16 October 2012

FO: Jaina

The wool had finally dried last night, and I was able to get some shots of my completed Jaina sweater:

It's super warm and the fabric is excellent for cold weather. Unfortunately, I am kind of disappointed in the outcome. I knit the sweater small, knowing that alpaca has a tendency to grow. I blocked it out to my desired measurements as much as possible-- the sleeves fit well, but the length is still just way too short. The photo above shows the length better; it hits me right at the widest part of my hips, which is quite unflattering. 
I'm pretty disappointed that I haven't been able to get more length out of it. I think a second blocking may be in order, with a little more muscle. Although I'm not pleased with the length, I am super happy that some of the details, like the cabling on the back, came through well:
You can see the same cables on the front shoulder/yoke area:
This part of the sweater normally has gathers, but my blocking removed the majority of the drapiness. (That is totally a word, by the way. I know because I just made it up.)

The thing I like the most about the sweater is actually my modification to the collar. Instead of the double stockinette collar shown on the pattern, I went for a double ribbed collar:
I love it. Double ribbing is SO underrated, but it is a huge pain in the butt to do it... I mean, picking up collar/button band stitches takes forever, and you're essentially doubling that effort. You can pick them all up at once and attempt to divide them, or do as I did and finish the bottom collar, then pick up the top one and start again. 

I wanted to finish the sweater for Rhinebeck-- which is this Saturday- and I did. But if I were to go back afterward and make changes, I'd probably add some length onto the sweater. That would require some serious surgery- cutting the sweater above the pockets, knitting more length onto the bottom, then grafting/connecting the two pieces back together again. I'd also add some width to the collar(s), since the current sweater stays open entirely. Maybe I should just invest in a good shawl pin...
I think, overall, I really enjoyed the sweater process. The pattern was very nicely written and presented, but I'd caution anyone to possibly size up on this one, or at least really verify your gauge!

- YX

PS- We're halfway through the month on our October giveaway! Go here to enter!

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