Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Cold Shoulder?

Not anymore!

Wow -- two weeks without posting. Chalk it up to a combination of not a lot of knitting getting done, and being busy with a new semester and the new additions to our family.

I had hit a wall with Jeff's Seamless Hybrid Sweater, not sure quite how to deal with the neck. First I tried a 2x2 rib. I didn't want to do a normal bind-off with that, so I reversed the position of every other stitch to change it to 1x1 rib, and then did a tubular bind-off Kitchener style. The resulting edge didn't look as neat as I'd expected, plus it was incredibly inflexible. As you can imagine, un-Kitchenering 84 stitches is a pain.

I undid it last weekend, and then this week I did a 1x1 rib which I would then bind off loosely, then fold in on itself and tack it down. I estimated and tried it on Jeff but when I was done, I could see that I'd knit too many rows. It looked, well, obscene.

So I untacked it, undid the bind-off, ripped back eight rounds, re-bound off, re-tacked, and then I was happy. Just a little weaving in and a little time with Steamy McVaporsen to get the whole thing into shape. I love my steamer. I just steamed one side, left it under the ceiling fan for a few hours, repeated for the other side, and I was good to go. No need to use wires or pins -- this thing fits perfectly and it's dry as a, well, dry sweater.

One good sign? Jeff put it on for these pictures and hasn't taken it off yet.

I will definitely knit another one of these or one of its variations in the future. What would I do differently? I would most definitely start the hem and the cuffs with the contrasting yarn on a provisional cast on and then knit the two colors together on the way up with the main color as both Splityarn and Brooklyn Tweed did. I would also like to think that I would pay more attention to gauge, so I wouldn't have to start over. Other than that, this is pretty straightforward. Having done one of these, I would think that the next time around the whole process should fly by much more quickly. Providing I don't wait too long. I put good notes on my Ravelry entry for this project, so there's that.

As an added extra treat, my sister, brother-in-law and niece dropped by today to give me a book they picked up at Half Price Books today: Men Who Knit & the Dogs Who Love Them: 30 Great-Looking Designs for Man and His Best Friend by Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky. While there are some good-looking patterns (and dogs) in here, I'm a little concerned about a book that lumps basenjis, size-wise, with Pomeranians! Leaving that aside, there is a great section on sizing-up your dog (and the dog's man) in order to get a good fit. I know it will be a great source for coming up with a pattern for Pona. Poor thing gets so chilly on walks, lacking any body fat. I got him a sweater at the pet store while picking up some food this weekend, but it's meant more for a terrier and the foreleg holes aren't big enough nor are they positioned properly. He looked like Jennifer Beals during walkies yesterday. Not a good look for 2010.


  1. Oh - I have so much to say!

    The sweater looks perfect. You KNOW you've got a winner there if Jeff is not only wearing it, but always wearing it. Your idea for the cuff and the hems - yes. Exactly what I would do, too. So much easier than trying to hem it down later.

    Regarding the neck BO - did you consider a sewn BO? It is my new favorite thing, and I'm using it for everything now. It's all but invisible, and you have complete control of the firmness as you work it.

    Do you want to see the MonoRaglan sweater I made for Ike and work from that for your dogs? As you know, Basenjis usually have narrower waists, longer bodies, and broader chests than most dog patterns allow for. Tons more shaping than one would need for a terrier sweater!

    Awesome job (and patience) on the sweater. It really is perfect.

  2. FABULOUS sweater! Next time please take photos of all the bad neck bindoffs before ripping. They are so illustrative! (plus, I'm just curious about the "obscene" one!)

  3. The sweater is gorgeous - beautiful job! I'm completely impressed that you un-Kitchener'd all those stitches. You really are an amazing knitter and such an inspriration.

    Great new book - I can't wait to see what you make out of it!

  4. Tristan has the *same* issue with the store-bought sweater! A dachshund's chest juts much further than whatever dog (did they use an actual dog?) the designers used and he ends up unable to walk properly, his little legs struggling to move forward--and what a great book title. ;)

  5. The sweater is perfectly lovely, but what I'm really excited about is your beautiful doggies - fine additions to your family! Can you bring them to the next meeting??? I'll watch them - not many doggier than I!