Wednesday, March 16, 2005

12 things I learned from a Plum

As I previously posted, I finished my first Adult sweater (and it was for me!). It's Plum from Debbie Bliss Book 7. It's a good thing this wasn't intended to be a gift. I used the yarn called for, but made a few significant errors from which I have learned a lot about finishing. 1. I used the yarn called for - Cashmerino Superchunky. It's soft alright, but it hates to be frogged and pills up like crazy. I've worn the sweater 3 times and it already looks old. (BTW: If you do choose to use this yarn, get one extra ball for this pattern. I used about 1/2 ball more than called for.) Now, this is not necessarily a mistake, but something to look into a bit more before jumping into a project. 2. I didn't check my gauge often enough. One side is about one row longer than the other and the nature of how the sweater hangs makes it appear that it's about 2 inches longer than the other. 3. I used one spare circ instead of the stitch holders called for to hold the stitches for the back and fronts (the body is knit in one piece). Doing so affected my ability to block. 4. I knit this in various times of stress and relaxation and it shows. (see # 2). I also stoppped in the middle of some rows (hey, I have toddlers!) 5. Increases and decreases were worked at the edges - as called for in the pattern. I should know better - especially as the edges on the front are left as is. 6. I tried to weave in my ends as I worked - yarn is too chunky for this - and I joined yarns in the middle of rows. The ends need to be split in half and woven in properly during finishing. Joining on the ends of rows in some places looked sloppy but I can tell where I joined new yarn in the middle of the row and I don't like how it looks. Then again, the edges are left showing, so what other alternative was there? 7. I did not use the proper technique for short rows. The instructions only said to turn. I should have listened to my gut and used the proper "wrap and turn" method. 8. I did not pay close enough attention when creating the collar. The sleeves are joined as you create the collar. This creates a ladder if you don't do it just right and affects the seaming of the raglan sleeves. 9. I did not measure the sleeves or guage on the sleeves carefully enough. Yes, I do have one sleeve slightly longer than the other. 10. I didn't frog early and often. In my defense, see #1. 11. I didn't block until after the collar and sleeves were attached (see #3)- which was just stupid on my part - and at that, I only wet mist blocked, no steam. 12. I did not draw a schematic. I really should frog the collar and redo the sleeves, but given how this yarn doesn't take to frogging, I think I'd just be unsatisfied. This sweater wasn't intended to be a go out on the town sweater anyway. But it sure is an expensive 'round the house, car and movie theater sweater. All in all, I really like this pattern, it's fairly easy to follow and DB actually wrote it in a reasonable size. I do wish she would provide schematics. I would use a more durable yarn or a yarn that is meant to be fuzzy next time around and pay more attention to the details.

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