Thursday, January 05, 2006


A happy ending

I finished the beaded sweater from Vintage Knits quite a while ago (I posted a picture from the pattern here), but right when I was finished seaming it up I knew that it was too small for my mom. The sweater itself came out the right size according to the pattern, but it is still really small. I should have asked my mom for the measurements of a sweater that she owns that has a fit she likes, but of course I thought I was smart and that large would be fine. No, I was wrong, I am stupid and I have learned a VERY VERY IMPORTANT LESSON ABOUT KNITTING. But I will learn the lesson now since I spent somewhere between 80 and 100 hours knitting a sweater that does not fit. I knit many of those hours in Ireland, here I am by the side of the road during a photography break.

la, la, la, I am a happy oblivious knitter

The main problem is that it is too short. So for anyone wanting to make patterns out of this book, I would tell you to make sure you are comfortable with how short the tops will be (and it tells you what the final length will be RIGHT THERE in the pattern, I was just too lazy to think about what those numbers meant in real life) or add some length before you decrease for the sleeves. I should have been a little clued in to how short it would be since in every picture in the book, gorgeous women are lazing around in their fancy handknit sweaters and their underwear. Really, I'm not kidding. And you can see quite clearly that most of the sweaters are above their belly buttons. But I thought maybe they were just tall models. And in the picture for this particular sweater the model is all hunched over and you can't see how long it is. (It is apparent that I am not getting my PhD in knitting. Now that I have mastered the lost art of the tape measure, I shall never make this mistake again.) But it is also a very small large, so if you would like an average size large and to actually have some drape and not be a fancy beaded sausage casing, you would either have to do some maths to figure out a bigger size or maybe use a thicker yarn and hope the sweater magically comes out the size you want. I am too lazy for the first option and smart enough to realize the second option is insanity. I contemplated picking up the stitches at the bottom and knitting more ribbing downward, but it needs at least 2.5 inches more length and I think that will be too much ribbing and detract from the pretty beads, so I am just going to find a different beautiful sweater to knit for my mom.

my mother's failed Christmas present

I used Frog Tree Alpaca yarn in fingering weight, color number 92. I only ended up using 3.26 balls of the 6 I bought (about 700 yards), and since I bought the yarn during a sale, even with the beads this sweater only cost me about $16 to make. And the alpaca is very soft. It was kind of a pain to push all the beads down as you knit (you have to thread the beads onto each ball of yarn before you start) because the alpaca is a little hairy and the beads would get stuck on the little balls of fluff that collected as they were pushed by.

So, the happy ending is that I asked my labmate Sally if she would take the sweater home and try it on to see if it fit and to see if she liked it. And it did and she did! I am so excited that I get to give it to someone I know, and she likes it so much!


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