Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Variations on a Colourway, Andi Satterland cropped sweater

While I was waiting to finish my first version of this sweater...I already started the second one.  I bought this beautiful Malabrigo yarn in Port Townsend, WA last October with the plan to make the same thing again.  I thought it must be like making a dress, that after the first time you have the hang of the pattern and it won't feel so terrifying.  I debated making something else and cast on the Miette, but my experience with the lace at the beginning was terrible so I decided to return to the original plan and garner some lace experience elsewhere (like with scarves and Craftsy lessons!)

Using this wool I could already see after the first piece that it would end up a lot bigger than sweater number one.  (Not a bad thing.) I didn't swatch anything, and I still made a size S, the second smallest, based on my measurements.

I had to stop it right after the first section, because I only had the one size US 8 needle and it was needed for another project.  Having limited supplies and nothing to do but knit was quite good for my skills because I had to finish each project before moving on - no more half-done socks lying around!  Also making things for people with imminent departure was good added the stress to finish my projects on time.  The bad thing is that I didn't think through this entire project from the beginning, colourwise, and my one colourway had a lot of variation.  

Anyway spring started blossoming so it was time to get on with it. I was completely shocked by how quickly it went.  I finished up the first ball of yarn and started on with the second, and then was a bit sad as the colour was so washed out.  After a few rows I switched to ball three, which had predominantly greens and blues rather than greens and purple.  I had bought a skein of the colourway Purpuras, which is purple and magenta, but I wasn't feeling it.  I also didn't want to do the wave-design at the bottom because my two-colour alternation technique is wrong (I assume) and the inside yarn kept attaching to my bra and making me worry that I was going to break my beautiful sweater.  I thought this yarn was busy enough without that detail.  I debated for awhile but realised my accidental yarn order had decided for me, as the final ball of yarn was deeper blue, purple, and green, and so I decided to try and do a colourway gradation.

I was less scared knitting this sweater so I made more mistakes as well as working faster.  I don't really understand when you put the sweater into the round and add stitches in the middle of your work - my thread tail stays stuck to the end of the round, and my new added stitches are on the other "half" of the work, taking a second round before it really becomes one unit and with this stretched out yarn tail in the way.  My ssk must be wrong as it creates a decorative extra line (which I just left in, whatever).  And the crowning glory was when I decided I should try it on, and naturally ripped out a few rows of stitches that I couldn't get back.  I got them on my needles but there was a big hole that I tried to weave shut later.
trying to block it smaller...
These are the before-blocking pictures

I realised too that this is the point when I'm ready to move on to different sweaters - to see how someone else does things.  This tutorial made the sweatermaking process feel less scary because each piece of instruction was far away from the next one, so you couldn't look ahead too much and get nervous.  When it's all written out on one piece of paper and you don't understand the abbreviations that you'll need in 10 rows, it seems too daunting to even start.  But now I'm irritated by things on this sweater that are NOT different than my first one - like binding on for the sleeves, should it always look a little...detached?  I'm finally ready to try something different.

The fit prior to blocking was good, but still had extra fabric around the upper chest and shoulders.  I was hoping that by blocking in hot water it would get tighter.  When I put it in hot water it actually relaxed and seemed soooo big...oh no!  I tried to block it smaller somehow. 

That didn't work!  It's still got extra fabric around the shoulders.  Unfortunately I made the short rows on the right shoulder really loose and it makes a big difference.  But I know it's really mainly noticeable to me!  Overall this sweater is more practical than the blue one because it's longer, but it's been an interesting lesson on how the same pattern can make really different sweaters. 

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