Thursday, June 14, 2007

Susan's (Un)Sensational Saggy Sweater

I checked my e-mail yesterday afternoon to find a posted comment from Sandy (who must have been reading some back posts) asking when I'd do a F.O. report on my green tea raglan - as I'd been obviously negligent in that area. I decided that there was no time like the present - so when I got dressed this morning I reached for my purple raglan - and within 5 minutes was mentally composing a post on why this sweater has really, really, REALLY disappointed me.

I don't think it's the pattern - I didn't discover any huge errors or suchlike in it at all, and don't get me wrong either - I love the yarn. It's softer than I ever imagined bamboo (100% bamboo!) would be - and I just adore the colour I chose. It's just that the sweater - which fits me for the first 2 minutes of wearing - starts to sag and droop and just kind of fade around me somewhere after the 2 minute, 30 second mark. (But, oh, for those first magical 90 seconds how I do love it so.....)

But two perfect minutes are just not long enough.

The first day I wore the sweater all was good - all was GREAT in fact - until I went into the bathroom and noticed that my sleeve, which had started out nicely snug and slim against the underside of my arm, was starting to bag a little bit. "Hmmmmmmmm............................" I thought. "Well........... that's probably okay - I don't want the arm to be too tight, right?", and so I didn't give it another thought.

But then about an hour later as I walked across the library I looked down and saw that the hem, which had previously been just a hand's span below my bellybutton and smoothly sleek against my pants, had stretched so much that it was starting to........sag a bit lower, and to blouse and ruffle around me. Now while I might be a bit blase about my arms, I'm anything but when it comes to my hips. No extra weight or yardage around those two monuments of mine nosireethankyoubob. So that broke my stride and made me frown a bit as I kept on walking around the building, running my little errands.

I had already come to terms with the fact that it was - due to the nature of the yarn & the needle size I had to use to get gauge - essentially see-through and reminded me more of a piece of chain mail than a sweater. I had even gone out and bought camisoles to wear under it, I had decided that I was *that* okay with that particular design element. (If you can call it such a thing.)

But for me the final straw came when, at the end of the day, I walked outside to mail something in the blue U.S. Post Office mailbox on the corner. As I walked I heard this sort of.............slapping flapping noise and looked down. My sweater hem, which had previously started out a few inches below my bellybutton and was snug around my hips was now down to the middle of my thighs and was literally flaring out like a dress. If I had just a pair of opaque tights on instead of jeans nobody would have even blinked - they'd have thought I was wearing a purple knitted minidress. Not Cool.

Not Acceptable.

So I pondered that evening what I could do to the sweater to fix it, and as I had been reading some Elizabeth Zimmerman not too long before that, suddenly I got the urge to Tell My Knitting Who Was Boss! - so I took a measurement, yanked out my scissors, and simply cut off a huge whacking piece creating a new bottom hem. I pulled out the stray pieces of yarn, shoved the raw stitches that were sticking out on a size 7 circular needle, knitted a row, and then cast off, leaving a rather silky crumpled heap of chopped yarn behind. While that has most certainly helped, I still can't quite get over the 'growth' factor of this yarn - how much it stretches upon wearing, how see-through it is knitted at this gauge, and how while it's lovely and light and silky I can't really feel any of that like I'd like to because I have to wear a camisole under it to keep from showing everyone my bra seams & hooks. Plus the neckline keeps on stretching and showing both bra straps and camisole straps after just an hour or so of wearing.

So, I'm 99.9% reconciled to frog it - my only question is do others think that this yarn, knitted at a much tighter gauge, will sag and droop just like this sweater does, and therefore should I make something completely different? Or should tightening up the gauge give the sags the old heave-ho and knitting a second sweater in a tighter fashion is certainly worth a try?

And while you ponder all of that for me, here are some pictures of what else I've been doing during my recent silent time.................

One finished sockpal sock.

One finished 'Picovoli' gauge swatch.

One almost finished Ribbed Baby Jacket for Maxine. With mods.

.........and last, but certainly not least, for Mel - pics of our beloved Takezo, the Wonder Pup.....


............and this very morning, a few weeks after his summer haircut.


Susan Pandorf said...

Oh, the horror! Sweatercide! (No, not when we kill a sweater. That's frogging) To think that the poor sweater had so little respect for itself that it just let itself go like that - wrinkles, sags, bags...

Wait a minute - perhaps I, who reside in a fifty year old glass house, should refrain from throwing stones.

I believe in Karma (also known as recycling) Just because the pullover commited sweatercide, doesn't mean she can't be reborn as a lower life form (like a hat and scarf maybe?)

Because that's how reincarnation works, right?

Blessings from one Susan to another!

Emily said...

I'd be afraid to make another sweater in that yarn. that's a lot of work for something you might tear out yet again. I imagine it will still stretch even at a tighter gauge - unless it is all stretched out, but it's plant fiber...does it ever stop stretching? Youc ould always make throw pillows. That was completely unhelpful I'm sure. :D

In closing: PUPPY!!

jessie said...

That sucks! The sweater is very beautiful, but maybe you can only wear it for very short errands....

I like that you attacked it with scissors. Show no mercy.

Nice sock pal sock...

The Sanguine Gryphon said...

Maybe if you reknit at a tighter gauge and MUCH smaller. As in way too tight for you normally. Perhaps then it will stretch to look just as originally envisioned.

You're generous to say this isn't the designer's fault, but I suspect it is. Not to say I might not have made the same mistake... the moral is to get to know the yarn a little better before jumping into bed with it. But it's so easy to fall for a yarn and be slutty on the first date!

mel said...

I'm catching up!!

Oh Takezo :) So very cute! They are such wonderful dogs when they aren't making huge messes ;)

Your green tea experience reminds me of my little cardi part one, except it wasn't a yarn/stretchiness problem, definitely a mel/math problem.

Your sock pal sock is just gorgeous Susan - she'll LOVE it!

And I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend in your previous post. That's just awful. My heart goes out to her family - and to you. :(