Hence Sweater – WIP #4

 

Hence WIP Pieces
Whew!  These sleeves took forever!  I mostly knit them two at a time; the wrists and sleeve caps needed to be knit flat.  Let’s see, so far I’m at about 30 hours for the sweater body and 20 hours for the sleeves!  Now I know.  When the body is done you’re really only about half way there, at least for a long sleeved sweater.

Remember how I was alternating skeins while knitting the body?  I decided I didn’t have to do that for the sleeves. Actually  I decided knitting two at a time while alternating sleeves would be ridiculous amounts of work.  I’m not sure that was the best decision.  I had to switch skeins about three quarters of the way up the sleeves and I find it very obvious where I did that.  Hopefully, when the sweater is all sewn together it won’t be distracting!

All that’s left is seaming the shoulders, picking up and knitting the neckline, setting in the sleeves, and finally sewing on the buttons.  I’m pretty nervous about those sleeves.  I found these two links that I hope will help, wish me luck!

Hence Sweater – WIP #3

Hence WIP Body Complete

The body of my sweater is done!  I still need to knit the arms, block everything, seam everything, knit the neckline, and finally sew on the bottoms.  Maybe I’m not all that close to done after all! I am still excited because it’s starting to look like a sweater.

Some of the arms need to be done flat but the majority is worked in the round.  I’m going to try and do those portions of the arms at the same time.  I’ve also found some buttons I like but they’re a bit bigger than called for in the pattern.  Hopefully they work out.  I’m finding the button choose the hardest part of this project lately!

Hence Sweater – WIP #2

Hence WIP Body

My sweater is up to the front opening divide and I’m back to working in rows again.  Knitting in the round was definitely faster but switching between two skeins is a bit harder in rounds.  I’ve read in several places that when using hand dyed yarns you should alternate your skeins.  This avoids unintended color variations.  I think all my skeins look the same but there’s no dye lot.  Better safe than sorry when I’m putting this much time into it!

Since I started with rows it was easy to alternate the skeins.  When I moved into working rounds I just kept going without researching the best way to do this.  Of course once I was done with the rounds I found this blog post.  The tutorial would have come in useful but fortunately I alternated skeins at the side. I doubt anyone notices that it’s not perfectly seamless.

I am excited to know that alternating skeins is also a way to avoid color pooling.  That’s one of my biggest pet peeves with variegated yarns.  I’ll be keeping this in mind for any projects where color pooling must be avoided!

Hence Sweater – WIP #1

Hence WIP Closeup

I’m very excited about my next garment project the Hence  sweater pattern! Show Stopper by Leading Men Fiber Arts is nice to work with and once of the least twisty or splitty yarns I’ve used.  Both things I love! Since this yarn is a “light” fingering my swatches showed that I needed to go down two needle sizes, to a size US 3 needle.  I greatly dislike when gauge is given “after blocking” but it does make sure I’m not lazy.  I blocked my swatch and I’m glad I did.   I had perfect gauge for both stitches and rows which is unheard of!

Like with my Elle Cardigan I did a lot planning. I again used  Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog to make my alterations.  This book is quickly becoming a required stable for any sweater pattern I’ll try!  I did make quite a few changes for a better fit including:

  • Shorter total length (taken from the bottom)
  • Shorter arms
  • Extra bust shaping
  • Wider shoulder strap

The math is all worked out so hopefully the hard work is done!

My First Sweater – Waist Shaping

Waist ProgressA couple of things happened this past weekend with my sweater.  My mom let me take her old dress form, I started the neck shaping, and I was able to try on the sweater for the first time.

There is good news and bad news.  The good news is that the waist shaping itself fits quite well.  The bad news is that I was not careful enough with my gauge once the neck pattern started.  If I wear it so my waist hits the correct spot my neckline starts indecently low.  Like before my bust even starts indecently low.  If I wear it up higher so the neck fits then the waist shaping is all wrong.

I really only have two choices now.  Rip back to before the neckline starts or rip all the way back to where the  neck pattern cabling starts.  Either way I’m losing hours of work; it just depends on what I can make work.  What I should have done was work with the center two knit columns for a few extra inches while working the waist shaping before starting the neck pattern.  When the neckline was ready to start then I would have been in the correct position.  Sadly I didn’t do this.

When I was recalculating the pattern for the waist decreases I was very careful.  I calculated the number of rows to get the inches I wanted and the number of stitches to decrease across those inches.  The decreases I’m quite happy with.  The tricky part was increasing after the waist was completed.  In this pattern the waist shaping increases and the neck cable pattern start together.  I was paying so much attention trying to get the neck cables right that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t recalculated the row gauge for this section.

Waist Shaping

Besides my row gauge mess up I also tried something a little different with the increases.  If you look carefully the decreases at the bottom were done on the stitches just before the first knit rib column.  This distorted the column and pulled the stitches a bit on those rows.

When I got to the increases I wanted to try to avoid distorting the ribbing columns so I made the increases two stitches over from the first knit column.  I think next time I will just let that knit column get distorted because those increases stand out a little too much for me.

The decreases are also much more gradual than the increases.  I have a high waist so having the increases closer together did work out fitting quite well.  Unfortunately it caused those increases to stand out even more.

Overall the waist shaping went okay.  Next time I’ll look for increases that blend in better.  I followed the pattern but I think a different increase would look nicer.

Next post will be on that neckline and of course how I managed to fix it =)

First Sweater Posts:

1. My First Sweater – Measurements
2. My First Sweater – Yarn
3. My First Sweater – Gauge
4. My First Sweater – Casting On
5. My First Sweater – Waist Shaping