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Posts Tagged ‘Knit sweaters’

Back in April, I knit up a sweater using the Lite Lopi pattern from The Best of DSCN1171Interweave Knits. I wanted a deeper yoke than the pattern called for, so I added some colorwork and did the decreases as called for in the pattern. Somehow, I wound up with too much yoke/too large an arm, but not enough decreasing. I bound off, blocked it into wearability, and headed off to Boston with my husband for a long weekend. After we got home, I folded up the sweater and stuck it in the closet to rest until I felt like fixing it.

Now that the weather is turning cool again, I thought that it would be nice to have a more functional sweater. So I pulled the sweater out of the closet, dug out the pattern, and started thinking about what was wrong with it.

I looked up the pattern on Ravelry, a knitter’s networking site, to see if any other knitters had my problem. Not too many other knitters seem to have done this one – only 32 projects came up on the Ravelry search. (By comparison, more popular patterns have been entered hundreds or even thousands of times.) Looking at the photos of other Lite Lopi sweaters, I decided that I really didn’t like the shaping or proportions.

DSCN0381 I did, however, still like the colorwork, and especially liked how my color choices turned out. So, I decided to keep the colorwork charts and instruction, and scrap the rest of the pattern. Instead, I pulled out the Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage system. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sweater “pattern,” nicknamed EPS, this is really a set of mathematical formulas for generating a sweater pattern. I didn’t even really do any math for this sweater. I measured a few other sweaters and blouses that fit me well, figured out where I wanted the yoke to start, and ripped out the previous yoke, back to the join at the armpits.

I started the colorwork again as stated in the pattern, knit for 1/2 the depth of the yoke, did the first set of decreases, and realized that I was out of colorwork charts. So, I started the charts over again, improvising some color changes and at one point totally making something up because I realized that I had made a mistake, and was tired of ripping things out. So far, so good.

Garments that are constructed with identical fronts and backs – such as the Lite DSCN0384Lopi pattern – tend to feel like the are always pulling back; this is because human bodies are not symmetrical from front to back. The EPS solution to this is to add some short row shaping. I started thinking about this as I got close to completing the yoke. I looked at the EPS directions for the shaping… and discovered that I was supposed to insert half of the short rows before starting  the yoke. At this point I uttered a few words that I will not repeat on this family-friendly blog.

Not wanting to rip back again, I picked a plain knit row and threw in a short row along the back. About an inch later, feeling adventurous, I found a not-too-complex colorwork row and added another short row. I tried on the sweater. Still looked good. So I finished the yoke, added another short row while knitting the collar, and bound off.

And, it looks nice! I’m not totally sure about the rolled collar; I might yet rip it out and do something different. But, at this point I am much, much happier with the sweater than I was 3 days ago. Yippie!

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While my husband meditates on his prospective sweater swatches and the meaning of the question, “Which do you prefer?” I’ve cast on the Roped Shell from the Summer 08 issue of Interweave Knits.

The navy blue yarn is Louet Euroflax in sport weight. The green yarn is Claudia’s Handpainted 100% linen. These are produced from the same base yarn, which is spun by Louet (this means that Claudia’s buys the yarn from them, and they dyes it to their colors, which are superb).

I haven’t worked with linen before. It almost feels waxy – like a giant strand of dental floss, with about at much stretch. Right now I’m switching back and forth between this and another project using Jaggerspun Zephyr, which is a 50/50 silk and wool blend. The Zephyr feels spongy by contrast! The linen yarn is 4 ply. I took a waste bit, separated out the plies, and tried unsuccessfully to break a single ply with my hands. Strong stuff. My swatch, however, washed up great. It looks fabulous and handles like all of the rest of the linen in my closet… which is not a small amount of linen. Good stuff, linen.

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I’m totally happy with the Louet skein. The skein from Claudia’s, however, has some problems. It was skeined and tied very poorly, which meant that I had a difficult time winding it into a ball. Then, less than 10 yards into the skein, I found 3 knots! I can understand 1 knot… sometimes… but not in a premium yarn. Given what I paid for this yarn, I think that it is totally reasonable to take issue with this many knots. The markup on the yarn is almost 2x what the Louet-brand is selling for, but the quality is not as high. I really like the color, and I’m far enough into the project that I’ll just deal with it, but it might be a while before I buy anything from Claudia’s again.

(Yes, I did email the company. No, I haven’t heard anything back. I don’t really want a replacement, but an apology and/or a partial refund would be nice.)

I’m still having fun bicycling all over Austin. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at 0512081416how many bike racks there are in town, especially at places like Costco. However, the racks at Costco leave a little something to be desired – namely, the ability to lock my bike to them! This type of lock has an arm that swings away from the rack. The arm has three spikes that are meant to go through the front wheel, the frame, and the back wheel, thus securing the most easily-stolen components in one fell swoop. You then use your own padlock to lock the swing arm in place. Nice idea. I can tell you, however, that a man thought this up.

How do I know that it was a man and not a woman who designed this thing? 0512081416bBecause it won’t hold a woman’s bike! The swing arm won’t go through my frame at any angle. As you can see, I had to lock up with a cable lock – I can’t use my good U-bolt lock on this one when the swing arm isn’t fully engaged. Since my bike was still there when I got back, I suppose it’s the though that counts (and I am appreciative that they put in racks at all!). If anyone has any tips for securing a ladies’ bicycle to this style rack, I’d love to hear them.

Enough complaining for today. I’m going to take a nap.

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