Sunday, February 1, 2009

I love Kitchener Stitch

No, really I do. I find it simple and methodic enough to be just as relaxing as knitting. I get absolutely giddy when I've worked a good size segment and I pull the working yarn taut and the seam zips right up. I love the finished look of stitches uninterrupted by a seam. This is a good thing, because last time we talked about my Christmas Cardigan, I was facing a lot of Kitchener. I curled up with Hubby on the couch for a LOTR marathon and had at it. Long before Frodo made it to Mordor, I was done.It is a really cute sweater, and Hubby can't stop complimenting me. You would think that that would be enough, but of course it is not perfect. I didn't really understand ease going in to this project. A few weeks ago, Kelly did a great podcast on ease, but it was about a month too late. Not only did I not understand that I might want ease, it never occued to me that incredibly gifted pattern makers who do so much for me already, wouldn't have just worked that it. As I blocked each piece to my exact measurements, I never thought about what that would mean for fit. All in all, it was a noob mistake, but I'm not embarassed at all about making it. The sweater still fits, it just looks like it is not intended to shut, and if I did try to button it, there would be big pulling gaps inbetween each of the buttons. It makes the sweater look a bit more trendy and less cozy. It works, and it looks really cute with a particular orange top that I have (the orange just doesn't photograph as well as the brown did.)

The other problem is more serious and I'm not sure how to handle it. It is the collar. I've never had a top with a collar like this before, so I didn't really know what to expect from it. The collar is really heavy, and I feel like the weight is constantly pulling the top of the sweater away from my neck. It is a really odd feeling for me. It is kind of like the sweater is around my shoulders instead of on top of them. I thought it was just an odd sensation that I would have to get use to, so, I've been wearing it as often as possible to try and get comfortable with it. In the past two weeks, I've worn it three times and I can't sop pulling, readjusting, and trying to get comfortable in it. Then I went to put it on Friday, and instead of just feeling like it was falling off of my shoulders, it actually was slipping right off. (Which makes me wonder what it would be like if there were extra ease in there.) I think maybe if I soak it and reblock it that I can get the shoulders to pull back in to their original positions, but that seems like a lot to do everytime I wear it. It is outerwear, so I was hoping I wouldn't need to clean it as often as my other sweaters. Even when I do clean my other sweaters, I just lay them out to dry. I don't spend time blocking them to measurements. Since the wool is superwash, I threw the guage swatches into the washer and dryer with my delicates to see if that might be an options. The swatches came out at least a half an inch shorter in all of their measurements. They didn't felt. If I got them wet, I could stretch them back out to their original sizes, but that doesn't save me any time and a half an inch in height and width to every 4 inches would not be an acceptable change in size.

I've been thinking that if it is not a sweater I am comfortable in and I never wear it, then all of that time and effort is going to be wasted. So, I've been trying to consider the fact that it might need to be ripped out and made into something else. I've been thinking that Amused might maintain the spirit of the sweater, but being a pull over instead of a cardigan might keep the front flaps from adding the weight of the collar. I just don't know. Until I figure it out, it is going to stay in one piece. I'm going to re-block it and try to wear it as often as I can. Maybe it is something that I can get use to.

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