Monday, May 16, 2011

Punishing Peasy Ultimately Pleases

At last,  I present, with it's lovely uncurled edges,  Peasy. 

  
As my title suggests, Peasy was not an breeze- through knit.  It's curling edges stumped me through five incarnations. In it's final form though, the sweater pleases me. 

Once again, I find myself out of sync with the 508 ravelry knitters   who have knit this pattern.  ("Great pattern.  Easy pattern.  Lovely pattern."  Not a negative or instructive  word to be read)   The pattern wasn't horrible, but is certainly not one that I would recommend  following blindly.   Heidi Kirrmaier has some lovely designs.   Vitamin D, Pipit, Summer Solstice, Grapevine and Buttercup are but a few that I had envisioned knitting.  If, however, I were to knit another of her patterns, I would  certainly approach the project  with the eye of a cynical technician.   I'd  ask  - "Is this really how I want to knit this sweater?"  "Is this really how I want this sweater to look?"

Peasy, as an example,  is a top down sweater.  Great - that's usually good, problem-free knitting.  Peasy however, started at the neck with three rows of garter stitch above the lace portion only.   The top of the sleeves and back started with stockinet stitch.  Once the sweater was complete, the pattern said to return to the unfinished sleeve & back tops and knit three rows of garter stitch to finish off that section of the neckline.   Then, of course,  somehow the added-later garter edge had to be connected to the original garter edge.  A cast-off edge, connected to a cast-on edge.  A different look entirely and because the connection sits at the centre front of the sweater, it needed to be neat and tidy.  How much easier it would have been to start the entire sweater with the ultimate finished edge.

Then there are the sleeves - the unshaped sleeves.  Knit top down, they are one width all the way down. Close to the bottom of the sleeves, there is one row where stitches are decreased away before knitting the ineffective  three rows of garter.  I knew that the sleeves were unshaped and could, of course, have rendered them my own with some decreases as I descended towards the finish.  And know now that  I should have.  But I liked the picture on ravelry, showing the sweater  knit as the pattern instructed, so decided to knit mine that way as well.  The sleeves are simply OK.  Not great.  Just OK.  Next time, I'd shape them.

And lastly,  there is the most ineffective, three rows of garter edging.  It simply doesn't work - at least not for me and the yarn I used. I finally chose a  six row, 3x3 garter rib for the bottom edge of both the sweater and the sleeves.
 

The front bands I finished with a 5 row, reverse garter ( purl stitches rather than knit stitches) edging.  It was  knit up the right front, across the lace,  the sleeves and the back and continued on to finish at the bottom left front corner.

 
 

 Zara, the yarn used for my Peasy is a washable wool.  It's spin is somewhat  tubular  and probably for that reason, it split easily.   I have some very uneven stitches in Peasy that occurred when I  let a stitch drop down several rows in order to correct a spit stitch and then laddered back up with a crochet hook.  The unevenness has been somewhat subdued  by blocking, and will, I hope, disappear as the sweater is washed and worn.

Knitting  this pattern has only confirmed for me, that I am better at pattern-free knitting. I do better with a vision, a concept and Elizabeth Zimmermann by my side.    Having said all  this negative 'stuff' about pattern and yarn,  I do admit that Peasy's end result is a very, wearable, off-white sweater.  A great  neutral garment that should see  lots of wear.  Punishing to knit, but a pleasing addition to my wardrobe.

7 comments:

Joansie said...

Absolutely lovely! So, what's next?

Sel and Poivre said...

Gasp! Its so sweet! I love the neckline's scalloped edge. I love the softness of the sleeves. The colour is soooo lovely beside that gorgeous deep coral of your shirt. Did I mention "gasp"!

Kristyn said...

It is beautiful even if it was a major PITA.

Sandra said...

thanks for the insight. Peasy was on my "want" list, but now I think I'd be better off with my own pattern, and adding lace inserts. It's so helpful when you can share your knowledge and experience.
That said - it's one beautiful sweater!

Needles said...

For all the pain, it looks like it was worth it. I'm going to hold on to that thought today.

Sharon said...

Love the sweater..so simple and pretty,,looks great on you....Sharon

freshisle said...

So worth it. It's lovely.