Sunday, April 19, 2015

It Seamed like the thing to do....

I haven't made much clothing for myself in a very long time. Knitted socks and scarves don't count because they aren't a fit issue. Now that I've lost quite a bit of weight (63 pounds so far!), I've decided to make some things for me.

The pattern is Tropical Tee by Oat Couture, the yarn is Baby Beenz by Plymouth yarn. The problem was me.  I am doing ok looking at appropriate sizes when shopping, but when it came to selecting a size to knit this top, I went big. Way too big.
The top is two pieces, each knit from the bottom up with the sleeves cast on and continued with the front and back pieces. After joining the shoulder seams, stitches were picked up and knit for the ribbing at the sleeve edges, and lastly, stitches were picked up around the neck to knit a ribbing there also. By the time I was picking up neck stitches, I could see that the neck opening was going to be extremely large. I picked up a few less stitches and used a size smaller needle while doing this. On the next round I went down another needle size and randomly knit two stitches together to draw in the neck. Because this was ribbing, a K2 tog was followed by a P2 tog to keep the ribbing looking somewhat normal. The flecks of color in the yarn helped hide what I did.

When done with the neckline, I tried it on. Holy cannoli.....I think it would have been too large even at my heaviest weight. What was I going to do? I wasn't going to undo the whole sweater and re-knit it at a smaller size.  Instead I got the sewing machine set up. First I tried the sweater on inside out and pinched out the excess, noting the amount in inches. I used white yarn to baste the side seams (which include sleeves) two inches smaller. Because the white yarn didn't show up well to photograph, here is the sweater with tape measures marking 2" on each side. Yes, a total of 4 inches on both sides were coming off!
I used a green temporary marker to sketch my new seam line and used an even feed foot (walking foot) to stitch this while holding my breath.
One side done. You can barely see the seam line along the green mark. Because I didn't want to risk losing any stitches, I sewed a straight line twice and a zig zag once on each side seam.
Now came the real gutsy part...cutting off the knitting!  For the record, I did try it on first after one single line of stitching on each seam.
Here are the cut off pieces. I picked out loose clippings from the seamed edges, then tossed the sweater in a dryer for a few minutes without heat. The lint trap wasn't bad at all, but there was general fuzz and a few pieces of identifiable yarn clippings.
I should have asked my husband to get up from watching TV to take the picture with a less cluttered background, but here I am with a workable sweater. It could still be smaller but I'm ok with this. It isn't meant to be an heirloom and hopefully by fall, I will be smaller still.
Lessons learned:  Measure my current body against pattern before selecting a size to knit, but if you know you aren't going to undo something and start all over, the sewing machine can be your friend. 

1 comment:

Sewconsult said...

Congratulations on the loss! I have hit a plateau of 25 pounds, but I am trying just to keep on the same direction. Your sweater cut down is great. When I saw your portrait in the top corner, before reading, I said, "she's lost a lot of weight!". I need to take in some of my pants a bit, but haven't taken the time. Good luck & continued success.