Saturday, December 08, 2007

Main Street Fair Isle!

The Main Street Fair Isle is done! Hooray! Cue the trumpets and release the confetti!

This sweater, while not a difficult knit at all, was a relative pain in the ass. I've documented the gauge issues with the sleeve here and then with the body here and here, and then I was worried that the fair isle part would come out too tight. The last time I blogged about this sweater I hadn't knit the neckline yet, it was to be a relatively painless K1P1 rib, no problem right? I originally knit the neckline as directed using the US8s that I used for the body, I figured that since I had done a whole bunch of decreasing just after the colourwork that the neckline probably wouldn't be too loose.

WRONG. In actuality it turned out all floppy and faintly resembled a pathetic turtleneck, totally unacceptable (sorry, no photo!). So it was ripped and reknit on US6 needles by my mom, who knits way tighter than I do and probably gave herself hand cramps trying to be as tight as possible. Several attempts were made at a tubular K1P1 bindoff but they all turned out horribly due to the soft and yielding nature of the yarn (mostly alpaca). So we had to resort to a regular bindoff which my mom has previously characterized in the past as being ugly.

I think it looks ok.

Main Street Fair Isle done_03

Overall, this sweater required a lot of reknitting. But the final result fits! And the recipient is happy!

Main Street Fair Isle worn_03

Of course, not one to waste yarn, she promptly cast on for a ribbed scarf to use up all the leftovers:

Main Street Fair Isle leftovers scarf

I should have taken a photo of all the scary ends that had to be woven in.

This sweater was the 4th sweater project that I've embarked on, the 3rd sweater that I've actually finished, and probably the only one that will get any regular wear (and not by me!). Maybe I'm getting a bit better at this whole sweater thing, I've certainly been learning about how different sorts of yarns translate into actual knitted garments (I haven't always made the best choices), and it's gratifying to look at the final product and think "hey, I made this whole thing!", but I still don't think I'm really into knitting sweaters. Then again, a girl can only have so many scarves, and I'm so terribly vanilla with all my sock knitting (oooh, more stockinette, how exciting!), and I've grown to hate buying sweaters in stores because they're all so expensive (ha! irony) and most of them don't fit properly maybe there's something to be said about this knitting-sweaters-to-fit-one's-size-and-shape thing. If only I could cultivate the patience.

Final thoughts:
- The pattern was relatively easy, but I felt that some of the numbers for the size that I knit (the smallest one) could have been better. For example, starting a sleeve with 28 stitches at 4-4.5 stitches/inch in 3x1 ribbing ended up being way too tight, so I increased it to 32 stitches. I also have a feeling that I could have done the fair isle on more stitches since it ended up being a smidge tight, but I don't know how much of that comes from my own tension and how much from the pattern itself.
- The yarn (Valley Yarns Lenox) is very very soft and comfortable, but as a result the sweater doesn't really have much structure. We're ok with this because the sweater was meant to be more for comfort than style, but just something to think about.


Karen said...

WAH! The sweater looks awesome!! Great job on it!!

Haha...I just realized that I'm seeing you tomorrow, and could've told you this in person :D

Adrienne said...

Heh, that's ok. Merci buckets! =)

I can't wait to go play with yarn. I'm already feeling the tug between "Must. Buy. More. Yarn." and "omg I already have way too much yarn, what will I do with it all?!?" Serious moral dilemmas here. =)