Avoid 1/3/1 cables.
My biggest stitching challenge was definitely the 1/3/1 cables. These little monsters, which are worked with two cable needles, offer another order of difficulty by twisting in opposite directions on each side of the main horseshoe cable. I spent at least two weeks of my life unknitting and reknitting these tiny banes of my existence. I'm proud that ALL of my 1/3/1 cables point in the proper direction but this only occurred because I am hellishly anal retentive. If I go the whole rest of my life and never knit these little bastards again, it will be too soon.
Use lots of buttons.
Nordic Fiber Arts. I love them. The motif gently mimics the horseshoe cables and the pewter looks lovely with the bright blue Ultra Alpaca.
My sleeves aren't too long. My crossback is too wide.
When I posted pics of the final cardigan, someone commented that the sleeves are too long. I get her point, but the sleeves really aren't too long; my crossback is too wide. Look at the shoulders. Even though this is a modified drop shoulder sweater, the sweater falls off my shoulders - and the sleeves tumble down my arms. The top arrow shows my shoulder; the bottom arrows points to the shoulder seam. For a better fit, the seam should be at least a couple of inches closer to my shoulder.
Why did this happen? Because I knitted this for an 18-inch crossback. I had Tom re-measure me and he says I have a 17-inch crossback (assuming he's measuring correctly since he's never done this before). I'll be making my next sweater with a narrower crossback. I bet it fits better.
I have a higher waist than "normal."
I worked diligently on making the Waltham genuinely fit and I'm proud of my efforts. I spent a lot of energy and time figuring out the just-right waist shaping and it paid off; the sweater really does fit me better. But one thing I learned is that my waist isn't centered between my bustline and my hips like "normal" forms. Instead, my waist is higher. You can see what I mean in the dress form that Tom and I made a couple of months ago. I definitely have a waist, but it is a short and high one.
In my next sweater, I will move the waist shaping up a few inches, as shown below. This shaping will better mirror my shape and provide a better fit.
Sweater length - or let's talk about my ass AGAIN.
I've blogged multiple times about my unsuccessful quest to find the perfect sweater length (post 1, post 2, post 3). It always eludes me - and it confounded me again with the Waltham. I made this cardigan 27-inches long, shorter than previous sweaters but I suspect not short enough. Amy Herzog in Fit to Flatter says that sweaters for bottom-heavy women should end either above or well below their widest parts. The Waltham, even though I made it shorter, still ends smack-dab on my ample ass.
I think the answer may be to end the sweater before it curves around my butt. If I do this though, I will still struggle with the question, "when I'm wearing jeans, what in the heck do I wear so I can cover my belly?" I don't have a good answer for this. I initially photographed this sweater wearing all white underneath but I don't think it looks good. And I'm not going to wear black 24x7. The best look is probably to wear a skirt although I won't wear a skirt every day either. It continues to be my personal challenge.
One more thing on sweater length: I recently purchased a short scoop-necked lace sweater to use in my analysis of sweater length. This cardi is only 22 inches long and I think it looks pretty good on me. I'm going to make my next sweater this length and we'll see how it compares with the Waltham and my other sweaters.
I need short rows in the back.
This shorter sweater picture underscores a fit issue I've yet to address. I need short rows in the back of my sweaters so they don't ride up on my butt. I couldn't have really done this with the Waltham because it is so cabled, but on my next sweater, I'm going to make this mod. Short rows will also help an associated fit problem: my sweater hems are never parallel with the floor. I can't wait to make a sweater that corrects this problem. The main issue is anatomical; I have hyperlordosis, an exaggerated curvature of the spine that makes it impossible to stand completely upright and gives me a perpetual Victorian bustle (dammit). One of my uncles has this genetic abnormality, too. When he was in the Army, he was regularly dressed down by his commanding officer for not standing up straight. I completely relate.
My sweater isn't perfect - but it's more perfect than ever.
In my eternal quest to make a sweater that fits, I'm still searching for the Holy Grail. The Waltham isn't quite right - but it's a lot closer to my dream cardigan. I'm proud of my efforts and will wear this beautiful sweater with pride. As Voltaire said, perfect is the enemy of the good. My Waltham is good enough.