Friday, October 26, 2007

Mr. Disappointment

As knitters, we are often faced with challenges that we must either creatively overcome or admit that we are powerless to change the inevitable outcome. Such is the case for my Mr. Greenjeans. I've been in desperate denial since finishing and blocking the cardigan, hoping I would wake up and it would all be okay. It's not going to be okay. I wore Mr. Greenjeans all day today, and I came to this conclusion: I really don't like the finished product. For some reason, the stockinette top portion of the sweater blocked out HUGE and is now fit for the hulkiest of line backers. Seriously, I could wear the 1980's biggest shoulder pads under this thing and still not fill it out. I rechecked the gauge on it after I realized it was so big, and it was a big as 3 stitches/inch in some spots and as small as 4 stitches/inch in others (not so good when it was supposed to be 4.5 stitches/inch). Also, the bottom portion just pulls in too much. Back to the line backer reference, it would be totally fine if my hips were about 25" around. And we can't avoid talking about the sleeves - they are enormous! The cuffs just sag around my wrists. I also hate the button placement. Rather than hitting me right under the bustline, it's more in a low-waist level position. I pulled and tugged at the sweater all day today and found that the more I pulled it forward to keep it on my shoulders, the more the back raglan "seam" came forward to the front of my body. I finally stripped it off when I was trying on some jeans at Target, admitted to myself that it was a flop, and proceeded to carry it draped over my arm for what was left of my jaunt through the store. How devastating to admit that all the time and effort I put into this cardigan was a waste! It really is a beautiful cardigan, and I wanted so much to post a picture of me wearing it and smiling, triumphant at my knitting prowess, but I just couldn't do it. Instead I got a badly-lit, badly-posed picture of the official FO on my too-dark-for-photography couch. I think this is more befitting of the cardigan. It looks as rumpled and defeated as I feel. I hate disastrous hand knits!

My ultimate plan for the cardigan is yet to be determined. I will probably frog it and re-use the yarn for something else. I can't stand the thought of such a beautiful shade of Cascade 220 Heather being pushed into a drawer, never to see the light of day again.

(Cross-posted from my blog).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mr Greenjeans in Red--Finished

Mr Greenjeans in Red--Visible
Originally uploaded by sunasak

I finished this on Sunday, but didn't have a good photo until today--I had to go into blinding sunlight to get the sweater to show up--a consequence of choosing dark yarn, I guess!

I wore the outfit in the picture to work yesterday and got many compliments, including the dreaded, "Wow, that looks store-bought!"

So, for this version of Mr. Greenjeans, I used Cascade 220 hand painted in very dark reds and black. I love the way this yarn doesn't pool much at all (just one little spot on an arm) and how pleasant it was to knit with some high quality worsted-weight wool for a change (I tend to use "interesting" yarns like bamboo, hemp, microfiber, etc., just so "see how they do" and sometimes that is good and sometimes not). It is very warm and cozy, too.

Things I did on this one include:

* Knitting it one size up, because I wanted more ease, for wear with thicker things under it--I think it can serve as a jacket through much of our Texas "winter."
* Lengthening the arms so that my wrists are covered (because I will use this for warmth). Of course, I am petite, so this would not be a full-length sleeve for many people!
* Did just cables on the sleeves. I am not sure why I did this, but it looks nice.
* Decreased more quickly than the instructions asked me to (due to short arms).
* Lengthened the rib and cable section, so it comes down to a more aesthetically pleasing area of my back end.

I didn't need the short rows all the busty women are adding to theirs, since, as you can see, I don't really fill the sweater out.

Blocking really helped. It made the bottom part a bit flatter, so it is just right, and it made the button band/collar edge lie very flat and nice. Blocking did, however, widen the whole thing. I read on Ravelry that this happened with someone else, too. I still think the fit is good for me, so I don't mind at all.

I will continue to read this blog to see what lovely finished sweaters you all come up with, so please post!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Finished, but not quite done

Mr. Greenjeans in Red, blocking
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Just a brief note to say I did finally finish my Mr. Greenjeans in red yesterday. Woo! It is now blocking, which is why it is so dark in the photo--it's wet. I think it is going to be PERFECT if I can find the perfect button! I hope so, because here in Texas we are finally having a cool spell, so I could wear it!

Modifications: I did the sleeve edges in just cables, without the stockinette stitch edge. Why? Not really sure, but I think it makes the cuff a little narrower. The sleeves are full lengthy too. I also made the bottom border a little longer. My sleeve decreases are "interesting" but they work. I am short, so had to go "faster" than the instructions said in order to get to 60 stitches in time.

I will post a photo of the sweater ON me in the next day or two! Again, I am really enjoying the photos and posts, so keep them coming!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Making progress

Really enjoying knitting this...goes pretty quickly...just wanted to post a quick progress pic. Love it in this yarn too...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Finally casting on

Got my yarn finally...decided on Cascade 220 Handpaints in Alaskan Twilight (color 9932) which is a subtle but pretty bunch of deep browns and plums. Did a swatch, found my gauge, cast on. It occurred to me I'd never used Cascade 220 for garment knitting before...only felting where I'd used huge needles and 2 strands...and I have to say I really like this yarn...nice sponginess to it making for a nice relaxing knitting experience. This color wasn't my first choice but of my top 3, the color WEBS had in stock and I wanted that discount LOL but I was bad tonight and ordered my first choice color after swatching this stuff and heck with the discount because I know I'll want to knit another one of these and I have to have that color...

