Pattern: High Neck Pullover from Vogue Holiday 2007
Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Shelridge Farm Soft Touch DK in Azure
Needles: US 6 Addi Turbos
Started: November 4, 2007
Finished: December 31, 2007
Time: 11.25 hours for the back, 13.5 hours for the front, 8.75 hours for the first sleeve, 7 hours for the second sleeve, 3.75 hours for the collar, and 8 hours for finishing, for a total of 52.25 hours.
1. There is definitely some funkiness in the directions for the front. I'm not positive that my modifications were "right" - definitely some fudging going on. There are a few rows that didn't do the decreases that are in every other row - I found that I did have to do those to get the right stitch counts. Also, the instructions are sometimes wrong when it says "increase p-wise" (they might mean knit), or the other way around. I would just pay attention to what the end goal is (i.e., looking at a row ahead that has stitch counts and specific directions), and make sure you do what makes sense to get there. You definitely have to pay attention to what the knitting looks like.
2. For the crochet edging, row 2: there is a ch1 between every dc.
3. I added in decreases to the front and back for the armhole shaping, as following the instructions yielded too much fabric under the arms. I did the original bo of 5 stitches, then 3 stitches. Then, on every other row (rs rows), I decreased one stitch (ssk and k2tog) six times total.
4. I lengthened the sleeves, and started with 40 stitches instead of 60 (for a narrower opening). I added in the extra increases (did them every 6 rows instead of every 8 ). I didn't quite get to the goal number of 82 (it was getting too lose), so if you use my sleeve cap shaping in number 5, you'll want to adjust for your numbers.
5. I totally redid the sleeve cap shaping. I didn't do the detailing on the sides of the sleeve cap - I found that it made the sleeve sit funnily after seaming. I started with 78 stitches.
After bo 5 stitches on each side of the top of the sleeve (68 sts remain), I:
Starting on RS row, dec on each end of the following 4 rows. (60 sts remain)
Starting RS row, dec on each end of every other row 6 times (48 sts remain)
Dec on each end of every fourth row 4 times (40 sts remain)
Dec on each end of every other row 5 times (30 sts remain)
Dec on each end of every row 4 times (22 sts remain)
BO 2 stitches at beginning of next two rows (18 sts remain)
BO 18 sts.
After removing and reattaching the collar edging twice, and sewing in my new sleeve caps, I had this much improved version:
The sad part? It has to come out again (though I can save the collar edging, and you better believe I'll be taking really, really good notes before I rip).
The problem is that this sweater creates armpit fat:
I know it doesn't look too bad (look at the circle on the side with the sleeve), but that's as good as it gets. As I move, the fold gets bigger. The problem is that the decreases for the arm on the front and back are too shallow. On the arm with the sleeve, I drew a line in where the seam should be, and on the other side, you can see where that extra fabric is pooching out.
So, I could finish up the seaming and weaving in, declare myself a NaKniSweMo winner, and go on to the next thing. But I really do love the way this sweater is turning out, despite the issues, and I want it to be as good as I can possibly make it. I'll wait a few days to make sure (no impulse ripping), but I'm reasonably sure that I'm going to remove the sleeve, remove (but save) the collar edging, rip out the collar, undo the shoulder 3 needle bind-off, rip to the armholes on both the front and the back, and redo it all, getting rid of 5-6 more stitches on each side. Am I a perfectionist? Yeah, kind of. But this sweater will be worth it.
I went back to the pattern photo, and now that I'm looking for it, I see the problem is not unique to me:
It's a lot easier to see in the full pattern page (pg 71, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007, #11 High Neck Pullover), but under the model's right arm, she's got the armpit thing going on and the shoulder seam is too far over. If you look at the left arm, it looks like the excess fabric is tucked in her armpit, causing a crease higher up (though it's hard to be sure due to the shadow). While I'm on the tricky photography, I should mention that the sleeves have to be pinned - as written, they aren't that fitted at the forearm.
Knitting a Vogue pattern right after it comes out is really like test knitting. I knew what I was getting in to, though, so I'm not as annoyed as I probably should be, considering how much work I'll have to redo. Luckily the yarn (Shelridge Farm Soft Touch DK
) is a pleasure to knit with, and is standing up to the ripping and re-knitting very well. If I ever do a new Vogue pattern again, I'll spend a lot more time with the schematic (available as a PDF here
) and the picture. I was expecting things like individual rows written out wrong (found in the front and the crochet motif), but I have to admit, I forgot to really sit down and think about all of the shaping.
