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Sometimes a flurry of activity, sometimes a long time with nothing at all. And right now it looks like a gap of a couple of years (shame on me).

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Sunday, July 24, 2005


I guess there's a bit more finesse to this Top-Down business than I originally thought.

For this project I thought I got smart and went and bought a t-shirt for size 6-12 months to use as a template for this sweater. I got the neck right, but the every row increase made the sleeve openings huge and the body WAY too wide - my template shirt was 13 inches wide, and my sweater came out 17 inches wide!

Okay, here it is finished:

And here's a cool shot of the stripes lining up when it's folded - something I didn't plan to be exact but turned out that way!

It looks adorable, IT ONLY TOOK THREE DAYS TO MAKE, but before we get all crazy patting ourselves on the back here, let's look at some problems:

First, this sweater is way too wide. I have to try it on a child before condemning it totally, but it's not how I wanted it and I'm afraid to try a controlled shrink because it's already almost too short in comparison with its length.

Next, with the sweater body being so wide I damn near ran out of yarn. I used two full skeins of Suss Cotton (4oz/170 yards each). I didn't want to add a third color because I wanted to keep the orange and cream thing going.

Here's a shot of the finished body but sleeves not started - pictured with all the yarn I have left to do both sleeves. Not so yummy.

I decreased the sleeves severely - one stitch before and after the center marker (using 16" circular #7 needle) five times, then did one or two rows straight and then the K1 P1 ribbing to end the sleeve. Luckily, short sleeves look cute - I am redeemed!

Not that you'll notice but the sleeve on the right has a neater decrease and the sleeve on the left has one or two fewer ribbing rows - I absolutely ran out of the orange right at the last bind-off stitch. I had barely enough to weave the end in!

About the underarms:

This increase method leaves a lot cleaner underarm situation than the YO, but there's still a hole where the sleeves meet. Ironically, my mistake proved the best solution -

When I was moving the live sleeve stitches from the scrap yarn to the circular needle, I managed something I've never done before - I forgot a stitch (left it on the yarn). When I pulled the yarn free, that lone stitch became the Dreaded Dropped Stitch.

It took me three or four rows of sleeve to notice, and by the time I did it had run down about four rows. Yow!

Okay, I couldn't rip the sleeve out and I didn't know how to pick up the stitch, but I got out my crochet hook and swore I'd figure it out. Not long after, I did figure it out, and picked up the missed stitches. This brought me to the joining point, where there were three more very loose stitches.

Why not pretend they're part of this run?

That's exactly what I did, created a sort of extra row (that totally looks like it belongs there) and now the whole underarm is woven seamlessly!

If you were going to try this I would say to INTENTIONALLY and SECURELY put what would be the first stitch of the sleeve onto the holder and wait until the sleeve is completely done to do this trick.



Anonymous Jenny said...

That looks amazing! I love the colors as well as the (unintended, I know) boxy shape. Hey, maybe the kid will be kinda fat!

And as far as holes in armpits, all the better for B.O. prevention, sez I!

PS: I updated my blog too! You can check it from my website now.

6:52 PM

Blogger Mary Jessica said...

I second Jenny when I say it looks amazing. Those colors are delicious and creamsiclicious. I don't think the shape looks too weird in the photo at least...Is there a "test baby" you know who could try it on? Babies are pretty fat and lumpy anyway, in my experience.
Also - considering that you didn't have a pattern and you were simply using another shirt as a template and you were totally making this up as you went along - I'd be proud if myself if I were you. Even though I'm not you I can still be proud of yourself, though.

5:46 AM

Blogger ruth666 said...

I appreciate all props and in fact am pretty proud of this thing. I do need a "test baby" but for the most part I agree that these baby togs are pretty loosey goosey as far as rules go.

12:45 PM


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