Friday, June 01, 2007

Beautiful Belle

I am in love with this sweater. Belle. (From Mission Falls Quinte Scrapbook) that I started last summer after the Great Blankie Fix Up of '06, to refresh your memory. Working with the blankie rekindled my love of Mission Falls Cotton, and I had some pink (Cosmos #203) in stash just waiting for it's time.

Here’s what I love about this sweater:

1. It’s totally wearable. It does not require that I go out and buy a camisole like all the sweaters in Interweave Knits, or a certain color skirt, or wear my hair a certain way. It will look good with pants, jeans, capris, skirts, black, khaki, denim, short sleeve tee, long sleeve tee, or blouse.

Basically, my entire wardrobe that I already have, this will look great with. As I am knitting this, I can tell: This will be my GO-TO sweater.

2. It’s very pretty. Pretty color, pretty cables, a little lace. Love that.

3. It’s fun to knit. It’s way more interesting than stockinette, and yet it’s a completely memorizable pattern that I can tell what to do just by looking at the row below, and I can do it around the kids. Heck, I can do it while watching 24.

4. It’s kind of show-offy, in a quiet way. I mean, it’s no fancy fair isle wing-ding. But it’s definitely something that I would be proud to wear in a room full of knitters. Like Stitches, or a knit-in for charity, or a famous bloggers book signing: a "knitting soiree" kind of thing. And if you are a knitter, and you attend these knitting soiree events now and then, then this is a nice thing to have in the closet.

So, keeping all these things in mind, that this could very well be my knitting-soiree-go-to sweater, I decided that this would be the time to conquer my fear of short-rowing shoulders.

The instructions for this sweater have you do the stair step bind off shaped shoulders, and then seam the shoulders together. I have done this with many sweaters, and on the last one (Olympic sweater '06) I just wasn't happy with the resulting seam. The cable pattern didn't quite match up and I really wanted to do better.

One morning, fresh with coffee and armed with a little hand drawn diagram, I had a mind meld with shortrowing, and claimed victory:

Above you see the shoulder seam with 3 needle bindoff, pattern matching up nicely, and the back neck drop I added. The pattern had you bind-off the back straight across the neck. I think that feels tight against the neck, and adding the drop makes for a better fit.

I was very happy with myself, and I blocked it out on the handy dandy striped beach towel.

Then I stepped back to take a picture.

What the BLEEP?! Can you see it?

How about now?

Friends, we have not had a knitting disaster of this magnitude since the Great Ene’s Scalene Triangle of 2006. There would be no fancy laddering down to fix this situation. I would have to rip out the shoulder seam and re-knit nearly the entire back to fix this. You know I am seriously anti-rip. So I waited for it to dry and took it to several different lighting environments to assess the situation.

Dining room table, bright sunlight through the windows:

Seems ok.

Outside in super-bright direct sunlight.

Definitely ok.

Living room under incandescent light:

Definitely not ok.

How can this be my go-to-knitting-soiree sweater with a big dyelot stripe issue across the back?!?



Anonymous Cara said...

I am so, so sorry. Makes my stomach hurt, to be honest.

3:17 PM  
Blogger joyce said...

It doesn't show up outside in bright sunlight so maybe take it off as soon as you go inside. My MIL once ripped out the entire back of a sweater because one, yes one, stitch was turned backwards right after the ribbing. It wasn't missed or anything, just turned. I call that a bit too fanatic.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

ouch! I am hoping it is just one of those freaky things that only turn up on camera (like vampires and poltergeists) and not in broad daylight. Could you maybe ask a bunch of trustworthy people around you if they can spot the difference and make your decision based on their answers? Ripping something as beautiful and neat as your Belle would be a shame indeed.

3:32 PM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

Oh no!! To be honest, until you said dyelot stripe, I didn't know what you were talking about.

But now that you've seen it, there's no going back, right? So rip it.

Or acknowledge that you'll never look at the back and leave it alone. I'd probably leave it alone, but I'm lazy like that.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Judy H. said...

Ow. Just... ow.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Kalista said...

Well, you could dye the whole thing...

I think you're something of a pro at that, yes, at least with fabric? (It seems like you are to me!)

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Becca said...

Oh. Oh no. It took me a minute to see it, then I gasped aloud. And the shoulder seams look so perfect, too. My deepest sympathies.

6:22 PM  
Blogger rohanknitter said...

Oh dear!!
Although i admit i didn't see it till you said what it was.

8:13 PM  
Blogger FunkyC said...

I'm holding my breath! What will you do?!?

10:18 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Emily -

I thought of you because I am headed to Muncie on Wednesday. Going to go visit my best friend for a few days.

Hope you are having a great summer!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

what is going to happen???
i'm on the edge of my seat...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

O Em, I was looking at this so long and couldn't find a thing wrong with the stitching, even with the arrows. It never occured to me that it was THE YARN DYELOT. Geesh. Who cares? Movement means that no one in THE FREEKIN' WORLD will notice it at all.

It's like I paid to have my eyebrows waxed and everyone noticed my nails weren't done. I mean, who pays attention to the things we think they really should?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

I know what happens - I will accept bribes!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I wouldn't rip it ... but then I'm lazy and I'm like everyone else & didn't even know what the arrows were pointing at until you said ... and I even increased the size of the picture to see better & still didn't see it. It's in the back & THIS knitter would never have noticed it in real life either. Curious to know what you've done about it tho. I hope it wasn't too painful.

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...


9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since we haven't heard from you since this posting I'm quite sure you must be ripping.
(or are you dyeing more yarn for us?)

11:10 AM  

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