I want desperately to be a sweater knitter. I have made a few runs at it, in fact. They have almost all turned out horribly. Don't believe me?
(Warning: The offending garments look kind of ok in the following pictures. The camera lies. Trust me.)
(I should have cut my head out of these pictures- I cannot believe that three of these have been on the internet in public for well over a year. Ay carumba. Oh well.)
Exhibit A. My Debbie Bliss Biker Jacket.
I knit this sweater and finished it a year and three months ago. And hated it. So I ripped out the zipper and tore off all the trim. I reknitted smaller, tighter, simpler, non-biker version of the trim, finished that four months ago. And I still hate it.
Problems with this Sweater:
- The yarn is completely and totally wrong for this project. See the next few bullets for examples of how this problem has manifested itself.
- The yarn a fabulously soft 50/50 wool/cotton blend, and it was FREE. The yarn drapes really well. Which is exactly the opposite of the stiff wool tweed used in the original pattern. This is supposed to be a jacket with standup collar and really bitchin biker jacket trim. Instead of standing up, my collar and waistband flopped over and draped limply- hardly biker chic.
- This fabulous drapey, non-biker fabric is horribly unsuited to zippers. The bands stretched out of shape as I carefully set in the zipper, so it never laid flat. In fact, when zipped, the cardigan poofs out like a third boob. Mmmm, sexy. Yeah. So I ripped out the zippper, which brings us to the next problem...
- I currently have no way to close this @#$@ sweater. It's not well-suited to zippers. There are no button bands in the existing trim, which was knitted AS A PART OF THE BODY. I don't know how to fix this. Ugh.
- The color is awful on me. I can't do muddy colors, beiges, tans, mid-browns. I look like death warmed over. Yeah. And the collar on this thing is a high, stand-up collar, so it puts this incredibly unflattering shade right up next to my face. Brilliant.
And yet, I can't bring myself to rip. The fit of the sweater is actually pretty good. And it's soft and comfy. Maybe I should weave in all the ends and just wear it as an open unfastenable cardigan? Ugh again.
Exhibit B. My White Cardigan.
My Mom has a sentimental soft spot for white cardigans. She still has her mother's favorite white cardigan. I thought I'd continue the tradition when I decided to make this, out of an old Rowan, with the now-discontinued Cotton Ease, which is a great yarn.
I have never worn this sweater. Why? Let me count the ways...
- It's too short through the body. AND I extended it by a good 3 inches past the pattern schematics. I HATE having my lower back exposed when I sit down. And cropped sweaters=notsogood with jeans that sit anywhere below my belly button.
- It's worsted weight, but has 3/4 sleeves. Too hot to wear in the height of summer, when white 3/4 sleeved garments might be really good, but WHITE and hence not really appropriate in the fall or winter.
- It's also a little bigger than I intended width-wise. Which just isn't all that attractive.
- The buttons are all wrong- too small. Easily fixable, now that I think about it...
- I have no idea what to wear it with. It looks rediculous with the summery dress I thought it would be perfect for, and it just doesn't seem to work.
- Looking at this picture, it doesn't look so bad. It just doesn't wear well in person.
Exhibit C. My Onde tank.
Oh, the horror! I was a pretty new knitter at the time and was sooooo excited to be taking part in such a COOL knitalong.
- I should have used one of Phildar's patterns for this yarn, and splurged on the extra couple balls it would have taken to make a fashionable-ish sweater. Instead, I trolled the internet for a free pattern that wouldn't use too much yarn. Pattern itself is ok, but totally wrong for the yarn. Do we see a pattern here???
- The fit. It's too short, and too wide. It sits just above the waist of all my bottoms, and my mid-section is not barable. Sorry. It's just not. I know it doesn't look THAT bad in this picture- I had yanked on it for half an hour before finally settling for this picture.
- My seaming is HORRENDOUS. OHMYGOD. I obviously made this before I fell madly in love with the mattress stitch. (I'm serious- I love seaming sweaters, and am pretty decent at it, this project notwithstanding.)
- I actually threw this away last summer. I had ripped it out after knitting about half of it, and reknit. The yarn did not fare well. I knew it couldn't take a reknitting, and at any rate there was no way I could undo those seams. And it looked like CRAP on me. So, it got chucked.
Exhibit D. My Pistachio Green Tank top.
Seriously- what was I thinking? Issues? You betcha.
- What is with this color? Cotton Ease. Great yarn, terrible color palette. Lesson learned.
- I cannot, I repeat, cannot do rolled hems. I like my curves, but rolled hems are not. good. with. hips.
- This top was actually long enough. Miracle! Actually, now that I look at the picture, I can see that I am HOLDING DOWN THE HEM. Ugh. Is it a roll issue or a lenght issue? Who knows?
- But the shoulders pulled in funny and always exposed le bra straps. Drove me nuts.
- I tried to give this to one of the knit night girls, and it didn't fit anyone. I can't remember if I chucked it or not, but if I didn't, I will when I find it.
A couple things I have learned from this sweater disaster retrospective:
- I need to make longer, slimmer fitting garments.
- I have a lot left to learn about matching yarns to projects, but I'm getting better at it.
- I am NOT ALLOWED to make any more worsted-weight summer garments. DUH!
And tune in next week for my one successful sweater! And maybe a follow up series of my favorite knitted projects of all time!