Monday Project Report – Chris’s Baseball Jersey Sweater – Ugh

As great as I felt about how Chip’s sweater came out is as bad as I feel about how Chris’s sweater came out – and it’s NOT MY FAULT!!!  I did what I could to save this one, but, well, here’s what happened.

First, I let Chris pick out the sweater he wanted.  I showed him the patterns I have for wonderful Aran sweaters, but I know him – that’s not his style.  So I picked up the book “Knits Men Want” and showed it to him.  He loved the sweater on the cover – and wanted that sweater in those colors and in that yarn.

Easy – the author listed the yarn and the colors with the pattern so all I had to do was buy it – except that it was a discontinued yarn.  Note to self – if a yarn is discontinued there is probably a reason why.  Second note to self – if it is a Berroco yarn, think twice because I haven’t been happy with any of their yarns to this point.

This sweater used Berroco’s Pure Merino yarn.  Now, I love the feel of this yarn as you are working with it.  It feels so soft and cushy as it passes through your hands, but it unwinds easily and this lack of twist translates to a lack of body or structure to the finished product.  I will say that, as I was knitting each part, everything seemed fine.  It was not until I wet blocked the sweater sections that the impact of the choice of this yarn hit me.  See my blog post dated February 20, 2012 where I showed you how each section stretched WAAAAAAAAAYYYY out of shape.

You know the concern – as this sweater is worn will it hold its shape?  I have very little faith that this yarn will hold its shape through a day much less years.

Then was the pattern.  Sigh.  Everybody complained about setting in the sleeves in the Ravelry group for this book, but the author kept posting that there was nothing wrong with the pattern, that it would set in just fine, and posted pictures to show how to do it.

He lied.

First, the way he wrote the pattern for shaping the saddle was written assuming you were knitting the left sleeve – except that he said that it was for the right sleeve.  I posted to him what I thought I should be knitting.

The instructions for the Shape Saddle for the Right Sleeve should read
Row 1 P1, p2tog, purl to end.
Row 2, Knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, k1
alternate these two rows until you have 2 stitches remaining
BO remaining 2 sts.

The author told me I was correct.

However, none of it mattered because I ended up having to rip out the saddle shaping on both sleeves because the result was that the end point of the sleeves was so long that they touched in the center back of the sweater – again, not what the pattern was supposed to do.  It was supposed to look like this:

So to get the back to look similar I had to completely rip out the saddle shaping and then fit in the shoulders.  Here is what I ended up with on the finished sweater.

I hate it.

Here is the finished project.

You can see that it already looks too big for him – and I made the smallest size in the book.  I think that this is the fault of the yarn and its inability to maintain its shape.  Sigh.

So I told Chris that I won’t feel bad if he never wears it.  I will make him another sweater – a different pattern – with a better yarn.  I also will never use a pattern written by Bruce Weinstein again.

I guess I was due for an “Ugh” project.  I just wish it wasn’t Chris’s project that turned out that way.  Now I am finishing up a vest for me that I am knitting – with Berroco’s Pure Merino yarn using a Berroco pattern.  Sigh.  I am not really hopeful but at least I won’t care too much if it stretches out – I will just wear it at home as an extra layer.  Hopefully I will have something to show you on that project next week.

I will leave you with a picture of my “pitcher” – Markus.  Have a great day.

About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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9 Responses to Monday Project Report – Chris’s Baseball Jersey Sweater – Ugh

  1. Danielle says:

    I know you hate it, and I know what that stupid sweater put you through….but it really does look good on Chris in that picture. Tell him to only ever wear it in 10 minute intervals…hopefully it will never get dirty and you won’t have to wash it and block it and watch it grow, grow….grow.

    • Shelly R. says:

      You are soooooo funny Sis. 🙂 I will tell him that you said to wear it in 10 minute intervals and he will laugh too. 😀 What stinks is that I bought enough yarn to make a second sweater for Chip – just switching the color blocking – NOW what do I do with it. I think I will just post if for trade or sale on Ravelry. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. 😦

  2. I thought it was just me. Following Bruce’s directions, I was getting the wrong amount of stitches at certain points and then when I shaped the saddle, I had the same problem that you did. Now I feel like I just wasted a couple of weeks and am completely discouraged about finishing this sweater. Are there any mistakes in the directions for the front and back? I think his addition is off. For my size and guage he says to cast on 114 stitches. The first increase brings it to 118. The first bind off brings it to 109 followed by a second bind of to 100. Then there should be 3 decreases (six stitches) which brings me to 94. Then 5 sets of decreases to bring me to 84. But his directions says I should be at 82. Even were I at 82, the next decreases total 14 stitches which he says should leave me with 64 stitches, but 82 minus 14 is 68 not 64. And I’m not at 82, I’m at 84. And so on. Didn’t anyone check the patterns before the book was published?

  3. Thanks to your directions I fixed my saddles. And I’m happy to report that I just basted a sleeve to the front and the sweater is going to fit perfectly.

    • Shelly R. says:

      Yaaaaay!! I am so glad you were able to fix the saddle issue. I can’t believe that more folks have not complained about how poorly these patterns were written and I agree – I don’t think anyone properly edited or test knit these patterns. Now that book sits on my shelf waiting for me to get up enough gumption to actually throw it out. (It is sooooo hard to actually throw out a book). I can’t give it away because I don’t want anyone else to go through this frustration and have to constantly be correcting his patterns. When I saw he came out with a new book I was in shock. I think we need some new good menswear designers in this field to get out there and start publishing GOOD patterns. There are alot of us that like to knit menswear. Stephen West is doing good work – but his look is a little too urban for my boys. Sigh. Glad I was able to at least give you moral support for our mutual indignation. 😀

      • Sanford Schimel says:

        The new book is from a different publisher and appears to have been edited better. I’m knitting the funnel neck raglan sleeve from Boyfriend Sweaters and there don’t appear to be any mistakes

  4. I’m having the worse time, too! I also had difficulty with the front and back–ending up with too many stitches, etc. I don’t know how to put in the sleeves. Did you happen to take any pictures of what you did?

    • Shelly R. says:

      Sorry Karen, I looked through my photos and did not find any pictures of how I fit in the sleeves. I did this sweater three years ago so I don’t remember exactly how I did it. If anything comes to mind I will definitely let you know.

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