Monday, June 02, 2008
The Seamless Hybrid
Elizabeth Zimmerman's Seamless Hybrid sweater has always intrigued me. I have known about it for years, but recently I have been thinking about finally knitting it. I borrowed the book from my stepdaugher, Holli Yeoh, and after reading the pattern went out and bought the yarn at Three Bags Full here in Vancouver. I chose "The Heathers" by Cascade 220 in purple, and added an accent in orange using Rowan Pure Wool DK. The needles were 4.5 mm Addi Turbos for lace - I love those needles.
I started with excitement and trepidation and surprised myself by finishing it in six days. The colours look great together. The orange was an inspired choice, picked out by Christa Giles at the shop - the bonus was that it was on a half price sale. I used 4.5 mm needles, Addi Turbos for lace knitting which I love. I do think that I could have used smaller needles, which may certainly have taken me longer, but might give a tighter looking stitch.
I also need to express my thanks to the members of my Gay and Lesbian Knit List, who did a little cyber hand-holding while I was knitting the sweater. I had a little panic attack about beginning the shoulder - EZ's instructions are a little vague - it's a challenge to knit a sweater when the instructions are somewhat cavalierly written in a "oh, you'll figure it out" style. But that's EZ, and in fact, if I had trusted her, I would have had no problem - things do unfold as they should. But I trusted my friends in Cyber space and they were right, things worked out.
I love working in the round. Grafting the shoulder was fun, since I did my best to make the stitches match where the slipped stitches appear on the edges. I also enjoyed the challenge of making the underarm grafts look smooth - not so easy on the triangle. Now that I've taken a few pictures I realize that I need to work on the graft on the shoulder back - there's a visible line where I didn't take the care I should have to ensure the stitches were blended perfectly. I'm going to have to tug and pull on that area to make all the stitches look the same. Seems to be working for me so far, but I haven't seen it on since doing that so can't say for sure.
One flaw - I should have paid attention to EZ and did the bottom band in 10% fewer stitches. When I did the swatches, it appeared that the accent yarn was about 10% less, so I thought it would work. Wrong. The bottom flares out a bit. I did it right on the sleeves and the neck.
The neck was another challenge. When I picked up the stitches I had 120 which was way too many. I solved the problem by decreasing on the first row to 80 stitches which really improved the look. I was glad I did the plain hemmed neck rather than a rib as others seem to have done. It just makes the sweater that much more of a complete work of art. I sewed the neck by stitching down the live stitches as I slipped them off the needles. It looks a little loose, but I wanted to make sure it was not pulling in any way.
Now that I've completed this sweater, I want to do another one. While wandering through my own stash on Ravlery, I noticed that I have a whole bag of yarn in Gedifra Tweed. Bet that would look good in this sweater too. Hmmm, wonder if I have enough yarn. I'm also imagining doing the sweater in a fingering weight yarn - but for a child, not an adult. I'm not quite a masochist. I'll have to think about that - and maybe measure my grandson for size.