First off, I really like this sweater.
Of all the garments I've ever made, this one is the most me. My personality apparently contains stripes, yarn from recycled fiber, and a big collar/hood. When I put on this sweater, my insides sing YES.
The colors suit me.
People have always said I look best in reds, from baby pink to fire engine red to burgundy. Red makes me feel at home - and romantic, too. When I was young, I dreamed of getting married at Christmastime and wearing a red velveteen ball gown. That never happened, but it's still a good thought.
I'm proud of my yarn selection.
As I've said a thousand times before, I just don't like Noro. The dye colors clang and clash loudly for me. The one exception: Jared Flood's Noro Striped Scarf. The undulating stripes of color sing in visual harmony.
The Undercurrent obviously draws on the creative spirit of Jared's scarf, but I was leery to use Noro anyway. With a scarf, you get short, fixed color repeats. On a sweater, those repeats stretch unpredictably. I discovered this in the first sweater I made Tom four years ago. I happily knitted the body of the sweater until the V-neck - and then the colors pooled. I was a novice sweater knitter at the time and couldn't figure out how to fix it so I just kept knitting. But this lesson came to mind when I chose my Under Toad yarns.
My first instinct was to use a solid and variegated yarn. I already had a pile of Berroco Remix in my stash so I searched for a color-striping yarn that coordinates well. After hours of research, I settled on the Plymouth Kudo because I like the colors and thought the unusual fiber content would mesh well with the Remix. These two disparate yarns looks like a matched set when knitted up. I'm very happy with the results.
Finally! Back shaping that really fits!
My greatest achievement, however, is the elimination of the pooled fabric at my waist. If you read this blog, you know about my ongoing waist shaping issues. You also know that my intention was to move the extra fabric from my back waist to my front chest where it belongs.
Although I planned for this at the outset, I also ended up improvising when I realized that even though I'd done some pretty aggressive decreases from the hips to the waist, the sweater was still too wide at the back waist. I added additional decreases at the sides until the garment ws narrow enough. Then I knitted straight up instead of adding bustline increases as I have in the past. The result: a back that really fits (as shown in this mega-lousy photo).
And a front that fits, too!
The corollary to a well-fitting back is that I ended up with a well-fitting front, too. On the front pieces, I added bustline increases and made the crossfront about 18.5 inches wide rather than the crossback measurement of 17 inches. If you look at the schematic below, you can see that my front and back aren't symmetrical - and that's because I'm not symmetrical! If you want a well-fitting sweater, make it mirror your body. That's the key.
Sweater length is the bane of my existence - or one of them anyway. I both made the Petrea and the Undercurrent to test differing lengths. My conclusion? There is a place in my wardrobe for both sweater lengths. The longer sweaters work best when I'm wearing jeans, for example.
On the Under Toad, I added additional ease through the back hips and used a 5 x 5 ribbing to keep the sweater from pulling in under my butt. It still cups my read end more than I like so maybe next time I'll do a hem or just eliminate the bottom edging all together. But the bottom line - pun intended - is that I have a large bottom and comparatively smaller thighs. Ultimately, it just is what it is.