Monday, 18 August 2008

Summer Chevron

I'm really really pleased with the way this sweater turned out. Really pleased, particularly when I think of the changes that I had to make. My good:

I used 2 different yarns, 1824 Cotton in the cream colour and Rowan Cotton Jeans is the green tweeded colour. Though the two yarns work to the same gauge, they are a different gauge than the yarn used in the book. I worked out the number of stitches I needed based on the gauge the yarns gave me naturally. I swatched a couple different needle sizes and used the one that seemed to match the yarn best. I did not worry about row gauge, and figured I would just knit to fit following the design.

Then there was the size adjustment. I needed one size up from what the pattern lists and used a simple percentage for the adjustment. A 1.2 percent straight across upsizing, based on the numbers I came up with in the gauge swatches, gave me enough room across my hips without making the rest of the sweater too broad.

I stopped increasing at the sleeve chevrons on the last 3 rows because I was worried about the sleeves getting to wide, though if I did this sweater again, I would not worry and would just keep working as usual.

I made the top longer using a method I read about on Ravelry. As I worked each side panel, I did an extra 3 inches of length following the pattern increases and decreases before starting the wraps.

I did hip shaping along the sides to allow for good ease on the bottom third of the sweater.

I used a seed stitch rather than a rib stitch, purely a matter of personal preference, along the bottom and arms.

After the sweater was complete, I felt the neckline was a little too dramatic. The deep back v shape meant a less than stable wear. Even while trying the garment on, I kept having to adjust how it sat on my shoulders. I worked a panel, across the back neck, in pattern and I added a seed stitch edging around the entire neckline. The crispness of this edging means that I'll never have to worry about slippage while I reach and lift at work.

My bad.

There was a fairly dramatic pull along the chevron at the centre front and back. The front isn't too bad, due to 2 very very loose stitches, but the back displays a really dramatic pull on the bottom band. I'd hoped that the weight of the sweater would mitigate the problem. It didn't.

I showed the project to C at the store. C has one of those very questing knitterly brains. She can tell you what is wrong or right about a project in an instant. She has watched me knit before, and diagnosed my error.

On combined knitting yarn overs, you have to yarn over from back to front (or is it front to back) rather than the normal way to avoid twisting the stitch when you knit it on the next row. I didn't even think about that when I did the centre and back increases, and just added a stitch. Each and every increase stitch is twisted, and that twist gives the chevrons a firmness rather than the drape the fabric should have had.

I'm considering correcting. Do I try try to correct by dropping down to redo each twisted yarn over, or should I try some sort of short row magic to make the bottom hang better at the back v.

So, before this sweater goes public, I have to have some touch up work to do, but overall, this pattern is a winner. A quick simple rewarding summer knit.

I know a lot of people have had issues with this sweater, principally gauge issues, but if I read the designers extra input on Ravelry correctly, row gauge is in the pattern stitch, not just a plain stockinette swatch. Don't give up on this design because of row gauge. It gets a little more intuitive as you go along and come to understand the interesting construction.

Interesting construction, a very simple adjust to fit design, and endless possibilities for an attractive answer to stripes and striping yarns for a broad bottomed girl means this is a sweater I'll be making again.

1 comment:

Knitting Alchemist said...

Congratulations on a great job. It's very pretty. I'm in awe of anyone who can make the kinds of changes you made and end with a lovely sweater like this one. I'm sure you'll have the back fixed in no time.