Monday, February 05, 2007

WIP nightmares, part 2 - the sweater

So in the midst of the socks from hell, I decided I needed some quick satisfaction. I thought I would find it in the form of Autumn Spice. The pattern stitch was open and it looked like this would be a quick & satisfying hooking project. I had some wonderfully soft yarn that I bought off the sale rack at my LYS this summer. Cascade 'Lana de Oro' Tweed - worsted weight - 45% Superfine Alpaca, 45% Peruvuan Highland wool and 10% Donegal (tweed) - 770yd maroon, 110 yd charcoal - I knew what I had was all there was so when I saw the yarn requirements for this sweater I thought it would be the perfect match. The pattern & the yarn just kept calling to me, I couldn't help myself, so I put down the socks and I started. I was crocheting the back panel in medium and what began as a pleasant evening crocheting turned into a frustrating evening of crunching numbers as I tried to figure out the pattern schematics.

This might be one of those cases where someone just thinks about sweater design from a different perspective than I do. Maybe if I followed the pattern exactly as written it would work. But for the life of me I can't see how. I feel like I was trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I like the designers work. I have other patterns of hers I want to try. I'm pretty sure she is a XS and it seems like the pattern wasn't easy to scale up to larger sizes. As I read the pattern, when you get to the XL the front panels together are 7.5in wider than the back... so there'd be a ton of gathering at the shoulders to attach the front panels. In addition, the back but not the front has a cut for set-in sleeves, so either that's a mistake, or the side seam is slightly to the front. I sort of get this, as maybe because the shell pattern is 2.5" the inset for the front and the back is created only in the back, but think about it, this would effectively add yet more width to the front panels and less to the back!! OK, rant over....

So basically, I loved the stitch pattern, and I had this yarn, and I wouldn't back away from the challenge! I ended up making the back panel of the medium and the the front panels of the small (redesigned to include an armhole inset). I based my general measurements on the Drops Cardigan I did for the crochet olympics last year. Then since yarn was limited, I used the gray tweed to edge the sweater body. I wanted to save every available inch of the maroon for the sleeves.

I made and frogged the sleeves a zillion times. They have to be made from the wrist up, I knew I would have to do 3/4 sleeves because of yardage, so I was trying to make tapered sleeves to get a little more length. First I had to design an increase within this shell pattern. After that I started making sleeves. The first try I started too narrow (nice width for wrist, but not for elbow where it ended up...) After several attempts, I figured out how wide to start, and where to increase, and finally I had the sleeves. The tapered sleeves can be seen in this photo of the sleeves laying in place.

Of course I still have to weave the ends in. But in then end I really like my variation of Autumn Spice - although this "quick break from the socks" nearly did me in, I would not be beaten! Now I just those blasted ends to weave themselves in, and the temperature to rise out of the single digits so I can wear it!


Grete said...

wow, this one turn out really nice.

Norah said...

Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble. But it sure turned out nice.