Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mr. Greenjeans Revisited

Redone=ripped+reknitted band>R E L I E F.

It fits much better now. (This post is REpeated, with all new pics and words, as I have eaten the old ones.) ETA:  I have deleted the photos from this post.  I widened the button bands in an effort to make it wearable, but I still don't like the sweater.  Below is a long explanation of my problem.  In summary, the front is too small.   

If you remember, I was confused about size selection for Mr. Greenjeans from the beginning. I knew the schematic indicated the size small, at 36.5 inches, should be a pretty good fit. However, the designer responded to a question posed about sizing. She said if you wanted to wear the sweater buttoned, you should knit a size larger than you normally would.

I thought that was odd, so I ignored it and knitted the small. The dimensions seemed correct. Then I couldn't get the front to block out to the same dimensions as the back. After measuring, blocking, measuring, studying the pattern, checking my math, etc., I have concluded that the the sweater I've knitted in size small, blocked to size in the back, but not the front, is just too skimpy. The combination of that many cables in this yarn pulls the waist in too much to fit me properly. Reblocking didn't help.

Knitting a larger size will give you a better fitting waist, but the top will be loose. I've seen this effect in the knit-a-long entries, and I don't want it. My altered button bands make the sweater nearly 2 inches wider in the waist and the sleeve caps. Knitting the larger size would have made it 4 inches larger, with proportionate changes in the other dimensions. Maybe it would have been perfect for me, but it probably would have been too large. As it is, a simple fix was successful enough.

Originally, there was much to like. I like the twisty little cables. I'm truly pleased with the look, the way the cables pull the bottom away, the yarn overs on the yoke, and the fit of the sleeves. I added about 8 inches to the the length of the sleeves, and an inch to the length of the sweater. I was rewarded with cuffs that fit neatly around my wrists and a bottom hem that covers my shirt.
I just had no idea how small a sweater this is when I first saw the pattern. It's actually more of a bolero, or cropped cardigan. That's why it doesn't take much yarn. I should have realized that what attracted me ("Look, a cardigan from less than 1,000 yards!") was actually useful information about the type of sweater, not some magic performed by the designer. I know designers aren't magicians, just thoughtful hard-working knitters who are brave enough to publish their patterns.
If I were to completely knit my Mr. Greenjeans over, I'd cast on more stitches, either using the number of stitches for the size medium front with the size small back, or calculating the number needed to produce a size 38, in between the small and the medium.
Rather than ripping out the entire sweater and knitting it again in the proper size, I decided to reknit the button band. Wider button band, different button. Not a good match, but ok for now. Button shopping is on my list of things to do after the holiday.


Kathy said...

I'd undo the bind-off and add a few rows to make it wider. Or, since you said "frog" I might use a frog closure. That wouldn't require the fronts to overlap.

Zonda said...

Thanks for the information as I am going to start one soon. It looks so nice, hoping the fix works well for you! :)

Tammy said...

Okay, I saw your other post first and am now just reading this one. Great insights on the pattern. I think you're right on about the odd sizing. One option would to do more frequent increases down the front so it would actually come together.

"She said if you wanted to button the sweater, you should knit a size larger than you normally would." wow... odd.

Bron said...

I'd do the second option too. Although Kathy's idea of a frog is interesting.

I really like the sweater. :) Thanks for figuring out the problem - I should have smooth sailing if I ever make one.

Marjorie said...

It looks to me as if the sleeves are falling off the shoulders because there isn't much of a cap. Fixing this would require a major alteration, and the sweater really looks nice on you. So I also suggest the frog closure. You can also consider those clips, usually used on Norwegian sweaters, that have a "button" on each side.

There's a sweater in an old IK that I've stared at for years and haven't knit just because I think the cap is skimpy and it will show my bra strap (at my age, bra straps are not very fetching).

Do you think that button has something to do with an animal story, such as Aesop's fables? It almost looks as if it is an illustration for one of them.

Patricia said...

The seater looks great judging from the photos. I see where the sleeve cap could have been more generous. On the whole a lovely sweater.
The button is very unusual. Was it handmade?

Anonymous said...

I love what you did to improve the fit. The sweater is beautiful and it's looks awesome on you! Great job.

marjorie said...

I think your fix looks great, and if I didn't know you had to rip and redo, I would have thought the sweater was designed as you knit it. It fits you very well.

Jennifer said...

Simply lovely mods. I'm working on the button band myself. I just might follow your lead!

Michelle said...

Looks great!