Friday, May 05, 2006

Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!

Before we move on to the best quickie ever, I'd like to give a shoutout to Lisa over at PurlThis. She was kind enough to send along a nice like RAK from the Knittyboard this week in response to my desperate plea for more sock yarn. Go check out her blog and the very cute pictures of her cats in their new kitty bed.

So remember how I needed something quick and painless after my seaming disaster? Well, Blackberry turned into just that. Well, quick at least, maybe not quite painless...

Pattern: Blackberry by Jennifer Thurston
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky (100% wool, 109 yds). Just under 5 skeins in color Stout. Size 11 Denise Interchangeables.
Gauge: 11 sts/4in in stockinette
Finished size: 40" (includes overlap) at bust, 19" from collar to hem, 20" from underarm to cuff

Started: April 23, 2006
Finished: May 3, 2006

Followed pattern almost exactly except that body was worked in one piece and arms were worked in the round. Body and sleeves were joined and worked in one piece to collar. Did not break yarn but instead continued picking up sts down right front, across bottom, and up left front to work ribbed edging. Total # of ends to weave in: 6. Priceless.

I was worried that this pattern would look ridiculous on me since I'm a small person and generally think that chunky yarn would overwhelm my petite frame. But looking at the pictures closer, I realized that the designer is about my size and she didn't look ridiculous, so I'd give it a go.

Converting the pattern from flat pieces to seamless wasn't that bad. I just had to keep a closer eye on where I was in the shaping of each piece and how that related to the shaping on the other pieces. Thankfully, everything pretty much lined up on the same rows, so that was a relief.

The only problems I ran into were the bobbles, which I mentioned before and my idiotic displacement. Dropping down those two columns of stitches and reworking the bobbles again worked pretty well, and I can't really tell that I moved my bobbles over except that the sts around the bobbles are a bit loose now. I'm okay with that. Did you hear me? I'm okay with the slight imperfection. I know. Go get some smelling salts.

What I'm less pleased with is the apparent growth of my sweater during blocking. I swear that I blocked my swatch and took my gauge after blocking. Still, my sweater turned out to be a whopping 2" larger around and 2" longer afterwards. Before I blocked it, it was this cute, cropped, fitted top with sleeves that just covered the backs of my hands. Now, they pretty much cover all of my fingers and even with a DPN to secure drastically overlapped fronts, it's still baggy under the arms. See this throwaway picture (DF said, "look constipated!" right before snapping the picture) for an idea of the actual sleeve length.

I'm okay with folding up the sleeve, but the width of the body just bugs me. I'm considering spraying the sweater down with a bit of water to get it sort of damp and throwing it in the dryer to see if it'll shrink a bit. Anybody have any suggestions? I know I don't want it felted...

Anyway, this sweater did turn out to be a very quick knit, which is quite satisfying. If I can get the size a bit better, I'll probably live in this sweater during the evenings (believe it or not, I do actually get cold during the summers at night!) I even have an untouched ball of yarn left over. I see a hat or mittens in its future if I have enough to go around. Do patterns always build in an extra ball of yarn just in case?

Previous posts about this project:
Quick, somebody toss me some nail polish!!! on May 03, 2006
a WIP or Two on April 26, 2006