Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Second Draft.

I wouldn't be a good English teacher if I didn't believe in the power of some ruthless editing to improve a creative work. It appears that my frustrations with the aquatic raglan, although justifiable, were not as dire as they seemed.

At first, I decided to unravel it completely. Before I did so, though, I spent some time on Ravelry looking for a suitable pattern for repurposing the yarn. Turns out there aren't many sweater designs in Pastaza--the most popular is, ironically, the pattern I'd already knit. The yarn is a heavy worsted/Aran weight (8 wpi) so I would have to do some serious maths to reuse it on any other patterns. I also swatched for the Counterpane Pullover, but that one is designed for a bulky weight yarn (7 wpi) and I couldn't get gauge.

So. Either I was going to make a sweater of my own design, or I was going to rework the one I already had. Since the pattern was already a basic top-down recipe, it seemed silly to re-do it as a different plain-vanilla top-down. An EZ style seamless raglan from the bottom up seemed reasonable, but also a bit redundant.

Who's the boss of this sweater anyway? I thought. The neck, shoulders, and arms fit great. The issues come lower down, with the body itself. And since it is top-down construction, that area is the easiest to redo.

I looked again at my problem areas.

#1: the chest. I made the 40" size. Now, my chest DOES measure around 39", but the 40" was just too big. I think I wanted some negative ease. and shaping but didn't really know it. I have relatively broad shoulders, but my chest is more compact now (I also started the sweater way back when I was still nursing Miss E, so the assets have, shall we say, resumed their previous upright positions.) I didn't want to do a bunch of decreasing because that might give it a triangular shape. Easy fix: switch from a size 10.5 to a size 9 needle. Let gauge be my friend. It looks slightly wonky where I made the change, but I think it will block out.

#2: the ribbing. It started too low. Easy fix: start it higher.

#3: the length. It was too long and hit me weird across what EZ referred to as "what we euphemistically call 'the hips.'" Easy fix: stop sooner.

I took a deep breath, unraveled up to the place where the body began, steamed the yarn, rewound the balls, and started the body again. I've tried it on twice (no pics yet) and am pleased with the solutions so far; I finished the bust area and am about 2 inches into the ribbing.

Cross your fingers... It might still be a keeper.

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