Monday, November 10, 2008

The Filatura Sweater

I unearthed another un-pieced sweater yesterday afternoon and had a bonus moment - the shoulders were already seamed and the neck edge finished.  So it was just a matter of stitching up the side and arm seams.  Here's the finished sweater, knit in Filatura di Crosa's "Cambridge" palette #2, lot 0010.

The stitch pattern is a simple stockinette with a twist every five stitches, offset every four rows.  It was just enough of a pattern to keep things interesting but let the beauty of the fiber show through.  Here's a close-up of the fabric.  By some act of the Fates, the colors in this close-up are accurate.

Some of you may be noticing that the design of the three sweaters I've written about is the same for all.  Well, I got tired of making sweaters with commercial patterns and ending up with garments that didn't fit correctly.  So, now I don't use a pattern.  Instead, I select a sweater I like that fits me well and use the dimensions to calculate the number of stitches, bind offs, and yardage based on my selected fiber and gauge.  I make a large swatch (one ball, usually) in the stitch I plan to use for the garment.  I only manage to get ill-fitting sweaters these days when I fall in love with a pattern and slavishly follow it.

Hence, my Hanne Falkenberg disaster.   My Tulsa sister knit a fabulous "Lastrada" sweater using Hanne's kit.  Can't be too hard, I thought, since my sister was a novice knitter at that point.  It's garter stitch and the hardest part would be mitering the corners.  Well, call it the curse on someone using another person's pattern, but my sweater, made with fiber I had on hand from 25 years ago (no, there's no typo), was fit for a very womanly woman when it was finished.  I looked like a little kid wearing her mom's clothes when I tried on the finished garment.

So, I did the only thing I could under the circumstances.  I threw the sweater into hot water, spun it to damp dry, and then put it in the dryer.  Now, if this had been a sweater that fit me perfectly and that I loved beyond measure, it would have shrunk to postage stamp size and at least partially felted.  But not my Hanne disaster.  It shrunk a bit, I'll admit, so that the body wasn't too objectionable, but the sleeves were still down to mid-thigh.   Here's the sweater before alterations:

And here's the sweater after I inserted a lifeline across row 6 of the red sleeve stripes, cut the rest of the sleeve off, picked up the live stitches from the lifeline, and added a few rows to finish off the sleeve to an appropriate length for a pygmy.  

Here's the detail of the revised sleeve.

I guess this is no longer a Hanne sweater - not her fiber and not her pattern, strictly speaking.  But it's wearable now and I will use it on days when I need a lot of color in my life.  Now, I'm off to put a lifeline in the other sleeve while I still have some daylight left.  I only have one more day of vacation and I am trying to make the most of today and tomorrow for the crafts I love.

1 comment:

Miss 376 said...

You have done so well this week. I do like the colours in the Filatura, really pretty