This sweater isn't without issues. First, on Thanksgiving Day, I had a yarn problem:
That was at the hands of Penny. My fault for leaving yarn around in a house that contained an unfamiliar dog and a cat. I was lucky the dog kept the cat away, because Penny just tangled it in a non-slobbery way, and Lola would have tried to eat it. My sister and I untangled it and balled it without too much trouble.
I pinned what I had of the sweater all together - everything looked like it would be fine:
So I finished the second sleeve and blocked it all:
On Tuesday night, I started seaming. I got a sleeve in (and that side of the sweater seamed) and put in the collar edging. Then I tried it on.
It's hard to tell in the picture, but the sleeve is not good. There's an angularity to the shoulder caused by the decorative purls that the pattern had ending at the top of the shoulder. It's not horrible, but it would always bother me. Also, the collar is not good either - I have too much edging, so it bells at the top. Blocking added a few inches to the sleeve as well. I have since removed the sleeve, ripped back the cap and excess length, and reknit both sleeve caps (bringing me to a total of five sleeve caps for this sweater), but I still have to remove and reattach the collar edging. And put both sleeves in. Two days left in the month!
I guess it really shouldn't have been - it was in fact a Monday, and a holiday that neither of us had off. There was no water pressure for the hot water on the first floor or the basement (master bathroom is on the second floor, so the morning routine was unaffected). When I left for work, there was a service call in to our boiler company - we don't have a hot water heater, we have a holding tank that is filled by our boiler (which would also be supplying our baseboard heaters with water, if they were on). A little over an hour into a meeting that just wouldn't end, I got an email from Brad saying that he figured out the problem (the lines needed to be flushed), and he had canceled the call and was heading in to work. I can't even explain the warm and fuzzy that comes from having a handy husband that just gets stuff done, before I even had gotten around to worrying about it.
I got to talk to Rob today, which is always fun and happens way too infrequently. My sister, who had the day off, went to A Knitting Room (which is closing) and bought me a present, which she then dropped off at my house while I was still at work. She said Lani was inside my Jordana Paige messenger bag, and sure enough, that's where Lani was when I got home. :) So cute! And I think it's so telling that she's my dog, that she picks the bag over four or five blankets that she has for her. :P Anyway, my sister gave me this gift with "strings attached."
Apparently the sheep needs a scarf. :P I have to agree - it's probably really cold. The sleeve I added in after a few hours of knitting with Lani sleeping in my fleece jacket and Brad snuggled up next to me. My last happy surprise of the day was the fact that Brad's normal Monday night group meeting for school was switched to a telecon instead, and so I got to have him home tonight. :)
Brad just came in the office to tell me he really loves his chewy salt-water taffy, and then bit down with a loud crunch. :) I have to say, it's so silly at this point, the furnace wars, but it's so dumb that's it's funny. It feels good to laugh.
Furnace wars are continuing, and the low so far at my house has been 47 degrees. The best part has been breaking the insomnia rules and spending a good part of the day in bed knitting and snuggling with Brad and Lani. The worst part - well, the toilet seat comes to mind.
It's been a really busy week, with a school presentation for me, and a lot of school group meetings for Brad, and I really have no idea how it got to be Sunday evening already. But it is, and I have in fact been knitting.
I finished up the Hemlock Ring blanket last weekend, but haven't gotten around to blocking it yet. I had to buy more pins first, and now I just have to get motivated. :) Anyway, it's still being put to use:
And after a kind of slow start for NaKniSweMo, I made up for it by knitting most of the back of the Vogue High Neck Pullover on Friday (seriously, they could use the time they save on naming sweaters proofreading patterns, or something). Saturday brought in the front:
I wasn't incredibly surprised to find that the pattern for the front had some errors in it. I really wish I could say exactly where the errors are, but honestly, I just used some common sense while knitting it. I suggest reading ahead to see where the pattern is going, and then just adjusting when necessary.
Anyway, the sleeves are next, but some fudging will be involved. The cast on amount of stitches seem a little too much, and the sleeves are written to be somewhat short. There's a crochet cuff, so I either have to guess how much I have to lengthen the sleeves, or actually swatch the crochet to see what the length of that will be, and lengthen the knitted portion for the difference. I guess I also have to see if the crochet motif will work with fewer stitches to pick up - swatching it is.