Monday, September 17, 2012

The Never Ending Sweater

I have been knitting on my cabled sweater since...well...July, and I've FINALLY finished it last night. I've renamed it the NEVER ENDING SWEATER, because it's taken forever to finsih.

Around the beginning of September, I finally finished the sleeves. About 3/4ths of the way through BOTH sleeves, I knew that I was creating the sleeves MUCH too big, but I continued to press on in the hopes that it'd get better. It didn't. When I tried on the finished sleeve..well, it was about 3 inches too wide.

The finished sleeve was supposed to be 13.5" wide...this was nearly 17. I finally decided to check gauge, and discovered that I was WAAAY off, despite using the same exactly needle that I used to knit the body (which fits perfectly, BTW). Luckily, all of the increases were at the edges of the sleeve, which the Costumer in me said, "We'll just cut off the excess fabric, while the Knitter in me is screaming "OH HELL NO..."

So, after DH helped me check for fit, he pinned the seam line, and I ran it through the sewing machine with a good bit allowance. Then I pinned the sleeve together loosely on the new seam line (using locking stitch markers) and pinned it to the armscye. It fit perfectly so I added unpinned it and ran it again through sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch, used Fabric Tack to ensure there was no additional unraveling, and then cut the excess fabric off.

Seam Line for cutting

Yes, you heard that right. I CUT my knitting. Here's the Before & Aftershot.

Before and after shots of cutting down sleeves

I figured it this way: if this didn't work, I would have to completely REKNIT both sleeves, which was going to take a Very Long Time. Plus, I still had a ton of yarn left over, so I wasn't too worried about not having enough. I would try with one sleeve and see if it worked. If it didn't, I'd frog the 2nd one and reknit.

Consequently, I attached the armscye and sewed up along the new seam allowance, and it worked perfectly. So, I started on the second sleeve. This saves me a TON of work having to reknit the whole thing.

Now, I was concerned about the shawl collar, which other knitters promised is going to take as long as the whole sweater combined. So, I picked up 400 stitches, knit the shawl collar while adding the button holes. It took about a week to fully finish the shawl collar, because it had short rows along the neckline, but it worked about beautifully.

I even had the appropriate buttons that worked well with it.


The sleeves are a teeny bit long, but can be easily pushed up. And it's got about 2 inches of ease, so I could probably wear this as an outer sweater in the winter. But it's DONE and it's WARM, and I need to take better pictures of me wearing it...when it's not 80 deg F outside.

Raspberry Cardigan 2 Raspberry Cardigan 3

Oh, and yeah, I started a gauge swatch for a new sweater about 10 minutes after attaching the last button.....