A while back I crocheted a sweater that turned out to be too big for me, and I fixed it by ribboning the back. But when I wore it, I spent the day hauling the thing back on my shoulders regardless.
Said cousin Shauna: “You should take your leftovers and make another to give away. It’s so lovely, I’m sure anyone would appreciate it as a gift.”
I sure hope so. I made another one–in my own size, for me–and decided to give the original one away … to cousin Shauna, who I visited this past weekend. Just crossed my fingers and hoped it would fit and she wouldn’t hate it.
Of course, it being a gift to someone who does read here from time to time, I couldn’t mention it here until now. Hope you like it, Shauna!
Since it’s a repeat, the “interesting pictures” this time are me, with a book, not getting to read thanks to a small needy dog. Meet Simba, Dear Readers. He views every book/lap combination as an invitation to belly rubs. What a ridiculous little puffball, eh? There are times when he actually plants his fluffy little butt on the page I’m trying to read, puts his front paws on my chest, and I get a little brown nose and a slimy tongue right in my face. It’s like he views books as step stools for more convenient face-licking access.
It fits this time! No back-ribbon needed, and lesson learned. It’s not quite as flattering as I would have liked, at least, not with this white tank underneath. I need to get or make myself a nice colourful camisole (not on the project list for this summer, though, Dear Readers. I’ll think about it next spring.)
And I still have one whole skein left! Now what to do with that, I wonder.
Fortunately, my bright idea of adding a half-motif to the front and back to raise the neckline and strengthen the collar worked.
Unfortunately, the thought that blocking might make it shrink a bit did not.
Now, blocking did make the motifs hang much more nicely, got rid of all the little stitchy kinks and drew out the lacey pattern very well. It made the sweater a few inches longer, and the drape is way better; the sleeves are now soft and fluttery instead of stiff, and all the little loopy picot-bunting stitches at the bottom hang down instead of lapping each other. Hurray! But it is still quite loose.
On the plus side, I can easily wear this over another shirt, which I will need to do. On the minus side, it’s not as snug as the one in the magazine by a long shot. So lesson learned: when it comes to a crochet pattern where I fit between sizes, choose the smaller size, and block it up. With this one, I’ve just tied part of the back together with a piece of scrap ribbon to make it a bit more fitted. Not thrilled about the colour, but if I get a new length of a nicer ribbon that matches better it will be just the thing.
It’s beautifully soft to the touch, and the orange-yellow is so nicely variegated that in person, it gives a really beautiful effect. It’s also surprisingly warm. And I have three skeins left which is enough to make a whole other motif sweater. Though that seems overkill. What else does one make out of three skeins of fingering-weight merino-cashmere?
I’ll wear it over a plain tank or camisole* for now, but I think what it needs is a nice bright pink silky shell underneath, no? Or maybe a grey-blue, to make the orange really shine.
*I promise there is a camisole in this picture. Flesh tone match may be a bit too good.
I got within spitting distance (or sleeve distance, at any rate) of finishing the light blue sweater, and realized three things: a) for some reason, even though I followed the directions exactly, the top of the sweater is looser than the bottom, and b) for a probably related reason, the left-hand front shoulder wasn’t working out quite right. So I had to take it out, just when I was ready to join up the front and back and see if the looseness was fatal or not; c) there’s no way it was going to be done in time to wear it this winter. Not that I’m complaining about the temperatures slowly inching upwards–far from it, I’m pretty excited every time we get above freezing–but it is rather demotivating when it comes to finishing bulky winter sweaters.
So I switched to the marigold short-sleeved sweater.
This pattern comes from the 2013 Vogue Crocheting magazine, where they made it in a size small. Super pretty, no? It’s motif-based, which means crocheting up endless (or 40) quantities of hexagons and joining them together. Let me tell you, I got pretty good at those motifs. By the end I could whip one off in about 30 minutes without even looking at the instructions. And every day, I was getting four or five added; who cared if I wasn’t sewing or quilting or reading or blogging or doing anything but crocheting soft yellow lacey hexagons, right? I was so close! I was going to finish a sweater, by god, any day now!
By last Thursday I had finished all the motifs and I had the end in my sights (so I thought). All I had to do was weave in the ends, add the edging, and voila! A short-sleeved sweater that I can wear, you know, soon.
First of all, with a motif construction involving 40 joined motifs, there are 80 ends to weave in. I’m about halfway through.
Second, those edgings take forever. I got the sleeves and the bottom edging done. I haven’t yet done the neck because, well …
Third, it’s … umm … perhaps a little indecent.
Mind you, you are supposed to wear this over a shell or t-shirt, not on its own. But holy neckline batman.
According to the magazine, I’m a size large in this sweater (it is Vogue, after all). Because it’s a motif construction, adding up a size means either scaling up the hook size (the medium pattern) or adding extra motifs (the large) and rearranging them slightly. So the very demure high v-neck of the size small and medium becomes a plunging v-neck in the large.
Thankfully, I can just add a couple of strategic partial motifs to bring the neckline a tad closer to my neck. Sort of like fig leaves, but softer. This should also stop the shoulders from becoming elbows. I’ll have to improvise the edging, but I’m not sure I’m keen on their neckline pattern anyway. I realize that the bright orangey-yellow makes me look even paler than I normally look, and can only ensure you that I do go outside and I do not have the flu. I love the colour anyway.
It’s also a fair bit looser than I’d hoped. It might shrink a bit when I block it (fingers crossed), but if not, and assuming I can fix the neckline issues, I think it will still be wearable and lovely, and next time I’ll make the medium and block up.