Friday, September 07, 2007

Fifi for me-me!

Overall, this was a great knit, and I'm really happy with the results. There are a few more pictures on my blog, if you're interested.

Rowan Calmer, "Garnet" (175 yards per ball), almost 4 balls
US 4 and 5 (3.5 and 3.75 mm) circular needles and dpns
US D (3.25 mm) crochet hook

(And I'm glad I got to use the Calmer -- what a great yarn!) However, I did experience a few moments of confusion with the pattern and even, at one point (actually, um, when I was already finished), complete, dumb-struck horror.

I wanted to knit more or less the smallest size, but my gauge was off a bit, so I used the instructions for the second (33.5") size instead.

My main point of confusion was when the instructions seemed to direct me to use what I had thought were the body stitches as the sleeve stitches. After some internal debate (geez, I thought the front and back were wider than the sleeves... this doesn't sound right), I went ahead and did what I thought the pattern wanted me to do, separated the sleeves and knit a bit on the body. Then I tried it on. And it looked funny to me. The neck opening looked too narrow and rolled pretty badly along both front and back, and the sleeves were suddently huge. I ripped back and switched to the lesser number of stitches (71) for each sleeve and the greater number (81) for front and back -- much better!


Modifications: I switched to smaller needles (US 4) after 5 repeats of the 8 round "Lower Bodice" pattern to cinch in the waist a bit. I switched back to US 5's after 2 repeats. I lengthened Fifi quite a bit by knitting 11 total repeats. For the sleeves: I used the instructions for the smallest size for the decrease round and only worked one additional round on each sleeve before the final K1,P1 rib round and rib bind off. Additionally, I single crocheted around the neckline to minimize rolling.

The "dumb-struck horror" I mention above occurred after I was completely finished, I tried it on (as I'd done repeatedly throughout the knitting process) and experienced a shock to notice (for the first time!) that the region of purl stitches on one side of each center cable was one third as wide as the column on the other side, both front and back. How I didn't notice this asymmetry before is beyond me...

If you can't see it in my other photos, here's a close-up of the asymmetry (after blocking):

I hadn't previously noticed any asymmetry in the finished Fifi's I'd seen on the web, but then I started re-looking at other people's photos and realized that this asymmetry was present in all Fifi's. Clearly, it couldn't have bugged me much, since I hadn't noticed before.

During knitting, my increases (especially the Kinc's) had resulted in some obscenely loose stitches, so I went through and redistributed the slack in the diagonal "rib" of the cental panels to make things look nicer. As I did this, I tried to loosen the stitches in the narrow P2 column, and tighten the stitches in the wide P2 column. Blocking helped both issues somewhat, but didn't completely "fix" either.

I love Fifi anyway!


Welsh Girl Knits said...

I really love yours! The length and color. Just beautiful. :)

Jeanie said...

Gorgeous color!!!!!

Octopus Knits said...

Thanks, guys!

Knittymuggins said...

Fantastic color Nell! It looks amazing on you! I had the same trouble when doing the sleeve separation too, so you're not alone :) Glad you love it so much!