Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back to Back

For the past week, I've been working on a sweater from the Fall '06 issue of Vogue Knitting--it's #26, the one with the braided cable trim around the neck. Even though I was careful about doing a gauge swatch and recalculating adjustments to my size, I messed up royally. You're supposed to cast on with #2 needles for the bottom ribbing and then switch to #3. Well, naturally, I forgot to switch. By itself, that wouldn't have been so bad, but I had recalculated the number of stitches to be a lot more form-fitting than the pattern calls for. The combination of things made for a very, very tiny sweater back. Of course, I noticed along the way how I wasn't knitting at the same gauge as my swatch and how small it was looking, but I kept rationalizing that it was going to be okay...that I could block it, etc. I kept holding it up next to other small sweaters I have and kept arranging and rearranging it. I pretty much finished the whole back before I decided that I really didn't like it. I'm sure I would have been able to wear it, but it would have been reallt snug. With so much work invested into a sweater, I didn't want to end up with something that would be just too uncomfortable to actually wear.

There were two other things about it that I didn't like. The pattern calls for a "V" shape to the body. You start out with the fewest stitches at the bottom and gradually increase to the chest measurement. I was skeptical of how this would look on me from the start. The other thing is that I had added 1 selvage stitch on either side and was using a slipped stitch selvage. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but on the left-hand side, it made the stitch just before the selvage stitch look horrible--big and wonky.

So I sighed heavily and started to unravel it. I was going to wind up the yarn before reknitting, but then I decided not to bother. So now I'm knitting the new back, right as the yarn gets unraveled from the old back. I'm sure it's a big NO-NO, but oh well. Somehow, doing it this way is a bit less painful--almost like a transfusion from one to the other. This time around, it'll be better. I added back a little more wearing ease to my recalculated measurements so that it won't be so snug. I'm changing the shape of the bottom half so that it has a nip at the waist, rather than the big "V." And, I'm using a garter stitch selvage, which is working out much better for me.

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