Thursday, February 5, 2009

Topographie Sweater: the Big Reveal

After a skirmish or two with my photographer, I was able to get some photos of my finished sweater this morning, in the bright blinding sun.

I am super happy with how well it turned out. After blocking, it's a little bit longer than I had planned, mostly because I didn't really bother with measuring it much after I blocked it out to dry (read: the measuring tape was in the next room.) The sleeves, however, remained the perfect length. As predicted, the stitch pattern did smooth out a lot, the kool-aid stayed fixed in the yarn, and it looks pretty cool, I think. And the thing fits like a handknitted glove.

I did a lot of short row shaping in this sweater -- the back has a couple of short rows, right above the bottom hem, to add some extra length to the back of the sweater. I hate it when shirts ride up in the back.
Then I did some decreases to the waistline -- I did three in back and only two in front, every two rows. This had the added bonus of making a subtle curve in the back, which is reminiscent of a bustle. It fits well over my also-curvy fanny. Then I did some short rows at the bustline to give some added length there, so the sweater won't ride up in front, either. It fits there just perfectly. Then near the top of the yoke, I added a few short rows in back, to raise the back neck a bit. In future, I would extend those short rows around the side of the neckline, to bring the sides up a smidgen more than the front, as well.

I agonized a bit over how to finish the neckline, but opted for a basic hem to match the sleeves and bottom hem. It is about half the width of the other hems, though. I was worried that it might stand up all weird, but it just barely stands up, and I really like it, actually. I had considered doing a rolled hem (the easy way out) but couldn't stand that it wouldn't match the other hems.

I am totally enamoured of this sweater, and love how it fits (and how easy it was to do.) I didn't entirely use Zimmermann's percentage system to make it, but used a lot of my own calculations and adjustments. That's the secret of a well-fitted knit, after all. I am really excited at the prospect of making another yoke sweater in the future, with some nice fair isle in the yoke. I will have to add one to my always-ridiculously-long To Do List.

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