Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aran Angst

Bertha was kind enough to model the Aran-in-progress for me this morning. As you can see, the back and both fronts are done and sewn together. As you can probably also see, it is running a bit small.

It will still fit--I think--thanks to this:

That's a whole lot of ribbing, and fortunately, it's very stretchy. I've tried this on, and it will seems like it will close, but it's going to be a lot more fitted than I intended.

Other than the sizing, I'm really happy with the way it's turning out. I've planned all along to close this with a zipper, but I am debating whether I should add some sort of zipper band to give it a little extra width across the front. I think the fronts turned out about an inch narrower than they should have. It's surprisingly difficult to get an accurate gauge measurement over a cabled surface until it is finished and sewn up and blocked (I steam blocked these pieces before sewing them together). In fact, it's not all that easy to get an accurate measurement even after it's all sewn up, which is why I only think the fronts are somewhat narrow, and I'm not sure that I need a zipper band.

That little gap on the side seam is deliberate. It occurred to me as I was sewing that on-seam pockets would be nice. I love to wear sweaters, but it's a pain not to have pockets. This sweater is sturdy enough to handle pockets, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

To keep the pockets from gaping open and ruining the lines, I will insert zippers to close them. At least this is my plan. If it turns out to be too much trouble, I can always forget the pockets and sew up the seams.

Now I just have to work out the sleeves. The pattern calls for bottom-up sleeves, knitted flat and sewn in. This sounds like a lot of trouble to me, and ribbed sleeves are notoriously difficult to sew into the armhole neatly, so I decided to pick up and knit down, shaping the sleeve cap with short rows. This means no sewing, and I can get the sleeves exactly the right length. But it also means I have to figure out the short rows for the shoulder, and I do not excel at this. Actually, I'm kind of wishing I had another project on the needles so that I could avoid thinking about it for a while. But I don't, so if you hear swearing and whining from the lower left corner of the country tonight, you'll know I'm knitting.

17 comments:

Tracy said...

My fingers are trembling and I can barely type that it is that gorgeous. WOW

kmkat said...

That is an ambitious project, but I have a lot of confidence in you. You will figure it out. So far the sweater is stunning! The pockets are a great idea, too; I think Obama should pass a law requiring pockets in all women's garments :-)

joylee56 said...

I really want to hear how this goes for you. I’m doing a cable sweater for hubby that called for that pick up and knit down method and when my mind boggled at how to add short rows (well, that and my knit in the round gauge is very different than my flat and I couldn’t figure out how to compensate) I basically said s***w that and am now trying to adapt Elizabeth Zimmerman’s fake set in sleeves to the pattern.

And an all over cable pattern was probably not the best project to attempt my first redesign of a sweater on. It’s not as easy as you make it look.

Kim said...

So beautiful!!!! Holy crap! It's like a special religious garment that only the Pope-ette of Knitting can wear on high holy knitting days! Thank goodness for stretchy ribbing. I would add a zipper band of some sort to make closure easier.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Love the pockets concept, go for it!

Lisa said...

This is a lovely sweater. I think it's a good idea to pick up and knit the sleeves, but there's no way I could advise you on it - good luck!

Renee said...

It's gorgeous! Zippering the pockets is a super idea. That back ribbing will have a lot of give, you should be good with the fit. Can't wait to see it finished. :)

Tammy said...

Wow! Very impressive! You are a knitting speed demon, that's for sure.

Tonia said...

Great sweater- I'm a sucker for cables. I am in the market for a dress form- what brand is yours? and do you like it?

trek said...

Are you telling me that I need to rethink my choice of size when I cast on?

We need to talk measurements. Shoot me an email?

Kerry said...

Stunning!

Fibra Artysta said...

I am blown away by how beautiful this is - its stunning! I like the idea of the zipper as a closure, I think it will suit it very well.

You are an awesome knitter!!!

Haley said...

i am so glad you are making this sweater because i want to make one too and i have the same thoughts/issues you have--i also want to do a zipper and i also want to construct the sleeves without having to do all the seaming--so thanks for figuring it all out for me. i hope to benefit from your experience. THANKS!

sophanne said...

That looks amazing.

I'll do some swearing in the upper east part of the country to balance it out.

Walden said...

It looks very nice. I can't wait to see it done and one you . . . this is definitely looking like something work knitting.

Lydee said...

it looks good and so does bertha!

CatBookMom said...

Beautiful, beautiful cables!

I can relate to the um gap-osis in size. I finally seamed the Ribby Cardi that I knitted and blocked 2 years ago, and thankfully there's a lot of ribbing under the arms. I could not find a 2-way zipper short enough for me, so I widened the front bands and will use buttons. But I'm going to try steam blocking it a bit to see if I can reduce the form-fitting look.

PS - my verification word is 'nookis'. Sometimes these words crack me up.