Lament of a Knitter

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in an "I Love Lucy" episode.  You know the one where Lucy promises Ricky she'll economize so she makes her own dress?  When Ethel sees her attempt and laughs, Lucy says "I made it with my own two hands," and Ethel replies "It looks like you made it with your own two feet."  Yeah, that's the one.  That's how I often feel after finishing a knitting project.

Last week I reported that I had a WIP called Coachella.  Yesterday I finished it and today I tried it on for the first time after blocking.

This is how it's supposed to look:

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Model and photos by Fathom Harvill

Very sexy, eh?

This is how it looks on me:

holly_front 

Note how it makes my bosom look as if it's hanging somewhere around my navel.  Note also the diapered dog in the background.  That's Kramer, my sixteen year-old, who is now outfitting himself in Pampers Cruisers.  I can't take a photo anywhere in my house without one dog or the other appearing in the background.

This photo better illustrates the droopiness created by the short rows I added to accommodate my bust:

holly_side
I seemed like a good idea at the time, but I definitely didn't need the added bulk in front.

Here's the back, which from this photo doesn't look too bad.  Thank goodness for cropping!

holly_back
In an attempt to salvage this top, I tried it with a jacket, thinking it would make a good shell:

holly_jacket
And in fact it doesn't look that bad as a shell, but I'd never be able to take my jacket off, so it's unlikely I'll ever wear it this way.

All right, now for a critical analysis of what went wrong.  First and foremost, I shouldn't have added the bust shaping, but of course I had no way of knowing that until it was pretty much too late.  I did follow the recommendation in the instructions of putting the live stitches on waste yarn and trying the top on to make sure it hung right, but at the time it did seem to hang all right.  Looking back, however, I feel like I probably ignored how bulky it was in the front, thinking it would end up okay.

Note to self:  If I think something is going wrong, don't blindly finish the project hoping for the knit faerie to swoop down and magically fix it!  This is a terrible habit of mine, both in knitting and jewelry making.

The second problem might well be (and almost certainly is) a problem with the gauge.  I checked it carefully, but even then sometimes things go wrong.  The garment, which I knitted in medium, fits well in length and girth, it's mostly only the bulky front that is the problem.  It's kind of a weirdly constructed garment so perhaps the addition of the bust shaping and the slight error in gauge contributed to this.

Third, I used an entirely different kind of yarn–a cashmere blend versus "suede."  This does add bulk and might also account for the gauge problem.  I hate being restricted in my yarn choices though and if the gauge matches and I think the yarn fits the style of the garment I will usually use the different yarn.

Hmmmmm, this may account for my abysmal record of wearable finished projects.

I include this critique here because I can't possibly be the only knitter in the world who has this problem.  Or is my personality just not so well-suited to knitting something I can actually wear (besides hats, scarves, and socks)?  Sometimes I wonder.

Holly West

2 Comments

  1. Hmmm, yeah, not the most flattering thing I’ve ever seen. BUT kudos to you for finishing it and hoping for the best.
    Once again you freaked me out. I got my hair cut today and out do’s are VERY similar. We seem to do that a lot. I love it on you. You look GREAT with bangs. Tres lovely. When you get a certain age, I think bangs are worth a try (like I’m doing now as well). LOVE the color as well. Then again, I’ve never seen you with bad hair.
    Better luck on your next creative endevor. Love the diaper dog too. I have a NASA dog next to me. Snack had a tumor taken off today and is recovering at my feet. Our poor gimpy puppies!

  2. Gosh, i would just like to knit a scarf, so it looks pretty good to me. I had to laugh about your comment about taking pictures with one or both dogs in the background. We always have a cat or dog tail somewhere in the pictures we take around the house!

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