Friday, April 24, 2009

When knitting goes bad

I'd like to introduce you to one of my knitting failures: the Prosperous Hyacinth tank top.

I started this pattern, "The Prosperous Plum Tank" by Joanna Cohen at the end of February this year, and it took me three attempts at the picot edging before I got it right.  This aught to have been the first warning.

The pattern itself wasn't so bad, mostly it was just two charts although you had to keep an eye on increasing and decreasing for it to fit.  Now I'm usually a bit warey when a pattern is intended to be fitted, as I'm a pretty old-fashioned shape - small and skinny, but curvey up top.  I find with a lot of modern sizing that even the extra small sizes are still quite baggy and in future I'll be resizing a lot of the knitwear I make for myself.  This leads me to the second big red warning sign - four whole inches of negative ease,  when I'm already knitting the second to smallest size, and (as i realised later) using a stretchier yarn than they recommended!  Needless to say although I thought I could wing it with the next size down, I can infact fit two, or maybe even three of myself inside the finished garment.

The pattern called for a DoubleKnit 100% cotton yarn.  I substituted for Sirdar Denim Tweed in "Hyacinth" (hence why I renamed it) which is a 60% acrylic, 25% cotton, 15% wool mix, somewhat stretchier than intended.  It was a bargain - almost half price when i bought it (as it was discontinued) and I loved the colours IN THE BALL.  As you can see it knits up in a cammoflage pattern suitable only after an extended session on acid.

I knew this was going to be one of those projects that I was never going to be entirely happy with, but at the time it was just good enough to live with.  But then i cast off.  What really made me mad about this top was that I'd measured the straps, measured myself, held it up against myself at various stages, and allowed for that fact that due to the weight of the rest of the garment the straps would stretch, so i subtracted a few inches to be on the safe side.  After all this, i tried it on and it didn't even cover my chest, I was mortified.  The sizing too is all wrong, the chest increases are too numerous and start in completely the wrong place.  Add to this the stretchy yarn and you'll see why it's now sat under a pile of washing, still the crochet needle stuck out of a  half-hearted and messy crocheted edging.

I guess the lesson for today is that no matter how many wonderfully complicated and correctly sized things  fly off your needles, there will always be one to bring you back down to earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment