Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Post In Which I Concede I'll Have To Get Creative

OK, this is going to be quick a) because I'm having one of my famed total body muscular contraction moments (and it's getting very old) and b) because, it turns out, I made a huge mistake in the Die Cut Vest construction and my only recourse is to fix it. Note: I'd be ready to throw myself out a window at this point, but I sense I can bring this one back from the edge.

What's the mistake?

For starters, check out the blocking garment:

I think you'd agree that's a very narrow back panel (the bit between the armholes in the middle of the frame). And, those armholes (which I adjusted, perhaps after too much vino?), they're pretty short (that's ok, I expected that) but OMG, they too are extremely narrow.

Turns out, the armholes are that narrow (leading to the back being that narrow) because I neglected to leave 4 rows between each increase and decrease row which created the armsyce curve. I actually left only one row between each. And that means I lost INCHES of width under the arms.

Now, the good news is that I am really narrow in the underarm. Alas, the back needs some extra fabric at the back armhole.

The thing I didn't predict was that the armscye (at 9 inches in depth) would be too shallow. How can that be? I need 6.5 inches of depth. Well, the construction of this garment puts the shoulder seam and the garment front and back at exactly the same height. This is hard to explain but I'll try... Effectively there's no "above-bust" portion of the sweater designed with a shoulder tab that goes around the armscye tapering to the shoulder seam. While the armscye fits my body, the sweater is actually crushing me at the neck because the whole thing needs to start lower.

What can I say, I've never made anything with this kind of construction before and, honestly, I'm not exactly into the relaxed fit.

Note: Taking apart the vest isn't an option. I'm almost out of yarn (so much so that I have considered fixing the issue with another material, but I think I'll just about be alright).

What's the Fix?

Look, I have no idea how this is going to work or if it will look stupid, but I have 2 tricks up my sleeve:
  • Pick up and knit a couple of rib rows around the armhole (to give more fabric around the back arm specifically and to finish the whole thing without having to turn under and seam which the pattern instructs). I most definitely do not have enough fabric to turn under. 
  • Add 1.5 inches to the shoulder (0.75 at front and 0.75 at back). This is where I'm a bit out of my element. When I do this, I'm going to create a fabric which goes in the opposite direction of the original. The extra length will run up and down (like in a regular knit sweater) rather than side to side. Which makes me wonder if I shouldn't do it in rib, so that at least it will be consistent with the armhole fix (above).
I also don't know if adding the extra length will look strange where the neck side meets the front of the garment because this additional fabric won't taper like the original would have. That's why I opted not to use another fabric to make this fix (i.e. 2 inch petersham) because it was going to be hard to finish the raw edge of that petersham without it looking a bit obvious re: stark differences in materials.

So, there you go. The stupidity is that this finished fabric is just beautiful. I never knew that linen could be so elegant (so not granola). I really do hope I can pull this one back from the edge. If only to have not wasted 2 months on a stupid mistake.


  1. I think your save will work - it will be a saddle shoulder design feature. If it were me, I would knit the saddle from the neck to the shoulder, then pick up the stitches around the armhole so it looks like it's supposed to be like that! No-one will ever know...

  2. Could you save it with some sort of faux leather/moleskin yoke? I'm not a knitter, but it seems like there would be a way to do that, and in my mind it seems like it would be a cool contrast. Or it may be completely unworkable, I don't know.