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.
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.
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.