Saturday, November 04, 2006

This Sweater

There was a time when I heard other knitters talk about designing on-the-needles, I would think that I would never be that knitter. I had settled on being a follow-the-pattern knitter, leaving the designing to other, more creative people. I never thought I would go beyond maybe an Ann Budd formula.

This is the sweater that changed that.

Pattern: Something Mashed-Up, an original design
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, about 7 skeins

Here is the long story of my first design-on-the-fly sweater:

Chapter One: Discard originally intended pattern after reading about fit-issues on other blogs. Reconsider horizontal striped pullovers in general as unflattering on very short yet curvalicious bod.

Chapter Two: After settling on a cardigan, purchase Wendy's Something Red, remembering the love of the top-down raglan.

Chapter Three: Still in love with the effect of original pattern's chevrons in the stripey yarn, decide to substitute them for the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater. Stitch count miraculously works out with the addition of one selvage stitch.

Chapter Four: Try to add chevrons to sleeve cuffs. Can't get chevrons to work in the round. Settle for garter stitch cuffs.

Chapter Five: Decide on shawl collar, knowing nothing about how to knit shawl collar, besides involving short rows. Decide to just wing it as a learning experience. It is uneven and wonky, but not a bad start. At least I know that the body of the sweater is both too short and that the chevron section pulls in too much for desired fit. Mr S notes that the end of sweater body curls and expresses sincere hopes that it blocks out.

Shawl collar, v. 1

Chapter Six: Rip out shawl collar attempt, as well as the chevron section. After hoping for a jacket-like fit, decide to reknit chevrons on larger needle to account for smaller gauge. I also knit last few rows in garter to lesssen curling. Still make sweater a little short to account for Silk Garden's reputed tendency to stretch. I hope this is a good idea.

Chapter Seven: Look at a few patterns for guidance on shawl collars. Realize first attempt was backwards, but generally the right idea. Measure shawl collar on commercially-made shawl collar sweater to get general measurements as a guide.

Chapter Eight: Knit second shawl collar. Try on garment. Mr S declares it will be perfect once its blocked. Mr S has clearly learned the value of blocking.

Chapter Nine: Blocked, ends woven and button sewn. The perfect outer layer for those not-so-cold days at the bus stop.

It is not the best fitting garment; the armscyes are too deep, and the buttonhole is a little low. But as this represents a giant step for this knitter, I am deeply satisfied.


Devorah said...

Way to go! Nice job!

Mo said...

Very, very impressed. It's beautiful.

Anonymous said...


HPNY KNITS said...

its really lovely! great learning experience, but it looks great!
and just in time for Norovember!

Dave said...

Very well done. I'll try anything in socks, but for some reason sweaters scare me. You've inspired me to loosen up -- thanks! (Great colourway!!)

Kirsten said...

Bravo!! Congrats on your first "design on the fly" pattern. It looks great.

Ann said...

And I am deeply impressed! Liz, this is huge! You are an improvisational knitter now and following your intuition yielded a beautiful sweater!

Anonymous said...

"very short yet curvalicious bod" = girl, you got a way with words and needles!

looks gorgeous and soft and feminine.

congrats on your first design!

anne marie

jane said...

What a great story...your sweater is fabulous!!!! Jane

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed. I have a whole lot of Silk Garden from the ill fated (yet knitted and seamed) Klaralund, which is apparently meant only for the flat-chested. I've been wondering what to do with that yarn, but I never would have thought of designing something myself. So, having been in a similar situation, I really admire your knitting courage and talent.

Anonymous said...

I'm SOOOOOOO impressed with your jacked! It's beautiful.

NeedleTart said...

And it's a really cute sweater! Congrats!

Ashley said...

Oh, Liz, that is phenomenal! It looks really great. And I love that you designed it on the fly--what volumes that says about your design skills! Just beautiful.

Lolly said...

Liz, it is beautiful! I am so impressed with your creativity ;)

Sally said...

Gorgeous, Liz. I thought that perhaps I would be sad to see the sweater without the chevrons, but I really love this version and it is wonderfully flattering on you. When are you going to make mine?

Anonymous said...

the sweater is fabulous! i know you said it's not perfect, but i think it takes some time to get to that point. the armholes are a little big -- you'll fix that next time. but seriously, you figured out a lot in this sweater, and it looks *good*.

enjoy it :)

eyeknit said...

Oh, Liz! I love it! What colorway of Silk Garden is that? I've been hankering to knit cosmicpluto's top-down raglan, and that's some lovely stripiness. You've done a wonderful job designing.