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Archive for February 26th, 2006

A Gold Star, but not a Gold Medal

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Well, I gave it the old college try… my Olympic knitting project is now a back and two fronts, sewn together at the shoulder seams but not the side seams, no edgings, no clasps sewn on and no ends worked in.

The good news? It fits me and is actually more curvy looking on me than anticipated. I was really worried a few days ago when I looked through the Purl Stitch book and found a new photo I’d not seen (in the front section called “wardrobe”) of the top on the twiggy-shaped cover model. She is very cute, tall with good shoulders and long legs but few curves. On her, the sample garment in size M looked like an unshaped cylinder. The way my gauge evened out, the top (size S) has very little design ease but fits and is a good length as well.

The only person I found who had ever knit this item before said hers felt like it needed a little more height in the armholes. Mine at first glance looks fine in that area… at least, before knitting edgings.

I added the increases for the “lapel” in a place that looks much like the view in the Purl Stitch book on page 81 (rather than page 79 which is the version written up in the pattern). It looks good and I’m glad I did it that way.

The down side? I must not understand a few things in the pattern the way they were meant to be understood. I thought I was following the pattern exactly but my stitch counts on the fronts, just a few rows after starting the armholes, were off. They stayed off, even got worse as I worked. I did some adjusting in a few places, to the shaping of the lapel/neckline. It did not work well enough and took away the sort of chinese-influenced wrapped look. It sort of curls at the top edge in an uneven way because of the final shaping of the top edge.

I will drag my project around with me to a few places where knitters hang out, this week, as I do my other work. I will collect suggestions on what to do.

If I can get really clear about what went wrong, I’d be very happy to undo the shoulder seams, rip out the fronts down to the armhole (or wherever things started to go wrong) and reknit the top 1/3 of the fronts so that they will have nicely shaped lapels. The ones I have right now sort of roll down and look wrong. I can not imagine how adding the edging would correct that enough to make it nice enough to wear. But I could be wrong there, and would love to be convinced I am.

I did a great job of staying on task with a project that was not enjoyable to knit much of the time. I am glad I enjoyed the color and the amazing shiny texture of my yarn, because I never did make friends with purling a whole row.

Again, for me the attraction of the Knitting Olympics was to push myself to make something I would not typically knit. I accomplished that goal. The top is now so close to done, I’m absolutely sure I’ll get it finished and wearable. I hope I find an answer, whatever that may be, to how I can make that top 1/3 of the fronts just have a better line. Maybe I can work backward now, from top down, and figure out how many rows I need to complete the decrease series I want to make the top look right.

And actually, it’s possible I’ll only have to re-knit the right front. When the clasps are fastened, the two front pieces overlap and the bottom layer does not show at all. So as long as the neckline edge of the left side looks fine, I may just reknit the right side. I am not one to worry about how things look when nobody can see them but me.

It was FUN! I’ll have to collect information from my Team Michigan folks and put it up on our team page so it’s in one place. Hopefully I can collect photos.

I’m SO tired from staying up past 3am two nights in a row… I’m going to bed rather than staying up all night knitting edges to a top that is not quite right.

But I’m convinced this will be a lovely, dressy, summer top.