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Brewer Burns

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Fair Isle 101: The Conclusion

Well, she's finished. I finished the sleeves in the middle of last week and was ready to do the neckband by late last week. I finished the neckband on Thursday night and then stayed up until midnight seaming up and blocking. I used to think that all those people out there who hate seaming up garments were a little on the whiny side. I could never understand how you get through all of the hard work of knitting the entire garment and then let a few little seams get in the way of the finished product. Now I know. It took me four hours to sew up the seams on the sweater. And it was a bitch. I was so nervous when I pinned the sleeves into the arm holes (what's the plural of scye? scyes?) that I actually just sat there at my kitchen table for about 20 minutes looking at the body and sleeves and trying to figure out how it should go. I wanted it to look good, and I know from experience that if you sew something in crooked, which is really easy to do with a sleeve-armhole join, it will look terrible and feel terrible on because it will be crooked and pucker. Finally I just did it.

Then came the hard part. The actual seaming. Using Debbie Stoller's book for a reference, I ended up using three different kinds of seams along the armscye and the sleeve seam itself. And I did sew one sleeve crooked, the second one of course. I picked out the seam when I realized it and seamed it again. Then I put it on.

The pattern is supposed to be a pullover with a fair amount of breathing room. It's actually designed to go over another shirt (you can look at the picture on page 35 of Winter '05 Interweave knits) which is exactly how I plan to wear it. So, when I put it on and it pulled in all around so that it really had very little ease (just a little more roomy than a skin tight baby tee shirt) I was a tad worried. By that time it was midnight, so I was thinking, Okay I can work with this. I'll just have to make peace with the fit of the sweater and make it BIGGER next time. At that point I figured that I had been completely delusional about my actual size. So, I took it off, resigned to its (and my) fate, and blocked it. Full immersion block in luke warm water and a drop of woolite, rinsed twice, and laid it out on a towel in the extra room.

Blocking is magic. Not only does the sweater fit perfectly, exactly like in the picture but each and every stitch is perfectly straight, even and shiny. I love it. I wore it saturday when it was dry, I wore it yesterday to work, over a white button down dress shirt, just like in the picture. It's beautiful. I love it. I would never take it off except I live in fear of dropping some staining, oily or toxic substance on it. I love it.

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