Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finishing the Adult Surprise Jacket

Today I sewed up the adult surprise jacket and darned in all the loose ends. Then I could try it on.

It fits pretty well. I am glad that I did the armhole depth adjustment. This is a slight change to the pattern that is recommended if you want a deeper armhole than on the original pattern. I don't like tight armholes, so I did this adjustment. It causes the top seam to move a bit toward the back, but this isn't a problem for me.

The only slight fit problem is that it is not quite as big around as I planned it to be. The directions said to find out your gauge, and then measure a sweater that fits well to figure out how many stitches to cast on. My error was that I thought my gauge was 4 sts/in, when in fact it was closer to 4.5 sts/in. Still, it fits like a slim cardigan rather than a boxy jacket, and that's ok.

The other mistake that I made was to use some chenille here and there, and it is already worming its way out in places, like on the sleeve, as you can see in the picture.

I sewed up the sleeves. There was an option to join the sleeves to the back at the top of the sweater by doing an I-cord cast-off, but that would have created a little raised cord along the back of the arm and shoulder, and I thought that might not be comfortable under a jacket. Just plain old sewing with a darning needle worked fine.

I still don't have any buttons, but that will soon be remedied.

So, would I make this sweater again? I might make it again as a tee shirt. If you didn't lengthen the sleeves or the bottom, and just made it exactly like the baby surprise jacket with elbow-length sleeves, it would be a nice short jacket. Or you could seam it up the front and make a pullover tee.

I think it's a good pattern for cotton yarn. Knitting cotton in garter stitch gives it some stretchiness that plain stockinette stitch, knit in cotton, lacks. Garter stitch is very stretchy in all directions, so the fact that it's a bit tight around the bottom of the sweater is not a huge problem.

Cotton is not my favorite knitting yarn, although it's practical for Houston. One problem I noticed when I was darning in the ends is that they don't stay darned in, as wool ends do. They are slippery and easily work themselves out. So I had to tie some knots on the inside to keep the ends stable.

The one bad thing about knitting sweaters in one large, amorphous shape like this is that you can't try it on near the beginning to make sure you've got it the right size. When you knit in the round from the bottom up, you can do this.

My next sweater is going to be a wool fair isle sweater knit from handspun, so I will be able to try it on near the beginning and make sure it's right before I proceed.

I think I will get a lot of wear out of this sweater, though, as it's the perfect weight for Houston in the fall. And because it has almost every color in it, it matches all my clothes!