Thursday, March 6, 2014

Silk Stripes Pullover

I have to admit I finished my silk stripes sweater many months ago and have worn it a number of times. (I was really enjoying it but when the cold weather came, I was forced to put it away as I reached for more bulky and less open-necked, short sleeved sweaters.)

But it has been on my mind. This past weekend I decided the cold wasn't going to boss me around and wore it and managed to take some pictures!

I think last time I talked about this sweater I was finishing up the sleeves. One thing I wanted to make sure to do was treat the stripes so they wouldn't "jog" at the seam. If you're not sure what I mean, check out this great tutorial from the TECHknitting blog on how to avoid the jog.

I think I did pretty well. Here is one of the sleeves:
I had a little problem with the last two blue stripes. Here, I'll circle the worst spot:
The green line follows the "seam" or join where one
round ends and the next begins.
I think I just plain forgot to slip the stitch I was supposed to slip there in the red circle. I have no idea what's going on in the strip to the left, but the other ones all look pretty good. Since this is the sleeve seam and not under scrutiny too often, I'm not going to let those little things bother me. But it's always good to practise good technique where you can.

After finishing the sleeves, I moved on to the bottom edge. I was excited to get to one of the final stages. The pattern calls for a garter band (same as the sleeve hems and neckband), but I decided to keep the profile flat and smooth and went with a folded hem instead:
I am happy with how it turned out. I did a three-needle bind off to hem it up instead of my usual Kitchener stitch so the seam is a little more obvious. But I don't think you notice it when I'm wearing it. Or if you do, it just looks like a hem...which is what it is so no harm there.

Then it was time to seam it together. I know. I should have seamed it and then done the bottom hem. But I was so excited to get there, I did it in the wrong order. So I seamed the hem too. No biggie.

Here is the seam that I got rid of by knitting the front and back as one piece (although not in the round):
If you look carefully, you should see that the blocks of colour are not exactly off-set. One row of blue goes all the way across from one side of the pattern to the other. And one row of wheat colour, the same thing. This is a result of the clever way the designer handled the colour changes.

So my decision was: Do I seam up the other side the same way, or do I make the blocks quote-unquote perfect and off-set them? I decided to make them match the other seam. I liked that the colours "bled" across the vertical line. Let me tell you, though: it was hard. I had to undo several sections I had sewn because my fingers kept wanting to match the stripes!

Although I think the seam came out pretty well, I'm glad I was able to get rid of the second one. Naturally, I made sure this was on the back.

Then I had to seam the partial seam on the front. Because I started the pattern as written--working the back and front separately--and didn't work them as one until the underarms, I had a seam to sew on the front from the underarm up to the neck.
Can you spot it?

How about if I point it out?
It definitely would have been smoother and prettier if I knit it together instead of stitching it, but it's not too bad. (I was more worried because I forgot to decrease the two seam stitches when I started knitting across and thought it might pucker or pleat where I started the seam. But it came out alright.)

Once all the seams were done, I could do the narrow garter stitch neckband.
It's a very wide neck opening but not so wide it falls off my shoulders. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I made sure to use the elastic strand that was with the teal yarn when I did the hems and neckband to make sure they had extra support.

The front and back are identical in the pattern.
The only change I made was to move the waist and hip shaping. On the back I left it at the princess seams (where the colours change) so the garment could make room for my butt. On the front I don't like the shaping to be there so I moved some of them to the side seams. (I think I alternated each set of increases between the princess seam and the side seam.)
Over all I'm very pleased with how it came out. I love the way the two yarns work together. They both were lovely but needed help. The teal was too overwhelming on its own and the wheat was too washed out.

Project Stats
Started
: 14 Sep '13
Finished: 24 Nov '13
Pattern: Albers Pullover by Julia Farwell-Clay
Materials: 175 grams silk (~DK weight) from an Ann Taylor cardigan ($2.50) and 194 grams silk/rayon (~DK weight) from a Liz Claiborne monstrousity ($2.50)

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