Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gauge The Situation: The Eyes Have It

It's Saturday, Peeps, and raining yet again. I call this "kill yourself weather". Cold, drab, chillingly damp. I'm trying to pretend I live in the Netherlands and this is chic. While the newly renoed room certainly says "Amsterdam", somehow my imagination just isn't buying it.

On the, very up, plus side, we have enough food in the fridge and I have enough energy to knit!

I'm moving along in a semi-focused fashion with the Siivet Pullover. (Am I the only one who always types that word as "pullowver"??)

It's been a while. Here's where last I left off... To recap, I intended to knit on the US3 needles, to get the kind of closed knit I was hoping for, but it was just going to be too small and I feared I'd run out of yarn. Instead, I went back to the US4 needles (more open in the rib, in this yarn, than I'd prefer, in truth) and made a bunch of extra-smallening (but lengthening)-modifications on the size small:
  • Knit 7 inches of rib, rather than 5 inches, at the base of the sweater. Everyone indicated that the sweater is way too short at the bottom (and I need length to get over the boobs).
  • Knit 8 rows of stockinette, after the base rib, rather than 6. Again, looking for extra length - not width.
  • Removed approx 2 inches of width during the side shaping (8 stitches) by stopping the increases when I got to 111 stitches (vs the 119 called for).
  • Nonetheless, added an additional 10 rows of stockinette at the end of the side shaping section, to buy myself more length still. (I was intermittently holding this up against my body to get a sense of how it would fall / checking its vertical measurements against my own.)
  • On the sleeve shaping section, not only did I start with a narrower base (111 st vs 119 - see above), I then removed 8 more stitches from the length of the sleeves (4 on each side). I think the sleeves are still going to be longer than necessary. Remember, my knowable, but inaccurate, gauge in the US4 needles makes my unmodified small larger than the instructed version.
  • One thing that sewing has taught me is that vertical dimensions must not be trifled with. I happen to be shorter in my upper chest than many pattern dimensions. I am generally longer from just above the full bust to the waist (because breasts take up length). Then I'm shorter from waist to high hip, than average. Sometimes, making a garment in the instructed size will work - if the garment is forgiving. But I'm much better off to actually tailor the length where I need it. Which is why I added so much length below the full bust, but why I also shortened this sweater above the armscye. I took out an inch of length in the sleeve and upper chest, just below the neckline rib.
  • The challenge with the design of this sweater, as I've mentioned, is that the sleeves and upper chest are knit as one. If you modify the length of of the upper chest, by default, you modify the circumference of the sleeves. My dolman / kimono sleeves are going to fit much more snugly into the armpit than the original design calls for because I've culled length here. On the other hand, I believe it will make the overall look of the sweater more fitted and attractive as the (loose by nature) rib at the neckline will not bunch due to extra fabric - and then, likely, drag. It's a crap shoot. We'll see if I've called it correctly.
I really didn't have to wrack my brains to make these modifications - trust me, my brains were not up to any heroics. I really just had to hold the sweater up against my body and say "Hmmm, I should take a few stitches out of here and add a few more rows to this section." It took vision more than experience.

This sweater is exceptionally simple. Lots of twisted rib does make it a bit tedious, but the middle-section stockinette part is very quick.

I can't say I've done my most beautiful work ever. Gotta hope that blocking does its job this time because I did lose focus in a few places and lost the twisted part of the twisted rib for a couple of stitches at a time. Having said this, it's been what I need to pull me out of dullness back into the realm of basic focus.

I am definitely feeling much better. I still cough. The mucous thing is a bitch. I'm still not sleeping for more than 2 hrs at a time. But there hasn't been any stridor in a number of days (thankfully, thankfully, thankfully) and I can eat more well-roundedly. I feel more integrated - like I remember myself. And I'm much less depressed and anxious, first paragraph above notwithstanding :-)

So let's talk about knitting. Have you made this sweater? Are you thinking about it? What do you think of the pattern?

Oh, and since we're getting close to the end of October - I'd like to put in one more plug for the awesome Lingerie Shop Along 20% off discount at LCL. Remember, type in KLINE in the discount code section and get an additional 20% off any item, regardless of whether it's on sale or full price. SO many of you have regaled me with stories of your successful purchases this month and I am thrilled to know I may have had a little something to do with your self-improvement plans this fall. If there's one thing the last couple of months has really re-emphasized, it's that you are wise to live big in every day - satisfying your best self and targeting your best goals. Obviously, we must all survive within our financial and energetic means, but if you can find a small way to look and feel more beautiful, seize upon it. You will never regret the effort you expend to be a better person (whatever that means to you).

17 comments:

  1. Why are you using the same size needle for the rib and the stockinette?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2 reasons: pattern instructs same size but (mainly) because I don't want to run out of yarn by sizing down and needing more yards.

      Delete
  2. Glad to hear you're feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So glad your energy is up and you're knitting again! And thanks again for the awesome LCL discount! Your words are so true. We just sometimes forget that message in the craziness of life. Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to you Julia for continuing to check in and say hello! All these comments make me so much more cheerful.

      Delete
  4. You would NOT love the weather here! It's so convincingly perpetual rain country here now that it's hard to remember the late summer delights of last month . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Due to the hurricane, it's been raining here for days (with a few exceptions that, as soon as they're over, leave my mind completely). Between the changing angle of light, the rain and the loss of leaves on trees, it's moving into the "hideous phase" we live with for 5 months. Every year I wonder how it is that I live here. Everything is the colour of concrete. It's like a study of Brutalism.

      Delete
  5. Should have said, of course, that I'm so pleased your cough is abating, and I keep wishing you more and more continuing health improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yay for health progress! very glad to hear you are somewhat better, though it still sounds tough. Enjoy your knitting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm working on it. Thank you Robin!

      Delete
  7. Ack, it rains here almost constantly and is soul destroying. Hateful. Don't mind the cold, cannot stand the damp. Glad you're on the mend. Knitting is a good barometer of improvement ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lived in England for a few years and I know what you mean. Thing is, your country landscapes are so insanely beautiful (as are the BC ones where Frances lives) that you can kind of get lost in it. Here, everything is flat out ugly.

      Delete
  8. I really love that sweater design. It's so elegant. :)
    Keep on improving! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo! You should make it next... :-)

      Delete
    2. But unfortunately I have a list a mile long... :( Well, maybe I'll have to tack it onto the end of it!

      Delete