This little top was adapted from a pattern by Helene Rush, the Hollow Oak Vest, which I started years ago in wool (loved the yarn but it was clear after knitting awhile that I didn't have enough yardage, so I put it aside). Somehow I thought it might make a lovely summer project and be the perfect use for some Gedifra cotton yarn I bought on closeout at my local knitting shop, Korner Knitters.
After making a gauge, I decided on a size 5 US needle, and used Sweater Wizard to adjust some of the measurements, and cast on for the back. The seed stitch went slowly, but knitting the back first was wise, since the front kept me interested with that wonderful cable. I could see early on that the sweater seemed longer than I had planned (this was a side to side pattern) but I decided that would be ok, since I had originally cropped it quite a bit and there was some leeway.
But then the trouble started. Partway into the front, I realized I was going to be short of yarn! Although I had enough yardage according to SW, and had allowed some extra for the cable, apparently that seed stitch really gobbles yarn, and now I was in big trouble. Luckily, a kind and generous knitter named Diana came to my rescue when I posted an SOS to the knitlist, and sent me 3 extra balls. So I was back in business. It was really fun to knit this pattern and it moved right along. Pretty soon I was casting off, anxious to try on my new creation, but already a bit worried about the size and weight of it………..
Can you tell how little experience I've had knitting cotton?
When I first put it on it was quite a bit bigger than I had planned, but my husband assured me it just looked like a loosely fitting garment (not the cropped and more closely fitting project I had envisioned) and although I was a little disappointed, I thought it might still be ok. Off I went to my spinning group, wearing my new creation. My spinning friends were appreciative and tried to reassure me, but as the morning wore on, my top began to grow, causing a rather extreme *gapitis* under the arm…...and by the time I got home, I took it off, and threw it into the washer with HOT water. When I took it out, the weight of it made it apparent that nothing much had changed, so into the dryer it went - surely that would shrink it, right? Cotton always shrinks a bit, right? WRONG!
This beautiful cotton did not shrink a bit (believe me, I tried it TWICE!)
So, now it languishes, while I decide whether to frog it or make a trip to the sewing machine. Today I'm leaning toward the latter, thinking I might just be able to zip up a couple of side seams, close up the armholes a bit………, then, maybe I can chop off some of that extra length, add a little border at the hem…..
What do you think? Susan2911@juno.com
OK, so here's what I've learned from all this drama…
- seed stitch isn't bad at all to knit, once you get a rhythm going (and it is a good
idea to knit the larger, plain areas first)
- it's harder to tell how something is going to fit when you're knitting side to side
This could have a lot to do with it being my first side to side project, too.
- when knitting cotton make a larger gauge swatch and WASH IT, then hang it up
for awhile to see if it grows. And use a smaller needle than you would with wool
- when converting a vest pattern to a summer top, remember to reduce the arm-
- I will make this pattern again - with wool, and as a vest!