In My Element

The sweater is done!!

Just in time for the 100 degrees of a South Texas summer!

Design:  Element by Kirsten Johnstone

Yarn:  Filatura di Crosa Zara Chine in Charcoal

As originally discussed in this post and revisited here, the design is actually for an A-line sweater, which would do nothing for my V-shaped figure. 

Using the schematic provided, I chose the finished size for the top of the sweater based on my actual measurements with a bit of ease added. For the bottom, I again chose the finished size that were my measurements for the waist and hips. The bottom was two sizes smaller than the top.  

As there were some decreases already written into the pattern between bottom and the arm holes, I simply compared the numbers for the smaller bottom to the numbers I needed to obtain the larger top. The first bit of math I had to do was subtract the number for the top from the numbers for the bottom to know how many stitches I needed to decrease before I reached the point where I needed to divide the front and the back at the armholes (the sweater is knit from the bottom up and in-the-round). 

The second bit of math required me to calculate how often I needed to make a decrease round, but I had 14 inches in which to do it.  I decided to make those decreases every 5th round (as set forth in the pattern), rather than space them out throughout the 14 inches. This way, the decreases were closer to the waist line; however, as I had fewer decreases than called for in the pattern (because the bottom of my sweater is significantly smaller), my decreases did not lead all the way to the arm holes.

Another modification I made was to graft the shoulders using a three-needle bind-off, instead of a kitchener graft because I think seams lead stability to a garment. The seams also let me know exactly where the top of the shoulders are to sit. (I recognize there are no side seams because it is knit-in-the-round, but sometimes ease wins out over stability.)

In addition, the last thing knit was the cowl. At the end of the cowl, the top is folded over to form the channel/casing for the drawstring tie. According to the instructions, once the last round is knit, the yarn should be broken four times the length of the circumference, threaded through a tapestry needle and the live stitches should be sewn to the round of stitches marked with a lifeline...

Yeah.  No.

Instead, I knit one round short of what was called for in the pattern. For the final round, I knit the live stitch with a stitch marked by the life line together, then bound off each stitch as I went along.  The technique is very much like a three-needle bind-off, just the third needle was nonexistent and merely marked with a lifeline. I also made sure I did so loosely, as not to pull or pucker those stitched marked by the lifeline.

Here is a close up, taken in the bright morning sun:

Lastly, instead of making an I-cord drawstring in the same yarn as the sweater, I elected to use some silk merino I had in green to make a simple twisted cord.

Overall, I am tickled with the outcome.

The yarn is soft and squishy with an excellent hand for knitting. I will be using more of it in the future, as I am quite taken with it.

The design is great with easy to follow instructions (but for the last part about sewing the live stitches to a round marked with the lifeline - no idea how to do that).

While I did not make the sweater as originally intended, the straightforward approach in which the pattern is drafted made it easy for me to modify to my needs.

In all, I would not change one thing, at least in how I knit it....  (For you, Kiyo!)

This is a remarkable statement. Usually when I finish something, while pleased with the outcome, I can usually find two or three things I wish I had done differently. In this case, gasp, it is perfect!

Next up:

Yarn: Wollmeise 100% fingering in Maus Jung, Im Jahr Der Ratte, and Herzblut (grey, charcoal, and red).

Pattern:  Paint the Town by Annie Baker

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!


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