Friday, July 26, 2013

Scarpetta: Finished (and Fixed)

I know you're wondering...did the blocking work miracles? The short answer is: yes. :)

I thought I'd let you see the finished (and modeled) Scarpetta before it went out to the world (i.e. was entered in the fair).
I won't have a chance to wear it this week. For one it's a little warm for a wool shirt. But I also don't want to ruin the fresh blocking before the fair. (Or chance anything happening to it. I don't have a back up for this category.)

The good news is that when I tried it on, I could tell most of the problems I had with it pre-blocking had mostly disappeared.

1. The length hit just past my waist band,
and this is on a relatively low rise pants. The shirt also doesn't pull up when I raise my arms so I don't need any extra length to make up for that.

I'm really happy with how the I-cord hem is sitting. I'm half-tempted to knit or twist up a little cord to thread through the rolled hem and tie on the outside. I wouldn't really pull it any tighter, but it might be a cute detail. The rolled hem just seems to be asking for it.
Here's a more detailed look at the front and back of the rolled hem:
It's very narrow, but that suits the scale of the fabric.

2. The sleeve length was shortened since I pulled aggressively to increase the width.
They now hit the tiniest bit below my elbow. Not as good as if they were an inch higher, but I can live with it. (For now. When I made this observation to Troy, he told me to fix them. I said it would be too hard because one of them is knit from the hem up--you can't ravel that direction. But then I realized since I want to make them shorter and not longer, it wouldn't be as much work as I think. Instead of raveling from the edge, I would just have to cut the yarn and take out one row the hard way. I'm not up to it now, but maybe one day you'll see this shirt in a Fix It Friday segment!)

3. The underarm seam was stretched out enough that it no longer pulls up uncomfortably into my underarm. I still think it looks a little odd, though. You can see here just how high toward my shoulder it goes:
But on the other hand, when I was trying to take pictures, there were lots of poses that I couldn't use because it didn't show the seam off well other words, I realized, it's usually not obvious at all.

Another thing I struggled with while blocking was getting the collar to lay nicely. I first pulled it to the outside of the neck opening, but it wasn't working. When I re-examined the pattern pictures I noticed they blocked it to the inside of the neck opening.
I think that provided the maximum amount of fabric for the opening so that you could get more drapes and folds. I was worried it was going to be thick and bulky, but it blocked quite flat and I think it is fine.

I also thought that it was too small compared to what I want it to be, but I no longer think so. I don't think I would want it more open. So that is all good.

(I feel like I'm writing "Disaster averted" at every turn!)

This was a great knit. It was always an adventure since I was working with two colours and alternating every row. While working in the round, this is not a big deal. But once I was working back and forth (everything but the bottom part of the sleeves) I had to adapt everything. Because when you're alternating colours you can't knit a row, purl a row like you always do. Once you knit a row with colour A, your next colour (B) is at the "wrong" end. Fortunately, with cable needles, you can go back to the beginning of the row and knit it again with colour B to make your stripes work. Then you purl with A, then purl with B. On and on...knit, knit; purl, purl. But of course, the directions are written for knit, purl, knit, purl. This assumes you're working from a certain direction, and that the wrong or right side of the pattern is facing you on particular rows. Anyway, it keeps you on your toes, and I enjoyed it.

And I loved the colours. I mentioned that I bought the mostly-solid orange to tame the variegated brown, but the result was rather to liven it up because there wasn't a lot of orange in the variegated. It was fun to see how the colours interacted. There are small spots of a brighter greenish yellow in the brown and every time I came to it, I though "ew...that doesn't go with the orange at all." But in the overall effect, they are wonderful bright spots in the pattern of colour.

It's also funny to observe that I don't think I would ever buy a shirt in this colouring from the store. But I love to work with it...and then I get to wear it. I noticed the other day that it very much matches the Nutkin socks that I made a couple years ago. Apparently I like these colours more than I think I do.

Project Stats
: 8 May '13
Finished: 21 Jul '13
Pattern: Scarpetta by Kirsten Johnstone
Materials: madelinetosh tosh merino light, about 1.3 skeins each of 'terra' and 'stephen loves tosh' ($90)
Because I had so many issues with the fit, I measured my gauge after blocking to compare it to the given pattern gauge. (Something I never normally do.) My stitch gauge was very close: 27 sts/4" (pattern was 26). Although this is very close, if anything it would have made the length and the depth of the underarm a little shorter than prescribed.

My row gauge, on the other hand, was 44 rows/4" versus the pattern's 36! That is a big difference. This should have made my sleeves far too short (which, as I've said, they definitely are not), and affected the width of the shoulders and neckline. This is ameliorated, however, by the fact that the pattern prescribes knitting a certain number of "inches" rather than a certain number of rows. (As in most patterns, stitch gauge is more important than row gauge--not that row gauge isn't important, but usually less so.)

That's all I've got on this one. Hopefully I will enjoy wearing it. Thanks for coming along for the ride and for all of your encouraging words when things weren't going well!

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