May 3, 2014

The Sweater that Only Took a Year make.

The sweater took one year to complete, nearly to the day. Why? You say? Or, if you are a knitter, you may have maybe just a few ideas why this would be. No, it is not a complicated sweater. In fact, just the opposite.

First, the entire sweater is stockinette with 2x2 ribbed edging. In pieces. That you have to assemble. There is no colorwork and not a single stitch of any other type besides stockinette--did I mention that already? There is no shaping, and the funnel neck simply extends up from the front and back halves of the sweater. I just couldn't bring myself to keep working on it when distracted by so many other tempting and yummy things that wanted to be made. So it sat, sadly in the bottom of the knitting queue (figuratively and literally) for a very long time.

Then recently, upon picking it up again, I realized that this sweater had potential. It was something that I would probably buy if it were on a store rack. It might not even have to be on sale. It had a boxy shape (one of my personal favorite shapes for sweaters and tops) and a turtleneck. In fact, that piece was even in the name! What was I waiting for? I picked it up and took a second look. (Okay, a 55nd look...)

This sweater, from The Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Knits, is called "A Tempting Turtleneck." It is a curious, and really, to be fair, interesting combination of techniques. For the person looking for a first sweater pattern, this may be for you as it truly does not have any shaping and is really straightforward construction-wise.

And though I am joking about stockinette, let's face it: when it is done right and in the correct yarn, it is very nice indeed. It looks nice on just about everyone as far as a fabric goes. And in this case, you have absolute control over the length of the body of the sweater and the arms. (My arms are extra freakishly long, according to off-the-rack clothing.)

The challenging parts of the sweater include seaming and the construction of the turtleneck.

Yes, I said it has no shaping, and it is knitted straight up from the front and back, then the two pieces are seamed together at the shoulders and continued up said neck to the end. Wait a minute, you say, If I seam the turtleneck right up the sides, that creates a seam selvage on the inside. If I turn down the turtleneck (which you are "supposed" to do), the seams will show.

My solution to this was to seam the shoulders together, NOT break the yarn, poke the needle into the inside of the turtleneck and seam it from the "inside," the part you see when turning the collar down. That way, the seams were formed on the "outside" of the collar as it is seen when it is unfolded.

I like how it turned out, and when the sweater is worn, collar turned down and all, the seams are not seen.
The sweater was knitted in Marble Chunky by James C. Brett. Here it
is at WEBS yarn store, I bought mine at Craft Warehouse locally
on sale.
And since I have been wanting to become more proficient at seaming, I used very light purple yarn, sport weight, on the chunky weight sweater. I thought it might be a good way to reveal any seaming issues. But to be honest, I would do it again as it was very easy to see and actually made the whole process easier.

The Yarn Girls, in their books, say that, in theory, you should be able to seam a sweater in highly contrasting yarn and, in theory the yarn should be invisible to the observer.

This experience showed me the theory is sound; it played out just fine in real life. Now...if only we could try that with wormholes....

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