Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When good knits go bad then come right again

Oh the difference a day makes.

Again, I am ever so thankful that my mother is a knitter and lives in a small town with several little yarn stores which carry the yarn I need when the big city yarn stores have already taken the discontinued ones off the shelves. Thanks Mum. My clapotis will have a happy ending after all.

And my big pink blob cardigan. Last night I blocked the bejesus out of it (I think the official term is frankenblocking) and added *ahem* several inches of length. The girls and I went and got some more buttons this afternoon and she is all finished. And while it will not be on my 'most favourite knit ever' list I am reasonably pleased with the final outcome.


The pattern is by Suss Cousins and is called Assymmetrical Buttoned Cardigan (Rav link). I saw it in a book of Mums and was really drawn to the simplicity with just a little twist and probably, if I am really honest, the really cool buttons they used on the sample (which of course I couldn't find anything remotely like here). I am on the only second person on Ravelry to make this jacket (and only 7 people have queued it) so I won't go into too many details about the pattern itself since it's unlikely anyone reading this will be itching to make it straight away. If you are interested in the endless issues I had with this pattern (and the questionable tech editing) then have a look at my Ravelry project page. Suffice to say it is not a pattern I will be making again!

The yarn is my "go to" for aran weight patterns - Paton's Jet Alpaca/Wool - which I have used heaps of times before, notably this exact colourway for M's Ribbed Jacket (which now I think about it looks rather similar to this one). Once again absolutely no issues with the yarn and it does respond so nicely to a bit of a bath and my stocking stitch looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

So on with the photography...

The jacket is a boxy style (no waist shaping ) designed to be worn buttoned all the way up. I wasn't kidding when I said big pink blob!


You will note how it stops right on the widest part of my hips making me look even wider than normal. You will also notice the gaping button over the boobage area which itself appears to be somewhere around my waist. And somehow I don't have a waist anymore. Hmm so flattering.

I've watched enough Trinny and Susannah to know that a girl with breastfeeding DD cleavage should really stay away from turtle necks and tops that don't have a deep or wide neckline. Not sure what I was thinking picking this pattern to be honest since I'd never pick up this sort of style top in a shop!
(Girls with bigger breasts can check out the "rules" here - there is even a page where it says not to choose boxy short waisted jackets!! Personally I hate they way they refer to "tits" but if you can get past that, the clothing advice is pretty good)

All is not lost however. Thinking more about what *does* look better on my figure I decided to see how the sweater would look without that big collar and maybe a few of those other buttons undone as well....

Perfectly acceptable yes?

Wider neckline stops the big balloon front thing happening and because its falling from the chest there is even just a hint of a waist.

It's not how it was intended to be worn but I think it will do just fine. I know you can see the neckline/button band seams and it doesn't appear so asymmetrical worn this way but I'm pretty sure no one is going to come up to me in the street to ask why my collar isn't the same size on both sides.

It may be relegated to an at home sweater but since I spend a lot of my time just at home that's fine with me. The main thing is that it was salvaged and all that knitting (and nice yarn) was not in vain.


So not a great success but not a complete ugh either. The end result was a wearable sweater (I'm so pleased) and lots of lessons learnt - there won't be any more knitting of patterns that haven't had a bit of Ravelry attention (personally I like a heads up if anything is going to be amiss) and there won't be any more admiring of sweaters who don't fit the rules! I DO know what styles suit me and this was a good lesson in using that knowledge when I'm thinking about knitting for myself. This whole experience also reconfirmed for me that top down raglan/yoked, where you can try on as you go, is the only way I want to knit - there's nothing as gutting as spending all that time and skill only to find (once you've gone through the agony that is seaming) that your sweater doesn't fit/flatter/do justice to your efforts.

So, big pink blob sweater, you may not be my best ever sweater, hell, you're not even a just plain good sweater, but you are the sweater that will make sure all the rest to follow are better!

M7 and I were rushing to get some pics before the light faded all together (winter....sigh) so they aren't the best I'm afraid. There are a few dodgy bathroom self potraits on flickr too


Bells said...

oh yes! Much better when undone a little. You are so right. It's wearable like that (the gapy button over the boobage was the bigger issue, I thought, than the boxiness). And it's so good to learn things from a piece of knitwear isn't it?

I am so glad you said that about T&S and their use of the word tits. I hate it so much. A woman tried to tell me once that it makes them sound classy. I don't think so at all. I think it sounds like two posh girls using a word that makes them feel like 'average girls' and it DOES NOT WORK.

Liz said...

I must say I was panicing when I saw the first photo...then I saw the last photos. Well recovered, it looks really cute buttoned only part way and opening the collar.

I bet you are so relieved! Well done!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

It almost doesn't even look like the same sweater when you unbuttoned and smiled :). Great knitting, it is so frustrating to put so much work into something and then not get any use out of it. I'm really glad you found a way to make it work!

Anna said...

Actually, I think you're being a bit hard on the pink blob. Agreed, it's not the most flattering garment when done up, but with just a couple of buttons as you've done on the bottom pics, I think it's a lot better than just fine. In fact, I think it's pretty cute. The colour is also lovely on you.

I am a fan of T&S, and their rules for curvy girls have served me well over the years. Maybe their word for ladybumps is a cultural difference thing? For me, 'boobs' sounds more like a word I'd say to a child (as in, 'please don't bash mummy's boobs with the lego man, darling!'), whereas 'tits' has a bit more of a grown up connotation? Just a thought...

Normatika in NZ said...

so glad you found a way to make it work. Add a funky brooch and your pink jersey is ready for a trip out too! btw I love that shade of pink.

Julie said...

Hey I like it, but you are right it is definitely better undone! Are you going to Craft 2.O tomorrow??? I will be there at some stage so will look out for you just incase.... X

nova_j said...

you took a boxy-pink-blob-cardi and made it work.. i bow down to your awesomeness!! :D

(thanks for the T&S link too! not sure whether to follow the big or small boobs advice tho, having small boobs that look huge over a high, thick waist! lol..)

Anonymous said...

I've found with Suss' designs, you can never wear them the way she intended.

The unbuttoned look is absolutely amazing on you. Glorious even. Don't even try the all-buttoned version again!

And yay for the clappy!

Rose Red said...

I think the high neck is more of an issue than alleged boxyness (when buttoned up) - I still think it shows your shape - but it really does work much better unbuttoned as you have in the last couple of pics.

I also hate T&S's use of "tits" (although am a huge fan of their work generally!). It's just a bit "show us yer tits, luv" for me!! I'd prefer they used boobs, bust or even, hey, breasts! But maybe it's a cultural thing!!

little grubs said...

Oh this has just made me laugh so much!!!! You have done the classic before and after shots - and it looks great in the after! And as someone else said the smile! x

Lynne said...

I gave up sewing my own clothes for jsut that reason - they looked so good o nhte 2metre tall size 6 models but not so flattering on 168cm size *ahem* me!

I'm glad you found a way to make the cardi look flattering and please you.

Leonie said...

As RoseRed said, every time I hear T&S say tits I have a picture in my mind of a building site and all the guys lines up in a row yelling "show us yer tits luv", their advice is quite good though and so worth at least having a read of to get some ideas! Glad to hear your Mum came through for the clappy, and the pink cardy looks soooo much better undone, infinitely wearable!

Andrea said...

It looks great! What a difference. I had to check iut your block since Ravelry told me we had 27 patterns in common!!!! Mostly in my queue though :)
And I was also a double D (at least) while breastfeeding. I HATED it.