Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Schleppy Sweater: It Grew!

Schleppy done mitts Not in this picture. This picture is from when I finished it.

I put a rush job on washing it in anticipation of some cool, rainy weather we were supposed to get. That paid off as I was able to wear it yesterday.

Have I mentioned I don't handwash my knits? That does not surprise you as we've already established I like the path of least resistance.

So I threw the Schleppy Sweater in the machine on the hand-knit cycle in cold water with a few other handknit sweaters and multiple pairs of handknit socks.

But the Schleppy got the place of honor on the mesh drying rack. On the dining room table no less. I guess Hubby didn't have any papers to grade last week as he didn't protest at all.

After it dried it looked a little loosey-goosey. I tried it on to discover it had grown in length about an inch. It was also much softer and more snuggly and the collar fit a little better.

On the one hand, this growth surprised me since Hubby's Striped Turtleneck Sweater didn't grow.

However, his sweater has seams and I hear tell seams stabilize a sweater (as in preventing growth in length?).

On the other hand, it shouldn't have surprised me because I seem to remember Margaret, another staff member, saying something about Zara stretching because it's so soft.

However, I was like, "lalalala can't hear you!" And carried on knitting my sweater in the round.

Technically I think this is the first time my refusal to wash swatches has resulted in a project fitting differently than anticipated.

A Whole Inch
After taking the sweater back off I took some measurements to confirm my suspicions.

I'm sure it grew all over, but it seems focused in the long stockinette stitch portions between the collar and the waist and elbow ribbing.

The extra length in the body isn't such a big deal. In fact when I finished the sweater I secretly wished the body was a wee bit longer, but I didn't say anything. However, the corset ribbing seems to have slipped from around my ribs to more around my waist as a belt. Which just confirms I should have followed my original instinct and raised it an inch.

The extra length in the sleeves is much more noticeable. Instead of ending at my first set of finger knuckles (as planned) it now reaches to my finger tips. Although this is warmer it isn't terribly practical and kind of negates the need for the thumbhole. I am compensating by just pulling/pushing the sleeves up.

Interestingly the Raglan decrease was planned as 8 inches long and now measures 9 inches. This is consistent with the 1 inch of growth. However, I never measured the decrease line when the sweater was done. It was planned for 8 inches. I knit until all the stitches were decreased. The sweater fit. Why measure it?

I admit it.

Part of me wants to pull it out to the body joining and shortening the sleeves.

But once I take that step how far do I go?

Do I rip the body back and raise the waist ribbing as well?

Might as well reknit the entire sweater at that point.

The urge is passing. It still fits well and looks adorable, so I think I'll live.

Future Perfect
Of course all this information is going to be very useful for future versions.

I've decided I'll keep the body the same, aside from raising the waist ribbing an inch. This will also balance the body better.

When I designed it I was only considering the body length to the armhole when I placed the waist ribbing. I forgot all the fabric above the armhole making the waist ribbing look a little low of center.

The sleeves are totally going to be shorted by 1.5 inches. I was surprised all along at how long they were anyway. I'm also going to shift the elbow ribbing up half an inch.

Oh! And I think I've figured out a way around the stretched stitches in the underarm.

When the pieces are 8 rows short of the desired length I'm going to increase 2 stitches every other row, then put them on a holder on the next row so I can Kitchener stitch them closed.

This will be like wee gussets and also give me something to aim for when joining the sleeves to the body.

I Laugh at the Inch
See that? Total learning experience which will make my future projects better.

I'm so mature.


  1. I think it looks fabulous just the way it is--I'd be happy with the placement of the waist shaping as is. But it's not on me and a photo can lie. Anyway, great job!

  2. It look fantastic! I love how it looks. You got off easy with your "inch lesson". A job well done.