Friday, March 8, 2019

FMM - FO Friday: Ravenclaw Sweater

Today's FO is a sweater that I made for Allie.  I saw the pattern shortly before Thanksgiving and really liked it, and the yarn that the designer used was a new acrylic bulky-weight yarn from Lion Brand called Color Made Easy.  I don't normally use acrylic yarn - I love more of the hand-dyed yarns, which are beautiful but expensive.  To buy a sweater's worth of yarn can easily run you close to $150, and while I love the process of knitting and enjoy beautiful yarn, I don't have the budget to knit that kind of sweater very often.  So, I showed Allie the sweater online, we found yarn in colors that she liked, and I set out to knit her a sweater!  Sounds simple, right?  Well, there's a bit of a story that goes along with this project - but then, isn't there always?
Here's the yarn - I liked it a lot, and that's saying something because I am a self-admitted yarn snob.  I was able to buy this yarn on sale; I needed a total of five skeins and the entire cost was $30.  Just for reference, the Madelinetosh yarn I love to knit with is $24 per skein.  I usually buy it on sale, but still, it's never $6 a skein.

The actual knitting of the sweater went very well - with bulky yarn I used large needles, and except for the ribbing around the bottom and the cuffs, it was entirely garter stitch, which is super easy.  I'd hoped to finish it by the time Allie came home for Christmas so I could make sure it fit and make any adjustments if necessary, but I had to set it aside for a few weeks to finish my Christmas gift knitting.  Finally, in late January, I had all of the pieces finished:
From left to right:  arm, front panel, back panel, front panel, arm.

All that remained was the seaming and to put an edge around the front panels and the neck.  Simple, no?  Well, no would be correct.  As much as I can knit, my brain just has an issue with sewing.  I watched several YouTube videos on how to seam a knitted item and I began.  I used the mattress stitch which was a pretty technique.  I seamed one of the front panels onto the back panel, pulled the top and bottom strings of yarn that I'd sewn it with to close up the mattress stitch...and somehow I'd gotten it on backward.  Right side of one panel seamed to the wrong side of the other panel.  You might think, well, that was an honest mistake but throughout the pattern it was noted to be sure and seam the wrong sides together.  What a ding dong move!  So I pulled it apart and began again.  And somehow I couldn't get the mattress stitch, which I'd just done, to work properly.  Fine, fine.  I know enough to know when to set something aside for another day when my brain is less muddled. 

A few days later I got one of the front panels seamed correctly to the back panel.  Then I decided to get a sleeve seamed up so I could attach it to the side of the sweater that I'd just sewn together.  That went decently well, but I had to stop for the day.  The next day I picked up the sweater and seamed the other front panel on.  Backwards.  I mean SERIOUSLY.  How in the world is that possible??  Undid it, got it done correctly, then I sewed up the other sleeve and attached it.  NOW I was cooking!  I picked up the stitches all along the front panel, along the back of the neck, and back down the other front panel, and then knit on the edging in gray.  It looked cute and all that was left to do was to weave in the ends, yippee!  I started doing that, and got down to the second sleeve that I'd sewn on and realized it was inside out.  WHAT. THE. HECK.  Now, in my defense - well, basically I'm an idiot when it comes to logic and sewing - but besides that, with the mattress stitch and seaming two sides of garter together, it could go either way and you wouldn't notice right side from inside...except that I had used a different color - gray - for the ribbing, and that's where you could tell.

I was not about to undo the seaming of the sleeve to the sweater and then the sleeve.  I've read enough knitting blogs to know that it's a common thing to MacGyver a project, so I decided to remove the gray cuff and redo that so it would match the other sleeve.  And that's what I did.  And guess what?  It still doesn't match, but it's close enough so I'm good with that.  I am a perfectionist when it comes to my knitting, but I'm also a realist, and if I wanted to get this sweater to Allie so she could wear it this winter, I was going to have to accept the flaw.  Besides, that makes it look like a handknit sweater instead of something store bought, right?
Here's the finished sweater.  Don't look too closely at the cuffs!  I probably should have made the edging along the front a little wider, just to cover the blue a little better, but hey, one of the fun things about knitting is learning from one project and applying that knowledge to the next one.  Pattern is The Downtown Cardigan, yarn is Lion Brand Color Made Easy in Huckleberry and Basalt.

