Saturday, February 17, 2007

Finished Sweater - Seam Free

I actually finished this a while ago and have been wearing it so much it's starting to pill already. Just soft little fuzz-pill, though, nothing horrible.

I love the simplicity of the sweater and the fact that it was knitted all of a piece (sleeves excepted of course). This is the interesting thing about knitting, and where I feel it has the most potential for elegance -- that you can shape the garment while creating the very fabric. Fabric and garment come into being together as one entity. Sewing is much more brutal. You start with a flat piece, cut it, stitch it, steam it, etc. and it finishes as a construction. Knitting is more like a shaping process.

Unlike many knitters, I actually don't mind seaming. I think my next couple of projects will be seamed. Nevertheless, this knitting, shaping, forming thing is nifty. I think short rows are the next step for me in that area and have been thinking about round items such as hoods, hats, bust darts...

Okay, here are some photos of the sweater.



The sleeves look really long here, but in fact they are the perfect length exactly. My mistake was in wet-blocking the sweater they got sort of heavy and stretched out in length as they dried on the mat. I should have realized that and scrunched them up into shape a little, but que sera and all that. I figured I didn't mind so much and would just wait until the sweater got its first washing to correct it, but actually they seem to have corrected themselves in the few days afterwards, scootching back up to rest at exactly the right place just an inch past my wristbone where I like them.



EZ is brilliant. The back decreases were totally easy and intuitive once I got to them. When I read ahead in the pattern I thought it would be much more difficult than it really was. Here is a closeup of the shoulder shaping. Also really simple.



I am already thinking about another seamless sweater in the round. I've got an interesting rust colored wool/angora/acrylic blend on hand that my mother in law gifted to me from her stash. I'm thinking of ribbing on the sleeves and bottom that pulls in just slightly, a big cable in the front, and some sort of floppy cowl neck, for a sort of 80's inspired slouchy look. We'll see if I can find the time for that one. This last semester of school is really hard!

FINISHED SPECS FOR GREEN SWEATER:
PATTERN: seamless saddle shoulder sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's KNITTING W/O TEARS and KNITTERS WORKSHOP
YARN: Plymouth Suri Merino color 687 (the perfect bottle green). 55% suri alpaca, 45% extra fine merino wool. I looove this yarn.
NEEDLES: US #8 addi turbo 24" circular for the body, and US#8 bamboo dpns for the sleeves
TIME: Started the second week in December -ish and finished approx January 15. (Lots of good knitting time over the Christmas holiday!)
MODIFICATIONS: None, really. The pattern is pretty straightforward. I did include a hem per EZ's method of picking up stitches from the bottom of the cast-on edge. This was dead easy and turned beautifully. In the future I am going to try a different method of increasing. I don't love the small holes that occur with her m1 method, even though to be honest they almost completely disappeared after blocking. I made short rows in the back twice (for 4 total add'l rows, right?) and would probably only do this once on a future sweater as the back dips down a little teensy bit too much for my preference. I made the body in a slight bell, though, decreasing by 4 total stitches at each side as I worked up to the armpits. I like the slightly swingy shape here and it came out exactly like I wanted (obsessive measuring pays off), but because the hem doesn't rest on the body I think it actually doesn't have the riding-up issue that the short rows are intended to correct - thus, a slight dip in the back. Again, because I was looking for a slight swing shape, I did not do the fake seams. I'm really glad that I made that decision, b/c the fabric has settled into a natural curve all the way around the body that I could never have artificially induced. It fits perfectly and keeps getting better the longer I wear it.

13 comments:

Jenny said...

totally gorgeous. how many balls of yarn did it take?

Lydia said...

Thank you!

Let's see. I have 3 left over (mittens!), and I was really nervous and bought 13, so I guess it took 10 balls. I could be off by one ball, but I don't think so; I think I bought 13 of them. The sweater measures approx 40" at the bust and 46" at the hip. It's around 13" from hem to armpit. -- Lydia

earthchick said...

Wow! This is really, really fabulous. The yarn looks delish and the sweater looks just gorgeous on you. Seeing all these EZ sweaters has been making me want to make one so much for awhile now, but yours has definitely inspired me!

MeBeth said...

It's lovely - it fits you so well! I'm thinking about tackling that one next.

Anonymous said...

I love the sweater! You picked a great color/pattern combination.

I'm knitting the February Baby Sweater using Suri Merino and just love it. My only concern is about how it will hold up over the long run. Have you used this yarn for other projects? If so, how have they held up?

After seeing your sweater, I'm tempted to use Suri for an adult sweater.

Lydia said...

Hello anonymous - the yarn is holding up okay so far. It is pilling, but it still looks pretty ;-) I haven't used it for anything else. I'm hoping a couple of passes with the sweater stone will take care of it...

tiennie said...

That looks fantastic on you. Glad to see that everything turned out well and that you're going to try to make another!

gforce said...

the sweater looks delovely - as do your other projects! you're well on your way to domiknitrix-hood, home slice!! :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful and fits so well! Looks like the perfect sweater to throw on all the time.

Corbett said...

Hi Lydia,

Beautiful. I just finished my seamless saddle. Well, almost. I haven't bound off, yet, cause I think the neck is a bit funny. Did you find that it was fairly straight across the front? The back of the neck is perfect. I put 6 rounds of 1x1 at the end of the back shaping and it seems to be a nice finish. This is my first sweater so I may be a bit overly concerned. Any thoughts?
-Corbett

edie said...

your sweater came out gorgeous!!! I'm going to make one! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lydia said...

Hello corbett,

I was pleased with my neck, but the shape of it is rather square. That's something I like about this sweater design is the almost modular feeling from the square shoulders and square neckline. If you mean that your neck is too high in the front, I did not have that problem. Without seeing yours, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "straight." I think Nat had some issues with her neckline on the hybrid -- maybe check that old post and/or check in with her...? Congratulations on being almost finished with a very ambitious first sweater -- I can't wait to see it on Zimmermania ;-)

filambulle said...

The simplest way to know how much yarn you used is to weight the sweater.
In the first post of your blog you say you bought 12. I am interested to know too...
I love your blog.