Friday, April 15, 2011

Knitters plan, God laughs

Remember that pink sweater I was planning, named for my beloved nephew, Spencer, who will soon celebrate his Bar Mitzvah? Well, as the old saying (sort of) goes: knitters plan, God laughs.

I started, like usual, by knitting a swatch. Actually, I made several swatches and then started on the back. My plan was to use the same shaping as the Waltham, but when I got to the underarms I realized that several things had gone terribly wrong.
First, the piece is too big; somehow I screwed up the waist shaping decreases. Second, I hate the fabric. It's not bad for what it is, but it feels and looks chunky and clunky, especially considering I want to wear this for a dressier occasion. The moral of this story is that this design really needs to be made with the thinner, silkier yarn spec'd in the original pattern.

I considered buying new yarn, but I now have TWO sweaters' worth of pink Classic Elite Solstice (actually I have three sweaters' worth: light pink, medium pink, and denim blue). I've got to stop buying yarn that never gets used and ends up in my giant walk-in-shower yarn stash!

Somehow or another, I've got to make a pretty sweater with this yarn. How about a lace sweater? That might dress the whole thing up. Something simple, fast, and pretty. I labored on Sweater Wizard, constructed a pattern that features a v-necked raglan with short sleeves, and then started on the sleeve.

It's pretty, but strangely very puffy! I blocked a swatch and it still seems bulky; I'm afraid it will make me look even heavier. So I tried the same stitch pattern with needles that are three sizes larger and then dampened the swatch. It looks and feels lighte. With the more-open mesh, has a lot more drape, too. I think I like this.

The ribbing looks a bit wonky, but I didn't really block this. Assuming I can get through this design process and make an actual sweater, I'll use wires and properly block everything.

So I think this is the winner? Maybe? I'm going to start the sleeve again using the larger needles and we'll see how it goes. The best news is that the knitting will be FAST; my gauge is 3.75 stitches and 5 rows per inch. I really need to finish this before mid-May - and then get back to the Waltham and Early Bird cardigans, both of which are about two-thirds done. I hate all this unfinished business! My mid-year's resolution: no new sweaters until these old ones are done.


  1. Hi Julie,
    I LOVE the bottom pic. The lace is very, very pretty, and it really suits the romantic feeling of the floral print behind it. I think you are most definitely headed in the right direction now!

  2. I really like the original pattern, Julie. Were you not happy with the fall of the yarn? I think it'll work well in the Shelby. I'm working with that same yarn, now, too. It is heavier to work than wool as it's mostly cotton, but I think it will drape well in the Shelby. It looks lovely in stocking knit...Not so sure about lacing with it. Bit heavy for that and there will be no give/stretch to manipulate loose stitches at the end. Hmm. Guess you'll need to decide which takes priority: the dress fabric or the sweater? I like flouncy skirts/dresses with fitted Tees...

  3. it is so difficult to guess on substitute yarns.! how do you keep the moths away from all that stash? seriously.

  4. Mary-Kate, I think the Solstice would be great in the Shelbi... I just don't think it will be dressy enough for the event I'm going to. If I were going to wear jeans or even a skirt for a less-dressy occasion, it would be fine.

    Who knows? Everytime I pick up my needles to knit this darn thing I change my mind - again! Thanks for your input though... I really appreciate it.

  5. Teresa, my apartment complex sprays for bugs every quarter. The only pests I have are my dog and cat at dinnertime!

  6. Julie, what about using moss or seed stitch on the ribbing area? How about using Annette by Helene Rush as a template and making it a pullover instead of a cardigan? I made this and you can see it in my projects.

  7. I like that last lace swatch! Very nice and airy looking. Very much a warm weather knit!
    Can't wait to see more of it.