Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Equestrian Blazer and the Miracle (?) of Blocking

The Equestrian Blazer is done, I think. I finally sewed on the button and completed the last little seams. It looks pretty good on me, although there's a bit of extra fabric in the bust/underarm area. The pattern is from the Fall or Winter '06 Interweave Knits mag. I don't have it in front of me, so I'm not sure which. I knit two sweaters from that issue, and the one before it has the Swallowtail shawl that I want to knit, so it was a good season for IK that year.

I was skeptical that the sweater would turn out, and not require a complete reknitting of the collar edging. The pattern calls for you to pick up one stitch per row all the way around the collar. Typically, you don't pick up stitches on a vertical axis in a one-to-one ratio, because knit stitches are fatter than they are tall. A stockinette square generally has more rows than stitches, leading to gauge figures like "6 stitches and 8 rows per 4 inches." I was worried that by picking up stitches in a one-to-one ratio, I'd get a puckery collar edging. And my fears seemed to be realized, as you can see from this picture:

I decided to block it and see if that helped, rather than jumping ahead and ripping the edging out to redo it. Notice the bottom of the sweater, where the one-to-one ratio works, because you're picking up stitch-to-stitch, not stitch-to-row. After washing, I was still skeptical:

Would this work out? Would our heroine have to rip and reknit, or could she live happily ever after, with a wearable sweater? Let's see what blocking accomplished.

Looks ok. I still wasn't sure about the collar edging, but it did block out much better than I'd hoped. And, for the final test: wearing it.

Not bad. I still feel like the collar edging is a little wonky, but I can live with it. I think it's still something that can be solved with better blocking. Ripping and reknitting wouldn't really accomplish too much.

And because you've all (well, all one of you) been so patient with this post, I reward you with a goofy kitty picture:

Have a good night!

1 comment:

Scott T. said...

that is one strange cat. Nice sweater though