the measurements on the schematic), and mine measures a whopping 42”. No wonder it seems roomy! Look at all this positive ease – I might be able to pin it shut in the front using the overlapping fabric?vl7crop…though I’m not sure a front pin would be very flattering. The sleeve length came out okay for me but the sweater itself it also longer than I intended. This is particularly frustrating because I lengthened it so that the waist shaping and hem edge would fit me perfectly… but since the gauge lied, I ended up with something different anyway. In this one area, sticking with the original pattern measurements might have worked out better for me.

Here I am showing you the lace detail – see how I have to hold the cardigan opening to make the hem hang right?


You can really see that it’s too wide if you look at the raglan seam from the back side:vl2

You can see the waist shaping from the back view (at least, you can see that there IS some waist shaping) – but it’s too low for me. Everything is just long.vl3crop

Maybe if I spin around all Sound of Music-like, you won’t notice all the problems?vl6crop

This yarn is a luscious blend of 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere, and 10% Silk… but at a DK weight, it’s kind of heavy. It just drags. This side view shows how the sweater will want to hang the minute I stop controlling it:vl10cropNot great.

I’m bummed, to say the least. I thought I had incorporated all the basic lessons that Amy Herzog presents in Knit to Flatter, but I was betrayed by that lying, thieving gauge.

What’s next? I’m not sure. The sweater doesn’t fit S1 (but it’s not as small as you might expect on her… it’s nearly big enough!). I might see if it fits my mom but I think it will swim over her shoulders. I could rip it all out and try again, I guess. S1 says to think of this whole experience as a $136 workshop (the yarn is gorgeous but not inexpensive!!).

I am also starting to think that the raglan style construction is just not a good idea for me. Raglan shoulders are fine on me in non-handknit fabrics, but they create such bizarre pulling and hanging issues in worsted-spun yarns. And Amy does suggest that one’s first Knit to Flatter sweater NOT use raglan sleeves. Amy, I hear you! I had picked out this pattern/yarn combo before I watched your course and decided to speed ahead anyway. My next sweater will NOT have raglan sleeves. I swear on my stash.

That knocks out most of Thea Coleman’s designs, unfortunately.

Readers, I am open to suggestions. Bring it.


  1. While it's a lovely color, I'm so disappointed for you. After a day twirling around à la Julie Andrews I'm afraid you'd be exhausted and dizzy. I'm sorry I don't have any helpful suggestions, other than to quote the Yarn Harlot, "Screw gauge and the horse it rode in on."

  2. Gauge is fickle, that's for sure. Sorry you've encountered its dark side. I wonder if you could run something through the upper part to draw things in? I sewed some piping into the inside of a raglan-style sweater once so it wouldn't fall off my shoulders. It worked pretty well.

    And if not, I would have no problem ripping that puppy apart and using a yarn I love for something else.

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  3. You simply must make this right, sister! We could have a ripping party. The yarn is gorgeous and there are adorable (non-raglin) sweaters out there that would love to be made out of it. We also need to talk about that sleeve length on you...

  4. But that sleeve length falls at my natural waist (narrowest part) which should be GOOD in the "Knit to Flatter" paradigm.

    I have noticed you hate sweaters with anything but long sleeves, though. :)

  5. Raglans look good on women that are broad shouldered (and usually better on those that are also small breasted.) I like saddle shouldered sweaters. My favorite cardigan of all time is the Circumnavigated cardigan by Meredith Glover. But, that doesn't help you out here.

    I have been known to cut a sweater apart and reknit the piece that doesn't fit. But that won't help here, since you have problems with both the raglan and the waist shaping. I've had good luck with Sitcom Chic, but that's another raglan. You might take a look at her other designs though. Some look like they can be tweaked fairly easily.

    I'd rip it and reuse the yarn.