Sunday, March 15, 2009
My First Knitted Garment
I'm so excited to finally share this with you! Yay...I finished my first knitted garment.One exciting thing about it is that the main yarn is some chunky wool I frogged from a thrift-store sweater (it was a huge sweater with cables; I still have several balls of yarn left over!). I dyed it using eucalyptus leaves, which gave some lovely orange tones. The yarn still caries a faint whiff of eucalypt, which I love.Unfortunately, when I dyed the yarn, I overboiled it, which harshened the fiber, leaving it somewhat scratchier than it was before. I found some mohair odds-n-ends in my stash, and decided to carry along a strand of mohair with the main yarn to soften it a bit. I randomly changed colors of mohair. I'm so happy with the resultant fabric. The changing colors have a kind of water-color quality, and almost glow. Sunset. The pattern is a Floor-Length Vest from the Fall '00 issue of Vogue Knitting. The only mod. I made was to shorten it. It was a straight-forward simple knit, all in st. stitch with garter-stitch edges. Since it was my first garment, however, it all unfolded mysteriously as I knit along.I came to a snafu when it was time to sew up the side seams. Oh no...the fronts were four inches longer than the backs! How did that happen?!?!?! Arrg. Onto the floor in the ufo pile for several weeks. Finally I got to work on shortening the fronts, made slightly more complicated by the fact that the carefully knit-in pockets were right in the way. I ended up cutting off the too-long part and re-knitting the edging. Not such a big deal when I sat down and did it. Lesson learned; next time I'll work the fronts and back in one piece if possible. Left the pockets off for now. I think the garment would be more usable with pockets, but frankly, I'm kinda over working on this thing. I would like to install a two-way zipper in the front.The reason Rick is modeling the vest is because it fits him so well and looks great on his body-type. Tall and thin. Not me. As gorgeous as it turned out, it is not at all flattering on me. (nothing like trying on yer hand-knit garments for a reality-check as to body shape!) I'll likely end up selling it. One of the reasons I've been slow to take up knitting is that I can never really know how a knitted garment will fit or look on me until it's very nearly finished. So it's a ton of work to make something and then have it not work out. I suppose that as I gain more experience with my knitting, I'll have a better idea as to what styles and types of yarn will work for me. Right now I have another vest, cabled and very nearly finished, on the needles. I'm a little nervous about how it will look, but we'll see soon enough!