Monday, 24 March 2008

Rowan 43 Mustang finished and errata

I sewed the buttons onto my Rowan 43 Mustang jumper this morning, and am wearing it as I type. It feels more like wearing a sweatshirt than a sweater, in the firm cotton Rowan Denim yarn, but is quite comfortable.

Now for the details (if you aren't interested in knitting the Mustang, then skip to the end of the post now).

I knit the large size apart from the length, where I went for the Medium specifications, using the Memphis colourway. I started with 15 balls but I think I have at least 1 ball left, so likely only used 14 which is the number specified for the Large size. I have a 36 inch bust and no waist to speak of, and I find the sweater is fitting comfortably with some ease (not skin tight like on the model in the magazine). The sleeves are slightly long, but then I often have that problem. I do find that the lace yoke is considerably more stretchy than the stockinette body, giving a tendency for the shoulder to hang lower than it should really, which may be contributing to my problem with the sleeves being a bit too long.

Errata: I believe there are several mistakes in the pattern in reference to knitting the lace yoke and neckline on the front. When I knit the back, it took me 10 lace repeats (40 rows) to reach the specified 26.5cm for the armhole depth. Looking at the photo in the magazine, this seems right as you can also count 10 repeats on the model. However, the front instructions say to work 37 rows less than the back before binding off for the neckline. This would mean the lace pattern was only 3 rows started, which is obviously wrong, as when you look at the photo the lace pattern clearly has about 5 repeats (20 rows) before the neckline bind off. The front instructions go on to give the shaping, then tell you to knit 17 more rows, which wouldn't match the back at all in length. In the end I followed the photo, so I knit 5 lace repeats, bound off for the neckline, followed the neck shaping, by which time I had reached 10 lace repeats so I jumped to the shoulder instructions without knitting any further rows.

Washing: Rowan Denim yarn shrinks in length when you wash it according to the ball band (60 degree wash, tumble dry) and fades. When you have knit the sweater pieces, they all seem much too long and the lace pattern seems too loopy and loose. Chuck the whole thing in the washing machine, and a magical transformation takes place. Out comes a firm ready-blocked piece of knitting, with a well defined lace pattern. I also washed a swatch of knitting at the same time, then unravelled the swatch so as to have pre-shrunk pre-faded yarn for seaming up. The only pressing I did was on seams, plus I pinned out the lace yoke to steam press it flat.

Knitting: I knit the stockinette portions on a Brother 260 chunky knitting machine, on Tension 1-dot. I knit the ribs by hand on 3mm needles, and the lace yoke by hand on 4mm needles.

Right - what else have I been doing? I finished the first Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock and have started the second. This is a pattern from More Sensational Socks, using the Crosshatch lace six-stitch pattern on page 90. I was fascinated to find the colourway on this sock actually resulting in a swirl of colour down the upper part of the sock, instead of the more usual stripes. The lace pattern is an 8-row repeat, and I have to say that I didn't really enjoy it as I found it too fiddly to keep track of where I was. I had to use a row counter and even then ended up doing lots of reverse knitting. That's why I only knit the pattern on the upper sock, and reverted to plain stockinette for the foot. I haven't blocked the sock yet, so the lace pattern hasn't really opened up yet.

I've got Saturday Sewing club this coming weekend, so I made the next sample for our BOM. It's a plain flying geese block, but due to slightly peculiar measurements (4"x8") I am instructing them to use the foundation method.

Remember the room box I built for my older friend who is recreating the 1930s hair salon where she worked? I've finished the front of it now, working from an old black and white photo that she still had. I'm no carpenter, but it has come out pretty well and she is very pleased with it. The 'glass' is 2mm plexi sold at B&Q.

I will be away for a couple of weeks attending the Tom Bishop Chicago Show, followed by the Chicago International quilt show. If I can get onto a computer, I will blog an update, but otherwise you will have to wait until I get back! I should have lots of goodies and fun things to report.


Greenmare said...

that sweater is awesome!!!! what a great knitter you are, I am so jealous! I will be at the Chicago quilt show too! small world!

Vanessa Hubbard said...

That sweater is even better close up. Well done.

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