Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FO Post: Silk Thermal

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Once upon a time, I bought two skeins of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace and the pattern for a silk t-shirt, thinking that it would be an awesome idea to knit an entire fitted silk sweater on size 1 needles.  (Cue nervous laughter and facial tics here.) That was 2009.  I technically finished this sweater in late 2010 while I was in Japan, but it sat in my basket for a long time for three reasons:

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First, I just didn't like the color I chose.  It was the only color the store had two skeins of at the time, and I was so eager to give the project a shot that I bought them and tried to forget the fact that pale blue and yellow aren't exactly staple colors in my wardrobe.  Last weekend, I finally dyed the damn thing.  I was much happier with the overall color, but sadly the second problem was not alleviated, as explained below.

Second, this colorway that the unfortunate side effect of pooling in giant navy blue patches square in the center of my short rows, ie, my boobs.  You can see a little bit of the target-boob action going on especially in the picture above.  In a sweater this fitted, in this tiny a yarn, there was absolutely no freaking way I was going to get away with leaving out short-rows, because my bust measurement is too much bigger than my waist measurement to reasonably make up the difference in two inches of sweater without the help of short rows.

If I had chosen a solid colorway, this problem would not have occurred.  Le sigh.

Third, I knit the sleeves exactly as recommended, and I hate how tight they are.  The fit of the body is excellent, although if I were to wear it with jeans, I'd want it to be three or four inches longer.  In the case of the sleeves, though, I do not need to walk around feeling self-conscious about how my arms look like little blue sausages.  End of story.

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The second and third problems are really a dealbreaker when it comes to wearing this sweater out of the house.  Which is a shame, because it fits really well in many other ways, it's soft and comfy as hell, and I love the overall color.

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So, all in all, kind of a total failure in the wearability department.  Except - except! - that it will make a spectacular thermal for chilly winter nights in the apartment, or early-morning hikes, or pajamas for backpacking.  Silk always strikes me as a funny fiber - in my head, I usually lump it with natural, non-animal fibers in terms of its drape and memory, but it doesn't really fit in with those, either.  Unlike cotton, it's incredibly warm - there's a reason you can buy fancy silk long underwear, and I imagine its warmth was a big reason for its popularity as stockings for royalty in their drafty castles.

Two years in the making and not quite right in a lot of ways, but I'm still glad I finished this project.  It was my first time inserting short rows into a project, my first experience using silk laceweight, and my first time making a turned hem, which in my opinion is a gorgeous, polished way to finish off a piece of knitting.

Oh well.  Knit and learn.

Pattern: Warm Me Up, a leaflet from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns
Yarn: 1.3 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace, about 1400 yards in total
Needles: Size 1 US Addi Turbos
Modifications: Short rows in the bust, shortening the shoulders after casting off the neckline in the back.

1 comment:

mz said...

I have this pattern too, but I don't (yet) have the yarn to knit it. One of these days, though.