Sunday, May 4, 2008

Declare Victory and Move On

So there I was, knitting the button band, when I started to feel a little apprehensive... 'this button band sure is taking a lot of yarn' I thought. And 'isn't it a good thing that I saved the bit left from the sleeve instead of knitting it onto the body the way I'd planned?' I finished the skein, joined on the bit left from the sleeve. I kept knitting.

And then, four inches short of the length of button band I needed? I ran out.

Now I did have a backup plan. This is a long sweater- swiping a couple of rows from the body wouldn't have any difference to the wearability of the sweater. But it sure would have been annoying to take out that whole hundreds-of-stitches cast off and re-do it. Fortunately, before I had time to get too worked up, I remembered something else. The Strategic National Yarn Reserve, savior of more than one of my prior projects- aka, The Swatch.
swatch saves the day

And I was saved! After that, it was finishing the sewing, weaving in a million ends, and sewing on buttons for the win!

Excuse me while I gloat for a few minutes:

This was how much yarn was left:
very small amt of yarn

And now for the project debrief:
I'd forgotten how long this particular button band needs to be, but also how smoothly and neatly it finishes the sweater- totally worth the trouble. The sweater isn't really as long and narrow as it appears, the knit columns broken up with purl rows tend to pull in like gigantic ribbing- which should not only accommodate the larger size of the recipient, but gently gloss over any slight mis-sizing.

I like the Berroco Love It yarn well enough. It was a pleasure to knit with- very flexible and easy on the hands. I'm a little concerned about how it will wear- it didn't take well at all to being pulled out and reknitted- the yarn looks a bit scuffed. Although it's supposed to be machine washable, I'm going to recommend that it be washed inside a mesh bag to prevent excessive rubbing or stretching. I'm still a bit worried about whether it will pill. Time will tell of course.

I'm very pleased with the pattern - the top down construction made it very easy for me to try it on and decide if I was going badly wrong or not. It does need a certain amount of interpolation on the part of the knitter- one does need to think about sleeve decreases (preferably more thoroughly than I did before knitting). I enjoyed being able to use whatever designs I wanted on it (though it does take more planning to do because of the need to add increase stitches in pattern as the yoke grows in size). At the same time, I may think twice about using it again for something this large. By the time I hit the halfway point, it was hard to carry with me, which slowed my progress considerably, since I tend to do most of my knitting while running around. It would be completely brilliant for kid's sweaters though.

Altogether a very enjoyable knit, and I learned a lot. But for my next sweater? I think I'm going to knit a pattern from my bookshelf, and enjoy having the design done for me. I've decided that I don't require this level of deep thought in every project I do!


  1. Beautiful job, Robin. And another good reason to swatch and swatch large.

  2. It's gorgeous. But wow, did you hear me gasp when I saw the leftover amount!