Monday, March 26, 2012

Thursday's Sweater

Actually, this was two Thursdays ago...

PS3 by rehatcher

Another of the sweaters I think of as problematic. Although I probably shouldn't say that, with the pattern for sale just pixels away. But I don't think my issues are the sweater per se: it's not it, it's me.

PS3 by rehatcher

I really like the fit of the sweater, and I think the cuffs and front bands are really great. It's not visible, but they are really luxurious--deep, fold-over hems, with the outside portion in seed stitch, which makes them seem even more cushy in comparison to the rest of the sweater (knit in stockinette).

But, I tend to fidget with my clothes, which doesn't mix well with wrap sweaters. I have a purchased wrap sweater which I only wore because I felt bad that I didn't wear it--until I removed the ties and started wearing it open, and discovered that it's less hassle that way.

The same thing happened here--this used to button, but the button was too heavy for the fabric, so I removed it, and tried an i-cord belt, regular belt, and shawl pin (not all at once). All three were better than the button, but still hard to keep in place. I think this is the first time I've worn it sans closure (you can still see the button loop on the inner front), and I think it may be the answer.

Also: look! I cut my hair.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday's Sweater

This sweater (my own design, and my own handspun) began life as a scarf.

PS2 by rehatcher

Which wouldn't be particularly impressive or unusual (yarn changes its mind about what it wants to be all the time), except that the scarf is still there, as the collar.

PS2 by rehatcher

I knit a scarf, then knit the upper center back out from one edge to form a T. Then the sleeves and sides of the upper body out to the cuffs, then picked up all around the bottom edge to knit the lower body.

I tried pinning it closed for a while, then I tried actually sewing the lower front closed (from a little bit above my hand to the hem, in the lower picture). I wore it that way once, but ripped out the sewing yesterday morning in the gym locker room. I have become that crazy person at the gym, by the way--the other morning I did yoga off to the side of the indoor track--and ripping out a small seam in the locker room is only another sign.

In other news, I'm just about done with a pair of socks, have rediscovered the difficulty of knitting kidsilk haze-style yarns without looking thanks to Malin, and developed a puncture wound on my fingertip over the weekend from knitting too much. My Malin is going to be brown, not surprisingly. (Did I mention that most of my sweater quantities of yarn are brown or purple? There was a point in the fall when I have yarn for three brown sweaters and two purple sweaters... and zero sweaters of any other colors. The situation is less alarming now--I have a brown sweater and a purple sweater in progress, plus sweater quantities of yarn for another brown sweater and one green sweater.) I'm enjoying the lace pattern, but it's slow going, so I've only knit a few inches. Good thing it's sleeveless!

Monday, March 12, 2012


This isn't one of the handmade problem sweaters, but it's a problem nonetheless.

I want to wear socially acceptable bathrobes to work as much as the next person, but I think this sweater may have crossed some kind of clothes/pajamas demarcation line:

It's too big maybe? Not enough waist shaping? There's a belt, which I pull to the back and tie as through that might create some shape, but I think it just makes it more bathrobe-esque.

I've though about taking it along the side seams, but I worry about the bulk of the excess fabric (or that it would unravel if I trimmed it off... although that's basically a steek, isn't it? I'm not sure how well the yarn will grip--it looks tweedy and woolly, but it's actually a cotton-acrylic blend).

I have another store-bought sweater which lacked a waist, but which I was able to fix--I sewed a strip of fabric horizontally across the inside of the back (where the waist should have been) leaving the short ends open. Then I cut a length of 1" wide elastic shorter than the fabric, ran it through the channel I'd made with the fabric, and sewed it securely to the sweater on both ends. That way, it gathered the sweater across the channel. I can't tell if that would work here, or if the addition of elastic would just move the sweater further into pajama territory.

Is this all in my head? (Two people complimented my sweater, but they're kind people who thought I'd made it, so does that really count?) Is there a way to add shaping to a sweater that I'm missing? (I've also tried belting over the sweater, but haven't like that one bit.) What would you do?

(P.S. I thought the sweater was a wool-acrylic blend, till I checked the label as I was writing... now that I know its secret, I'm just going to attribute all its troubles to lack of memory, ok?)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Problem Sweater Week

I do this crazy thing where I bring my outfits for the week to the gym over the weekend or on Monday, so I can run to the gym the rest of the week, shower there, and go right to work. It basically works out, but from time to time I make a swap during the week which leaves me with a strange assortment of leftovers to wear on Friday. That happened last week--on Thursday, I decided to swap shoes between my remaining outfits. This improved my Thursday outfit, but on Friday, my shoes still seemed wrong. By that time, they were the only non-sneaker shoes in my locker, so I wore them anyway.

At lunch time, a woman came over, apologized for interrupting, and said she loved everything I was wearing, especially my shoes. (This story would be better if I had a picture of my shoes, huh?) As I thanked her, she explained that she's trying to give more compliments, since people tend not to.

Meanwhile, in the land of long digressions, I've been thinking about taking more pictures of my daily outfits, complete with knitwear, because I think I'm pretty good about actually wearing my knits in real life. I'd decided not to start on Friday, thanks to the shoe crisis. But after the problematic shoes were specifically complimented, I decided to do it anyway:

The sweater is Martha, from Rowan's Fresh Fashion Knits (looking on Ravelry, I see Rowan has designed many Marthas). The invisible shoes are like these, but grey suede. They're the ones I wrote about as being useless, but cute. Although a short-sleeved wool cardigan seems like a bad idea, Martha is actually very versatile. I leave you to decide on appearances.

So, Martha is not a problem sweater. But, this all relates to Problem Sweater Week because when I was assembling my clothes for the week, I decided to give some of my problem sweaters another chance not to drive me batty: my Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday outfits all include sweaters which haven't ever been quite right. The woman who loved my shoes made me wonder whether the problem sweaters really are problematic, or if I just think they are for no reason that anyone else can see. If I can remember to take pictures, we'll all find out.