Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lessons learned

I finished the unspun sweater for my friend in Tromso. Let's just say I learned a lot from this project. But first, some pictures:

Lessons learned:

  • The sweater was too big. Gauge is crucial. The bigger the project, the more it matters. I know this, intellectually and mathematically, but I just can't seem to respect it. I actually knit gauge swatches, but I have two problems:

    • I always knit these tiny little swatches and then pretend that is representative. Then I wonder why I never get the drape I was expecting in addition to getting the wrong size.... Solution: knit bigger swatches.

    • My gauge goes all over the place between the time I knit the swatch and the project, or even if I put the project down for more than a few days. Solution: ???

  • Unspun is tricky to knit with. It kept sticking to itself, to the sweater, to my couch, to my pants. Solution: knit inside a plastic bag (ick!) Also, because I was really using combed top, which I had to split myself, I couldn't keep the diameter so even, adding to my gauge woes. Commercial unspun or pencil roving would have a definite advantage there. Solution: think twice before executing your next untested unvention in an adult sweater.

  • Somewhat loosely knit unspun is streeeeeeetchy like taffy. Every time I picked up the sweater I was terrified it was going to stretch apart. I guess it has a lot of drape? I don't really know what "drape" means except it always seems to be used by other people when discussing my knitting problems. Solution: knit on smaller needles/tighter gauge. This gauge theme is getting old.

  • That boat neck? I don't know where that came from. I used 40% of the body stitches, per the EPS. I know the sweater's a bit big for my friend, but even lying on the ground the neck is out of proportion. Solution: ???

  • I hate drop shoulders. I hadn't put that together until now. I just don't like how they bunch up at the underarms, and I never quite know how short to make the sleeves since the body width will count for part of the arm length. Solution: Use another sleeve. I see some more raglans in my future.

I think my friend wouldn't actually care if I posted his face all over my blog, but I put the black bars in because they amused me. I'm not sure I believe they really work--is our ability to recognize faces really so dependent on seeing the person's eyes? If so, that's pretty amazing! Anyone have any real info on that?



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