Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Done: Schleppy Sweater!

Schleppy done hips Betcha didn't think you'd ever see that post title, did ya?

As you might have surmised, this means Hubby did not make me do yard work on Saturday. This allowed me to just park myself on the couch and make one mighty push to finish to the exclusion of all else. (Well, aside from trying to catch up the laundry.)

And not only is the sweater done—it fits! And fits rather well, if I do say so myself.

Really, the whole "fitting" thing was up in the air for me the entire time. I guess I should have trusted the math. Or the process and the math.

This means I really do know how to measure myself correctly, measure a gauge swatch, do a bunch of scary math, and end up with a decent sweater.

Do you know what else it means? I'm feeling rather smug and insufferable at the moment.

I understand this is when some knitting or other yarn related disaster will strike.

Oh, hey does that horrible tangle last night in my skein of Austermann Step I'm using for hubby's socks count? I hope so.

It also means that I'm already plotting my next self-designed sweater. hehehe.

But I have to swatch first. And I'm trying to quickly read Paden's Knitwear Design book so I can cross reference it with Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English.

You know, add to the confusion a bit.

Project StatsSchleppy done mitts
(Does it matter that I'm not consistent with that subhead?)

Project name: Schleppy Sweater

A TravelingAnn Designs original. Making it unique and one of a kind! wheeeee!

Zara Print Tweed in colorway 5110. It took 8 balls and a wee bit of a ninth, which really ticked me off. I had to dip into it for the collar. It's possible that if I hadn't done a mock turtle neck I wouldn't have needed the ninth. Of course, if I hadn't done the integrated mitts I might not have needed it either.
I weighed the sweater using the kitchen scale (what? Like you haven't?) and it was 401 grams. (This will come into play for my next sweater.)

Needles: Us 3 and 5

The most brilliant part of the sweater, aside from the fact that it fits and looks good, is those integrated fingerless mitts.

So fun to be able to pull them down when I need them. Ahh, instant warmth.

It took me about a month to make, including the initial math crunching. It might have taken less time if I hadn't knit three sleeves.

Collar Contortions
Schleppy collar badThe collar took me a lot longer than you would have expected.

Or not, since I always have to do things the hard way.

I have a wee bit of shaping in the front so it wouldn't choke me. That is, instead of working the front and back the same, I put a dip in the front.

Since I don't like picking up stitches at necklines, and I was working in the round anyway, I decided there must be a way to work short rows or something.

Despite the fact that I know how to work short rows from my sock knitting experience the collar was a train wreck.

(The picture is on the way back out. It looked worse in person.)

I put the center six stitches on a holder, then worked flat back and forth, then tried to work back up. Ick!

I think the problem was I didn't wrap and turn. Instead I either K2Tog, K1 or P2Tog, P1 (depending on the row, obviously) then turned, slipped the first stitch and worked the row. This decreased the stitches, but gave me nothing to pick up on my way back out.

When I saw how icky it looked I just yanked it right out. It was only 12 rows, after all, and I'd wisely strung another lifeline before I started.

For the second, final, attempt I just bound off the stitches like a normal knitter. It was very easy to pick up as it was five stitches on one side and six on the other (I worked one row even in stockinette stitch and decreased the extra stitch away before starting the ribbing). So I could have saved myself some trouble if I'd just done it the regular way off the bat.

I did not change to the US3 for the collar ribbing since I didn't want it to be too tight.

Not that it mattered.

I bound of the last stitch, slapped a locking stitch marker in it, excitedly tour of my pajama top, pulled on the sweater, and bonk! It wouldn't go over my head.

I gave it a little tug, thinking perhaps a lifeline was hooked.

Nope, the bind off was too tight.

I must have made a little whimpering sound or other sound of annoyance because Hubby commented on the fact it didn't fit. (If he laughed I managed to block it out.)

It was a simple matter to pick out the bind off and switch to Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Cast off as documented in this Knitty.com article.

Me, Being Slick
Which usually leads to trouble. As evidenced by the collar business.

Remember how the other day I did all that crazy stitch jiggering to avoid having to sew shut a hole in the armpit?

It worked, but I'm not sure it was the best solution.

Oh, it feels fine when I'm wearing it, but I was examining it in the mirror and it doesn't look terribly secure.

The stitches look rather stretched and I wonder if that will put extra strain on them and shorten their lifespan. I can see them snapping and the side unraveling. There will be tears and I'll have to rip back the yolk, picked the dropped stitches up, and knit some kind of gusset.

This is, however, what the math told me.

I think it would have been better to have bound off stitches, or some little gusset thing, or something to relieve the strain in that area.

When I make another one—because I really want to. Several actually. I can do a striped one and maybe a solid one with cables, and....—I'll have to address that. Binding off doesn't seem the answer, so I'll have to figure out a gusset.

Ok, I believe that is everything. I wore it yesterday and everyone said it was lovely. I had it at the store Sunday, just to show off, and everyone there liked it as well.

Would you like to know a secret?

I haven't finished weaving in all the ends. I wore it and all the ends aren't woven in. I'm such a rebel.

I think it's going to take as long as knitting the thing did. I got all the body ones done, but the sleeves are still waiting. I'll have to focus on that tonight.


  1. Wow! Could this sweater fit you any better or what?!? Nice job!

  2. I would say the time and trouble was well worth it. The sweater is adorable on you and I love the design. Is that your own design? Job well done!

  3. Fabulous. Are you going to write the pattern up and sell it??