Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Buck-Fifty's worth on the Dollar and a Half cardigan!

I have completed the BACK, FRONTS, and SLEEVES (sleeves shown at left) All pieces been blocked, and the shoulders are seamed. I am just waiting for the sleeves to become bone dry. Phew. That said...I feel like a road-weary warrior. This sweater has been an indescribable pain...starting with that puckery/puffy/bulging thing that occurs within the rev st st "stripe". But I FOUND A REMEDY! You have to decrease your needle size by TWO SIZES when knitting the 12-row rev st st stripe...and you need to size down on the last row (12th row is a pattern row 7) of the "lace stripe"! If you do this, you will have virtually no pucker/puff/bulge issues!! FYI: For those of you who are "masters of blocking": this pucker/puff/bulge WILL NOT disappear even with your most agressive blocking techniques. A bit of rippling will remain.

I have a personal knitting website www.knittedartwork.com on which I have dedicated a full page to this nightmare of a pattern. Photos included. I have knit hundreds of cardigans and pullovers in my 36 years of knitting...and I will say, this was the most un-fun, annoying pattern I have ever had the displeasure of knitting. I have never frogged and re-knit any garment so many times! BUT, I was invested in it...TIME AND MONEY...and I was determined to get it right. Yes, I am a little OCD. I used a 50/50 angora-wool blend...CASCADE Cloud 9...$$$$$....so...I could not scrap the thing! Somedays, I just put it aside in defeat... and began again the next day. (I knit 8 hours per day, M-F...so for me to leave a project for a day is really putting it into "time out"!) Everyday I considered "divorcing" it! I also had to shorten the sleeves...grrr...so this also presented a "math challenge". also: one sleeve is the "stripes", the other sleeve is cable&lace like the Right Front. The "striped sleeves" are not as flattering on the arm as I had hoped, hence, the with the two sleeves being different like the two fronts...the WIDE LINE effect is broken up. The little gal in the model sweater would look great in a flour sack! Not yours truly.

Of course, as you all know, the model sweater (photo) places the lace & cable on the RIGHT FRONT...but the directions have it placed as a LEFT FRONT...so if you want your sweater to look like the model...you have to reverse the shapings. Grrr. I emailed Interweave Knits...they responded that corrections have now been made, and will be posted on the CORRECTIONS page on their website. Visit www.interweaveknits.com and click on BACK ISSUES>Corrections. The Corrections for Spring 2007 issue were not yet listed as of yesterday. Perhaps sooner than later? Keep checking back. I am curious to see if they address the BIGGER ISSUE of the puckering and bulging that occurs within the rev st st "stripe"! A fellow knitter is doing the sweater in the yarn recommended and shown on the model sweater...and she also had to use a smaller needle for the rev st st...TWO SIZES smaller just like me!
So, the bulge is not an issue that just ocurrs if a substitute yarn is used! (THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE is not supposed to be a knitting problem, is it?) We have a Knit-Along for this Buck-Fifty cardigan at the www.knittinghelp.com Forum, the "Dollar and a Half" is found in Knit-Alongs category. You might find it a little helpful, too. I found this Knit-Along in a Post that one of our KH Forum knitalong sisters made! Well, that is it for now. I will be posting new photos of my Buck-Fifty...after it is finally finished. (Buttonbands, buttons, side & sleeve seaming)

PS: I did a mock-seaming before blocking those sleeves: seamed the shoulders...and seamed in one sleeve and did a "try-on" for sleeve length, armhole "fit"...it looked pretty good! But, that said... If I could do it over....I wouldn't even start. I like a challenge...but this was a war.

I think the pattern was very poorly written, and the "mystery directions" were very unkind.
So much was left "up in the air"... So much is "unsaid"...surely the designer had to address pucker issues like the rest of us! Why didn't she say so?

I loved the "design"...but not enough to do it again. Would not recommend this pattern to anyone, newbie nor veteran knitter. I still "toy" with the idea of frogging the armhole shapings AGAIN...but then I regain my senses. :-) Leave well enough alone!

Well, by for now! Happy Knitting! Yeah, right.


Margaret said...

Tell us what you REALLY think, ArtLady! I am in agreement with you, this is turning out to be a problem pattern for me. I was hoping you were going to tell me the puffiness blocked out. I wonder how they got the picture in the mag to look so nice?

Artlady said...

I think they used a needle two sizes smaller for the rev st st. They failed to tell us about it.
My Dollar knitting buddy from the other forum...she is using the yarn called for...and fortuntely for her...she is using a 7 for the lace and a 5 for the rev st st and her garment is turning out BEAUTIFUL. No puffiness or bulging at all. The pattern was clearly remiss in more ways than one. Sigh.

Traci said...

Thank you so much for this recap. I'm a relative newbie and was thinking of making this my first sweater...good to know that it would NOT be a good choice! I love it, and will keep it in my file for one day (remembering, of course, the needle change)...but will tackle something a little less likely to make me rip my hair out for my first sweater!

kiki said...

but don´t you think it depends on the used yarn? i´m knitting with 100% cotton and the gauge was perfect flat after blogging.

Artlady said...

Yes, I definitely think the yarn used will affect its performance! However, up til now, I haven't heard of one Dollar knitter that had no bulging issues! A fellow Dollar knitter is actually using the yarn recommended in the pattern...and she too had to size down her needle 2 sizes for the rev st st. And, will have to block it a little.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the cotton! Good to know! I thought maybe a cable cotton would work better than the yarn I chose. A good sturdy cable cotton by Elsebeth Lavold really defines the stitches of any complex patterning. But, I wanted red angora...so I paid for it in more ways than one!

My Dollar is all seamed now! I put it down for a final shot of blocking...the buttonbands and the armhole seaming. I did a try-on first...and it actually fits PERFECTLY on me. I can't believe that something went right! Someone pinch me! Will post a photo of it when the buttons are sewn on.

Veronik said...

I'm sorry you feel the pattern is poorly written, but please let me address a couple of things:

-the sample was knit by two of us. I contracted out the back and sleeves, which were knit to the armhole shaping by another knitter. I completed these myself and knit the fronts. Both of us used the same needle throughout. It did bulge but flattened out during blocking. It did not become completely flat, but I did not intend for it to be as such.

-All the patterns I design are sized for a 5'6" figure, in keeping with ready to wear and sewing patterns standards. Further more,these sleeves were long because the cuffs are meant to hit past the wrist bone and be turned back. I apologize the the finishing instructions did not include the directive for this.

-Lastly, the reversed directions for the fronts is entirely my fault. The pattern was proofed by IK, but we are human and errors happen.

Once again, I am sorry. I feel terrible that you've had such a hard time with this pattern.

Deirdre said...

Veronik, I just wanted to say I had no problems at all with this sweater! I'm just finishing up the button band, and have loved knitting this sweater. It's been a long time since I've been so addicted to a piece of knitting.

FWIW, I used the same needle size throughout (size 6). I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, and after a proper blocking, there is really no puffiness or blocking. Artlady, I'm surprised you had puffiness problems even after blocking - I usually find with animal fibers that a good blocking solves many problems. But then again, when I block, I don't just mist the pieces, I soak and wash them. It really gets all the kinks out of the pieces and evens them out much more than spritzing.