Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Finally a FLAK

Zooooommmmm!!! That's the sound of my upload of pictures now that I have DSL!

A bit of history on this project. FLAK stands for Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong, and it was a yahoo group hosted by Janet Szabo. The knitalong was in 2005 and I had decided to do a sweater for hubby. It was to be a surprise, so when we started out with the measuring bits, I used one of his sweaters in the drawer. We started knitting with a swatch of course. Then the actual starting point of the sweater was the saddles. I remember feeling so in control, back when I was just working on that tiny bit of knitting!

Soon we were picking up stiches for the back, and zooming along with the cabling. It was a good challenge, it was interesting knitting, and as long as I only knit in the winter, the wool felt wonderful as I knit.

Then it was flipped over and the same repeated on the front, working the neck line, and downward. More of the same, fun knitting. Remember, I am knitting on straights, so I have pieces of the sweater, joined at the top but not the sides. I knit each sleeve by picking up stitches along the shoulder and knitting downward, again on straight needles.

By now, the project was long past the date that it was to be a surprise present. I had the two sleeves down to where I had hoped to start the ribbing. Although I had not sewn anything together, I decided it was time to actually have hubby put the thing on.

And discovered it was too small, especially to wear over a shirt. When he asked me how I had gotten the measurements, I showed him the sweater in his drawer I had used and he informed me he hadn't worn that one for years.


So many months ago I wrote a post on here about just how I planned to increase the size on the sweater without ripping out anything I had already done. Instead of sewing the side seams together, I knit them together, along with a strip of additional moss pattern, adding about 1.5 inches to each side. It's certainly not a 'pretty' solution, it is an obvious join along the side of the sweater. But it's within the character of the pattern, since moss stitch is used between the cable stitches.

Oh and for the record, men have arms much longer than evolution says they should have. I knit on those two sleeves _forever_! The original stopping point came to about his elbows and the sleeve was too tight to be comfortable. So I continued the idea of a strip of moss stitches right on under the armhole and down the sleeve. Made it seem more intentional. Once I got the sleeve joined but still only to the elbow, I then put the sleeve on a circular needle and continued on forever (or so it seemed) until I could do some ribbing.

Final work included the ribbing around the neckline, and at the bottom. Here is a knitting mystery. The ribbing on the neck and sleeves are done with the same size needle as the bottom ribbing of the body of the sweater. Yet I got ruffling on the body of the sweater, and a nice tight ribbing on the sleeve and neckline. I used a needle size smaller than the body of the sweater. The only explanation I have for it is that the bottom ribbing was stretched more as I worked on it. I am not happy with the way the bottom ribbing looks, but I do like the rest of the sweater. It has not been washed yet, and I am hoping that even though I plan to hand wash it gently, that I can add a bit more force to the sudsing of the ribbing and help it draw in some. That may not happen, and I will let it be a live and learn lesson. I do not plan to take that ribbing out, unless hubby mentions that he doesn't like it either, and will not wear the sweater because of it.

I promise I will never ever make another sweater for hubby, but somehow I bet I do not keep that promise! Sometime in the future, there will be another knitalong that I will just have to join.


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