27 June 2014

Not According to Plan

My theme for 2014 is: Catch up from 2013.

I'm also in the middle of Things Not Going As Planned. I was supposed to be visiting in Pennsylvania and Maryland right now. But I am home in Georgia because my sweet, cuddly, fluffy ball of joy and love -- Vincent -- turned up lame the evening of Friday the 13th. A fortnight later, he is doing much better and so am I. It was a scary several days where he was doing the zombie shuffle with his hind legs and I didn't have a prognosis. He is on medication twice a day right now and I expect he will have follow up appointments with his veterinarian or the specialty veterinarians who performed a myelogram and MRI on him. So right now, I'm recovering from being emotionally and financially drained, but I am very grateful I still have a two feline household.

This also means I now have two unscheduled weeks in front of me. After all, I was going to be away, so I cleared my schedule. So, it is time to catch up.

Updating my Ravelry projects page and stash seemed like a good thing to catch up.

This is the Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket. The pattern came out last year, and I was immediately smitten. I've made several Baby Surprise Jackets, so this looked like just more of the same but with the fun of color patterns! I bought yarn. I made a swatch so I could decide whether I wanted teal on green or green on teal and what color the bands should be. Then I cast on with the idea that I would be offering this as a class. I worked on it during the autumn, from September to November, which is a long time for me to work on something that uses less than 8 ounces of yarn. And I ended up deciding I can't teach this.

a swatch for auditioning color combinations
Part of the problem is the steeks. Clearly, I am going to need more practice. This is the second time I have attempted a crocheted steek, and it is the second time I have had problems with said crochet chain pulling off and leaving the cut yarn ends dangling in the breeze. Jenna the Yarn Pimp tells me I should just run a steek up on a sewing machine, and I believe her.

There are a couple issues I would have even if the steeks had behaved themselves in this project. The longer steek is okay, but it ends up across the top seam in the sleeves. The extra bulk this creates is probably fine on an adult or child jacket, but I didn’t care for on the baby size. When I teach a regular baby surprise jacket, I use some careful planning to minimize the bulk in the sleeve seam. There are two other steeks, and both are small. I found them difficult to tack down, especially the steek at the collar, as it is only five rows tall. I ended up with a little tab of fabric that was sort of in the way, but not enough to sew down and weave in an end.

There are other minor issues. The color work stranding tends to show through at the cuffs. There are lots of little ends to be woven in that seem to want to pop out. Maybe all this would be less noticeable when the garment is worn? And if you do the cuff and nappy shaping, then the pattern breaks. Ugh!

If I made this again I would:
  • use a sewing machine steek if using superwash yarn
  • find an alternative to a steek for the collar and back extension
  • possibly chuck the color work & steek idea and work back and forth in double-knit
 Then again, isn't double knitting always my go-to solution?

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Hi there, I ran into this post in doing the csbsj...I agree with Jenna...I think that the sewing maching will reduce bulk of the steek (I'm not there yet but Ive done many a steek this way). My issue is with the pattern break due to the sleeve and back shaping as well...from what I can tell from the photos, Cully has centered the pattern on the back but does not explain this in the pattern.I plan on doing another but will probably change the pattern/mismatch somehow to avoid the pattern breaks. Thanks for posting!!