I was all ready to show you my finished Sugarplum Pullover early last week, after having ripped it out all the way past the armpits. The length issue had been resolved by ripping the entire yoke and several inches of the body, and reknitting a smaller size. The yoke was still too deep; my row gauge was off for the whole sweater and since it was my first colorwork yoke, I didn't feel capable of modifying the chart enough to shorten it. Thus I chose to be satisfied with the roomy, classic sweater I made, instead of the snug, modern sweater I imagined.
I blocked it, wore it all day, and took FO shots in the backyard. But when I looked at those photos, I saw this:
It looked terrible from the back. The neckline was too droopy and wide. A wide boatneck does not work on a roomy sweater. I am a master of convincing myself in the moment that something was good enough, but the photo did not lie. It was not good enough.
I was loath to reknit the yoke again, even though my inner knitter knew (and still knows) that I should place at least one additional decrease round within the yoke. So I ripped the neckline back, hoping that some added decreases might cinch things up enough. I was hopeful that perhaps it would even raise the neckline enough to improve the fit overall. So I decreased in the last row or two of the colorwork, and in the ribbing around the neck, and then in the last row below the cast-off. I also did a simple, standard bind-off, for one last bit of snugging.
I put it on, it fit over my head, and yes, this was a more more cinched neckline. Satisfied, I set up the camera for more FO shots, this time in the snowy backyard. And again, the photo did not lie. I had decreased way too much, and ended up with really unattractive rippling. Blocking was not going to flatten this out. I needed to rip again.
I decreased a bit more judiciously this time around, and chose to bind off in the rib pattern as well. And now, I can say, that I am, finally, satisfied with my sweater.
Pattern: Sugarplum Pullover (Ravelry link) by Veronik Avery from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: MC is KFI Cashmereno DK. Colorwork is mostly KnitPicks Merino Style but I also used stash where I could, including a little Lambs Pride and Naturespun.
Cashmereno is discontinued, and I think it may be one of the yarns that was caught up in the whole "cashmere content controversy" of years past. I had bought a bag on sale a couple years ago, and decided to use it against my better judgment, assuming that it would pill on the needles like its doppelganger, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I am glad I ignored my better judgment this time, because this yarn has held up to serious ripping and reknitting like a dream, and I have worn this sweater already a few times and have yet to see a single pill. There is a slight halo, but otherwise, it has so far held up way beyond my (admittedly very low) expectations.
I did have gauge problems with this sweater, and that is what led to my overall sizing issues. I also think the instructions on gauge are confusing in the pattern, and actually, I think there is a mistake. This pattern calls for the knitter to use three needle sizes: small for the rib, medium for the body, and large for the colorwork (assuming that colorwork tends to be tighter for most knitters. However, it recommends you get gauge in plain stockinette on the large needle the one you'd use for the yoke. I contacted the Ms. Avery, who suggested the obvious: get gauge on the medium needle, the one you'd use for the body, and she too suspects an error in the pattern.
Once again, the camera does not lie. The sweater, although a bit big, is deliciously cozy, the colors are divine, and the knitter is finally satisfied with the final product!