Thursday, May 8, 2008
A Sweater All Sewn Up*
Who would have thought that the one sweater I wear over and over and over is one that I sewed up on my sewing machine, not on my knitting needles? Actually I don't have any completed knitting projects that have long sleeves. Not one. I've a sleeveless top made out of a cotton yarn that will be more appropriate mid-June, but not now. I've some shawls and shapeless skirts, but nothing hand-knitted that remotely approaches what we call a sweater: a warm top with three holes: one for the head, the other two for the arms. The limbs are covered by something called sleeves. I've plenty of warm fuzzy things that meet the above description that were made overseas on knitting machines, but not here in the U.S. by me.
So back to the sweater you see above. The v-neck isn't perfection, and look that hem! Assymetrical! I've no idea how that happened. Methinks maybe Donna Karan, who's got plenty of designs with unusual zig-zag hems in her portfolio, got her hands on this mid-way. Did this fuzzy fuschia pointelle knit stretch after I cut it? Or has wearing it made the hem wobbly? I don't think this is a situation whereby I could block the sweater back into shape.
I don't care. I love this sweater. Better yet, it adores me and that's all that's important. We give each other love pats. I tell it, "You go with everything; you're the best." It tells me: "Baby, I'm going to keep you warm, really warm and I'll hang out with your friends. It's cool."
And the v-neck sweater keeps it word, even when I pair it with things like my Santa Monica Tee, or a jersey camisole. The Santa Monica Tee (the blue/brown version) goes especially well (I feel like I'm talking about wine, but I'm not. At least not today). I like the contrast of textures and colors. You've got the flat texture of the lace right there next to the lofty, slightly pilled knit. Both have blue tones - the Tee is more icy with some coffee thrown in for good measure. The sweater is bluish pink. so they complement (and compliment) each other well.
I wore this sweater when it was so cold the sparrows wanted to come inside. I don't think I'll be wearing when it's so hot that that aforementioned birds want to take a bath in my kitchen sink, but I will push the limit. I could easily see myself wearing this still at month's end after Memorial Day, when more often then not, I'm still tempted to wear gloves when I walk outside. (Which brings me to a minor pet peeve: I lost a pair of nice leather gloves a month or so ago. When I try to replace them at local stores, nobody, and I mean nobody has gloves in stock. They do have bathing suits out. Surely, I wouldn't like to try one on?)
I don't think this sweater will become an office staple: you know the one sweater you can constantly hang on your chair and you wear when it's so cold inside you need to dress like it's winter. This v-neck is not easy on, easy off that way. You have to slip it and off over your head, not something you want to do when you're heading into a meeting and your hair is standing up cornstalk-straight thanks to static electricity.
No, this is a sweater that needs to some forethought. You can't really wear it by itself because, well, that would be indecent. So this is the sweater I wear when I'm sitting in front of my laptop and no one's around. Or I'm about to go to a movie. It's a fantastic top to wear with my frayed-at-the hem jeans. It's got the casual look nailed.
This is Kwik Sew pattern 2900. I actually tried making this same exact sweater in another fuzzy aqua knit and it was a complete disaster. The V-neck was actually more like a U! I've no idea what happened. I was so mad...because I was so infatuated with the knit (which I've since seen in a local boutique stitched up in a funky tank top) that I wanted the whole project to work smoother than canola oil from the get go. The neckline didn't cooperate. So that sweater? It made friends with the kitchen trash can, I'm sorry to say. I still have more of the aqua knit, but not enough to make a fraternal twin for the fuschia sweater. So sad, very sad. Oh well.
But that Kwik Sew is going into the time-out corner. It needs to be disciplined. I'm telling you that's terrible behavior for a pattern that never goes on sale (at least in my corner of the world - it might be less pricey online). I mean - have you ever? It seriously made me want to try out other V-neck possibilities. For one thing, (and you don't have to tell the Kwik Sew pattern this), I'll find something with more shaping on the sides. No more of this boxy, I have no-waistline stuff on my sewn sweaters. If I can shape knit objects with my knitting needles by increasing and decreasing like somebody's business, by golly, the sweaters that come to life underneath the sharp needle on my Viking Husqvarna will look just as good if not better!
Why such trouble with one sweater? Who knows. I surely don't. I'm not about to dissect it in detail either. I've got more important matters to dwell on. Like, what am I going to have for dinner? Can I sneak out to Jo-Ann's for the Simplicity pattern sale? (I went last night, found out the extravaganza starts today, left the store only to get drenched in the rain when I attempted to walk to the bus stop without an umbrella) I'm more interested in the next great adventure. If I can wear the experiment, wonderful. If not, I'll go shopping, but probably not for sweaters. Maybe hats, shoes, or the gloves. I'll find a pair if it's the last thing I do this summer.
So shopping as solace. Isn't this the best strategy?. Have any of you tried sewing a sweater? If so, how did it turn out for you? How comfortable are you sewing thick knits on your machine?
* I included that middle picture without me because I'm not wild about the ones that I'm in.