Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seamless Sweater Redux

I finished this sweater three and a half years ago. It never saw the outside world.

Since then has been sitting in a drawer in my closet. In the back of the drawer, I might add, squished behind other stuff so I could forget about it.


Because I hated it.

I didn't want to admit it that I hated it. What would it say for my love of the craft if I acknowledged that after spending so much time and money on this sweater I couldn't stand it?? What would it say about the zillion skeins of yarn that lay un-knit in my various yarn compartments and drawers?

I often thought about ripping it out completely. But then I'd have to face the curly, trying-to-look-normal, rewound yarn every time I opened my stash. It was all to much to fathom. So in the drawer the hated sweater stayed.

Until it hit me:

Re-engineer it! Figure out what I hated so much and make it better.

So, what didn't I like?

Other than the fact it was too big under the arms (something I knew could not be fixed), I really didn't like the button-less cardigan style that just flapped open. It reminded me of my friend's mom's famous line:

"Touches you everywhere, flatters you no where."

I didn't like the tassel-y thing that tied the top of the cardigan together.

And I didn't like that the sweater hung oddly on the body when worn. It just wasn't shaped properly.

Thankfully, the tie-thing was the last part of the sweater to be knitted, so it was a cinch to make it disappear. That and and the two or three rows of the neckline it was attached to.

To fix the hanging open problem, after re-knitting a new neckline, I seamed the front of the cardigan closed and turned it into a pullover. Because the left and right fronts on the cardigan were done in seed stitch, the seam is virtually invisible.

Then, since I was not aware of the concept of blocking when I first made this sweater, I blocked the sucker, in hopes of having it lay evenly and take the shape of an actual sweater.

Cardigan-turned-Pullover re-inventing itself

I am very happy with my re-engineered results and can admit this sweater has seen the light of day on more than one occasion. It's still a little big, but I look at that as experience in knowing how to size seamless sweaters better in the future.

In fact, I "tested" it by wearing it to work the day after it finished drying on the blocking board. No kidding, three people commented to me at different times before the clock struck Noon.

"Wow," they said.

"That's a really nice sweater. Is it new?"

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