I swear I am cursed with sweaters. I’ve knit and finished many sweaters but have only had one or two come out somewhat wearable. I’ve improved my habits, at least I think so. I swatch. I think I choose patterns that suit me. But I have yet to have a sweater come out so awesomely that I wear it ALL the time. The closest yet is Amelia even if it’s not exactly perfect.

I have store bought sweaters that I wear all the time! What’s the deal?!

I was really looking forward to this sweater. I envisioned it to be a nice sweater coat to be worn in the super nice extended fall weather that we’ve been having. Not too loose fitting but not super tight. My gauge was a little bigger than what it called for in the pattern so I thought things would work out nicely. And it seemed like they were going to.

Once I had the fronts and back seamed together, I tried it on to make sure I liked the fit. I continued on with the collar as specified in the pattern. Tried it on again after the collar and button bands were done and blocked. The very last step was to put in the sleeves. I seamed away. Worked in all the ends. I was preparing a trip to get the perfect buttons by trying on my sweater one last time. Just to double check that everything was hunky dory. Not so much.

The sleeves. are. too. tight. The armholes dig into my armpits so badly that I had to wrestle my way out of it for like 5 min. Disaster! How could this be? My gauge is pretty much on! I went to the pattern to check the measurements on the schematic and there it was. The sleeves are designed to be the size they turned out to be which is small. Or at least small for me. I mean I may not be a 35″ bust but I didn’t think my arms were that enormous to be out of wack with the size I usually make. I’m cranky.

Yes. I should have read the measurements as laid out in the schematic. I would have realised that this would be an issue if I had. And I will definitely be more aware before picking sizes and casting on in the future. And I can fix the sweater. I can pick out the under arm seam and knit a gansey style gusset to give it some more room.

But for now the misbehaving knit is here:

in a time-out.

Until it’s thought about how it’s behaviour and is ready to apologise, I’m going to be working on a February Lady Sweater. I checked the measurements and went through several gauge swatches. So far things are looking ok. So far.

Marvelous Mattress Stitch

Last week I learned how to Mattress Stitch and now I’m in love with seaming. Other than my very first knit sweater (Ravelry link) I haven’t really knit (or completed) any projects that needed seaming. Until now.

I’ve been working on a Girl Friday and am nearing completion. After finishing the first sleeve I decided I should start putting the sweater together. A quick internet search for mattress stitch, a quick glance at the instructions and I was off seaming up the sweater back and one of the fronts. I was so stoked by the resulting seam that I stayed up late just to finish my perfect seam.

There’s something about seaming with Mattress Stitch that is just SO satisfying. Looping through all those rows of knitting and then pulling tight to line them all up perfectly. And inside the result are these nice little selvedge stitch ridges compactly lined up. Maybe it’s that seaming appeals to the perfectionist in me.

Later while working on the second side seam I read ahead in the sweater pattern and realised that the side seams are the last thing that gets done so I stopped it half done. Here’s the sweater as of Sunday morning:

I have since finished the second sleeve and am now halfway through the neck & buttonband.

I was so stoked about seaming that I pulled out my good old Cabled Eyelet Ribbed Cardigan which hasn’t seen active service since August ’08. After finishing the body and one sleeve, blocking the pieces it looked like the sleeve was too long. I planned to seam the shoulders and put in the sleeve to make sure but never got around to it. But with all the seaming fever I picked it up and got right to it. I seamed the shoulders, tried it on and put the sleeve on my arm. It was way too long. After consulting my notes, I measured where the underarm was actually supposed to be and ripped back to that point. Here’s where the sweater’s at now:

Not much more to go. So after Girl Friday’s done, I’m going to continue on and finish this cardigan too. It’s going to be like 2 cardigans for the price of one. I’m super excited. Especially with all the seaming ahead of me. Yay seams!