No pics yet...just about 1 1/2 inches into it...and as I'm making the largest size, had to figure out the known mistake that's been posted elsewhere...the cast-on number for the largest size is off by 2 stitches.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Slow but Steady Progress

Mr. Greenjeans in Red, progress
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I am so envious of the KAL member who started over the weekend and got to the end of the border. I am knitting as hard and fast as I can, but on my gauge and with my life, 1/3 the way through the cable section is the best I could do.

Of course, knitting is not a race, and I am very much enjoying the process of working with this yarn and pattern. I am certainly enjoying the fact that this pattern is not fussy and full of things to count like so many sweaters are.

Whoever said it's hard to see what size Mr. Greenjeans is coming out to be due to the curling edges sure has a point. I think mine is fitting pretty well, though. I'll probably make sure the sleeves hit the ends of my wrists (I am making this to wear in my freezing office, so I need it to be warm), but otherwise I am resisting my usual temptation to modify a pattern. I am so proud of myself.

Please keep sharing work in progress photos and yarn choices! It's fun!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Length Questions

I finished the body of my Mr. Green Jeans yesterday, and I have some questions to pose to everyone about length. I'm about 5'4" but pretty busty, so I added a half inch to the stockinette portion of the body because I didn't want the stitch transition to hit too high. In doing the cable and rib portion, I decided to add another half inch to lengthen the body. When I try it on, I'm having a tough time figuring out how it's really going to hit because the stockinette sections curls so much and the cable and rib portion draws up so much. I'm seriously considering picking out the cast-off edge of the body and adding length after I've finished the sleeves. Is anyone else adding length to their cardigan? If so, how much and how does that compare to your overall height?

I'm also thinking about making the sleeves longer. Has anyone else done that?

Off to start Magic Looping the sleeves!

Edited to add: I'm making size L.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hello KAL


I cast on for Mr. Greenjeans on Tuesday (I think) and I'm already down to the ribbing, so this sweater is knitting up quickly. I'm using Malabrigo in the color Marine, which turns out to be a very difficult color to photograph.

It isn't as gray as it appears here; it really is all shades of navy to mid-blue that sometimes appear shockingly royal in sunlight (eek).

Anyway, you can see I've just done one repeat of the cable pattern so far. I didn't quite get stitch gauge, so I'm knitting this at 17 sts to 4 inches on #8 needles (the rows are right on though). To make up the difference, I'm making size S and hoping I'll end up with something between S and M. I'm also planning on making it a couple of inches longer; 22 inches, maybe? I do so love being able to try it on to check.

I'm enjoying seeing all your WIPs and I can't wait to see some more finished Greenjeans!


Got yarn, got gauge for GJ

Considering that the yarn I'd planned to use was too heavy a worsted, and the yarn I bought is too light, I'm quite happy that I got gauge with my second choice.

I went to my lys to find hand-painted, not-too-itchy, wool yarn. Ha. Ha again. After going over all the too-scratchy, not-enough in the colorway, who-would-knit-anything-that-color, yarn, I came up with an acceptable colorway. Painted Desert, by Lonesome Stone. I like it well enough, and am relieved that I got the right gauge by just going up one needle size.

On the plus side, it is a locally (Colorado) dyed yarn. It is an alpaca/wool blend, so not too scratchy. I had 20% off coupons for both hanks. I like the fabric I'm getting, even after I washed the swatch. Now all I have to do is cast on! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mr Not Greenjeans

I say that because I am obviously not doing mine in any shade of green. I used to have a pair of green jeans and I got tired of being referred to as "Mrs. Greenjeans", so the name just gives me the shudders! I am making mine in purple Denim Tweed Aran from Debbie Bliss, right photo is more true.

I am making some modifications to make the design work in my yarn and for my preferences. First off is the increases. I am not a fan of visible increases so I am making mine lifted with mirrored increases. I am using a 6 row cable instead of the four due to the darkness of the yarn. The 4 row just got lost. And I will add the cable to the button band for a bit of dash.

I am also knitting this along with a friend in town, she is using Quattro 220 in a gorgeous shade of turq flavor.

Greetings, Fellow Greenjeans Fans

Hi! I'm Suna, in Austin/Round Rock, Texas. I just found this blog on Ravelry and am glad to find you all! I started my sweater this weekend using Cascade 220 hand paints in a very dark red/black combination. It looks like burning embers to me.

My gauge came out smaller than I expected (I did do a swatch, so who knows what went wrong), so I did an extra repeat of the pattern before breaking for the armholes. Now I just hope I didn't make it too big! I am making size M, because I always make my top-down sweaters too big, and I want to avoid that.

This is exactly the thing I want to wear this winter in my cold, cold office, and it will look so nice with all my red and black stuff. And with no seams and pretty cables, I fell in love with the pattern. I guess you all did, too! Looking forward to reading all of your posts and seeing your WIPs!

I am totaly amazed with all of you fine knitters... some of you are already working on arms! that rocks! I know that some have not casted on... including me. So i can't wait to see everyones stuff. I am getting about 2 or 3 requests for the blog daily. And we have over 50's members in the ravelry group.

keep up all your great work!