On Saving Knits From The Black Hole In Your Closet
I finished #03 Embellished V-Neck by Leah Sutton (Vogue Knitting Fall 2006) back in 2007. I fell in love with the deep V and the little lace flounces at the hip. I even used the yarn they called for, because I wanted it to be exactly the same.
Years later when I finally posted it on Ravelry, I hoodwinked everyone and used this picture.
BUT IT WAS ALL A LIE!! This picture manages to hide a plethora of issues I had with the pullover, leading it to live its life as a gravitational singularity: never seeing the light of day and sucking all knitting pleasure out of its surroundings. Yeah, this black hole of a knit really bothered me. Here is the TRUTH:
PROBLEM #1: The sleeve caps. Oh my -- they were just so BIG. There is a football player pad worth of extra fabric at the sleeve cap, seriously. Check out Ravelry, everyone has the same problem, the sleeve cap is wrong, just plain wrong.
PROBLEM #2: This is probably tied into the sleeve cap problem, but the shoulders were so loose that they couldn't keep the deep V-neck up. Basically, I had to adjust a gap that always appeared and there is nothing worse than adjusting a knitted piece all day. Better just not to wear it!
PROBLEM #3: If you are going to use über-warm Suri alpaca to make a sweater -- don't make 3/4 sleeves! It's far too warm for interim weather -- but you need to cover your forearms in cold weather. This piece is basically never wearable!
PROBLEM #4: For some bizarre reason, the only trim extending to the back was at the waist... so you have this lovely lace front and then a messy back edge that has rolling stockinette?? no no no.
I have been guilty of frogging or giving away a lot of my knits, at least 15 pieces have been banished from my closet for not being worn. And I don't regret any of them -- because seeing the 'beaded' eyes of an unworn knit staring back at me on every trip to the closet infuriates me!
But I wasn't ready to let this one go.
Let's start with the most egregious problem, the sleeve caps. Since I wanted long sleeves too, I just thought I'd abandon the pattern and go to my slim, fitted sleeve standby: picked-up short-row top-down sleeves. I've used these a number of times and always am really satisfied with the results. The formula I use is in this post.
I didn't have enough leftover yarn to do the new sleeves in new yarn, so I had to re-use the frogged yarn, which after 8 years was croaking pretty loud. I was worried that the lumpiness would not go away, but it turned out that a good soak and a lot of smoothing down during blocking did the trick. You'd never know that I re-used the yarn!
I also cuffed the sleeve in garter stitch to put greater emphasis on the waist and v-neck garter elements.
To help keep the shoulders up, I added a simple crochet chain between the two shoulder seams. This kept the back crochet trim tight on the neck, and also kept it upright.
To really nail the Slipping Off Your Shoulders coffin shut, I also sewed the V-neck up a little higher. This makes it tighter, but it's worth it!
The final touch was making another trim to hide the rolling back. By the way, I am using the wrong side of the trims compared to the pattern, because they look better.
And there you go -- a drowning knit is saved from certain demise. Yessssss!
See my Saved From the Frog Pond on Ravelry
And now it's time for some house news!!
First off, we received our kitchen island pieces.... aaaaand the butcher block was cut to the wrong size and one of the cabinets was warped. WAT?! Very not thrilled to be waiting another 6 weeks for this. But fortunately they are letting us use the bad pieces while we wait, so we already have a nice set-up going (see Negroni ingredients on top)! Check out our adjustable stools from Target.com, I really love them.
Second, we bought a sectional couch for our cinema room.... THAT WAS TOO BIG TO GO UP THE STAIRS. Total nightmare! We had to remove a bannister (and scratched the laminate floor doing it), the closet doors, the front storm door (breaking it, how nice), the molding around the entryway (denting it) and the feet from the sofa... AND FINALLY IT WENT IN. Many bruises were acquired, this thing was 8 feet long!
But yeah, it looks awesome. :) Next step will be installing the projector in the ceiling and constructing a coffee table. I'll wait till it's all ready to show you a nice daylight pic.
|Yes, we are re-watching The Wire, the best TV show ever created.|
We splurged on the Iranian rug... (time to find a better upholstery fabric for the built in)
...and then found a fab modern wool rug for a fraction of the price for the bedroom...
Finally, we had someone in to design a closet system -- we have two big walk-ins with nothing in them except a pole. And the kicker is the pole is too wide for most hangers!! Bizarre. Here's the plans and yeah, the HERS closet is much bigger, hee hee. Check out all those shelves for sweaters!
Maine is still a wasteland, but I've heard of crocus sightings and there are robins everywhere. Next week I'll be posting a giveaway of some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from Seven Sisters Arts in Blue Hill, Maine. Follow my Facebook Page if you don't want to miss your chance to win!
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