This is meant to be a chunky comfy sweater, and although I made it according to Allie's measurements and the pattern's sizing, it could have been a touch bigger to achieve that look.  Still, it fits Allie, she likes it, and I'm happy:
Wearing her Ravenclaw shirt to go with the sweater, of course!
 
Cute, but she looks pretty cute in just about everything, so it wasn't a stretch with this sweater.

So, there's my tale of this sweater.  I have yarn to make one for me, but so far I haven't been able to bring myself to begin, knowing of the seaming ordeal that lies ahead.  And now you know why I knit so many hats and socks...no seaming!

Have a great weekend!

22 comments:

  1. OMG it looks amazing on Allie! What a great color and style for her!

    You must have been losing it with all the backwards and inside out mistakes. GAH!!!!!! Way to power through and still get it done. And you totally can't tell the cuff is different. Beautiful work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect if this sweater had not been for someone else, I might have just stuffed it into a bag after the second time of seaming it backward, LOL.

      Delete
  2. Great job on the sweater! Reading this makes me know why I love knitting easy baby blankets. I will go look at the pattern everyone needs a "comfy" sweater to wear even here in Florida.

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aren't you proud? You knit a whole sweater!! And with it being garter stitch, I can see how easy it would be to sew things together the wrong way. You are getting me in the mood to knit a sweater myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am more proud as I get some distance from when I finished it to now...it's easy to get down on myself about the mistakes, but hey, this was a big project for me.

      Delete
  4. I think the sweater looks great on her!
    The few times I've tried to sew, I almost always sewed something on backwards. I made a skirt and top for my daughter when she was little, and it was so ridiculously crooked and sad! Bless her heart for wearing it a few times. I know the basics, but I am a terrible seamstress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is bad at sewing. My mother and grandmother could sew like pros but that skill missed me completely.

      Delete
  5. Fantastic! You do big, hard, beautiful things. I can crochet a chain stitch bwahahahahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And fwiw, I have a hell of a time crocheting a chain stitch, which occasionally I need to do when I knit a provisional cast on.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful sweater! Of course, to a non-knitter, it looks like magic occurred, so thanks for the blow-by-blow of all the gritty hard work that really took place :-) Even though you might have wanted it bigger, the fit on that sweater is perfect for Ally. I'm a stickler for sleeves that aren't long enough and those hit just the right spot - good job, Shelley!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably made it harder than it had to be...story of my life!

      Delete
  7. Can you convert it to seamless or mostly seamless? You would knit the sleeves in the round and then have to sew them in, and the body would be knitting front panel/back panel/front panel. If it's from the bottom up you could do that up to dividing for the sleeves. There are some on-line tutorials that would help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wondered about doing that - it's knit from the bottom up, so it might be a little tricky, but probably not as tricky as seaming it all together, LOL!

      Delete
  8. This looks really good! How lucky Allie is to have a Momma that can make her designer sweaters!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Adorable sweater! When you DO jump into making yours, remember to read this post when it’s time for the seaming...to avoid the mistakes!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love it! Honestly, I don't really see anything with the cuffs, but then I don't know exactly what the issue is, so there you go :D We were out shopping yesterday and I was window shopping in a yarn store and thought of you. There were some pretty rainbow yarns and I was thinking I should commission you for those socks after all LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's super cute. Difficulties and all.
    Good job sticking with it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You can make it for me and anything.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and read each and every comment! Comments on older posts are moderated, so they won't show up right away - sorry to my real readers, but spammers love to hit old posts, so this is necessary.