Finished for real

So I won’t actually get to wear it for more than 5 minutes this year, unless I want to sweat buckets.  The 5 minutes to get photos, was hot enough.  So I did not meet my last set guideline and therefore was still working on it at Thanksgiving.  That ended up being for the best, because as I remember the night before I’m never wanting to be in a sweater when the house (whichever it is at for the year) is filled with the extra heat of a group of people.  Plus I got to wear something else I made and my lamentably not useful in the tropics boots (which being brown I could not have worn with my lamentably not useful in the tropics bohus sweater).  However, I now have finished it.  I now have tucked in all loose yarn.  I now have a sweater with a tag noting it as mine.  It now falls to an appropriate place and does not show my white underbelly.  It now has sleeves that I will not constantly be pulling down at because they just quite are not the right length.

I bought the Bohus Forest Darkness kit by Annika Malmstrom-Bladini back in January 2010.  I then proceeded to wait I bit before getting up the urge to work a sweater on 0s and 1.5s.  I also looked around to see what others had done and found The Yarnaid’s blog on her alterations to the pattern.  I agreed with her that I would rather work in the round and decided I would like it to be more fitted than planned.

At the end of January in 2011, I decided to get started.  I got started and then distracted.  Many projects superseded what I clearly knew would take a while.  And then I got invited to accept a Volunteer position with Peace Corps down in the Dominican Republic and brought it along although I had other projects overdue to finish first, like the purple elephant sweater and my sister’s mittens (to be shared next).  So come this past summer I still was working on the colored section of the yoke, and that was not quite transportable.  I can honestly say I did not pick up another knitting project, so fidelity did occur.  Although that does not mean I constantly picked up this one.  When I go to the part of the instruction to split up the sections I did spend some time thinking over whether I should knit it flat or in the round not yet splitting.  I was stressing about making irreparable mistakes but not just following the instructions, but that slim possibility sounded better than sewing seams.  So the front part when I was doing short rows was the only time I steadily purled stitches, which is awesome because I prefer the knit stitch action.

Dominican Man untangling yarnOnce I was on solid color, I felt fine bringing the project places.  One time was when I went to Juan Dolio with my friends to see a band, and go to the beach.  We were all on the guagua (a minibus) and I was sitting next to a Dominican man.  I was balling up a hank of yarn and almost done when the last part had gotten tangled (the yarn is fuzzy) and I so I brought it for the bus ride to untangle it.  It had created an Ashley as the women I would regularly knit with in the states would call it.  So I am fruitlessly trying to untangle at most 3 yards of yarn (the fuzziness and color being black made it difficult) and the man next to me says nothing, just takes it out of my hands and starts trying.  I of course get my friends attention so they can share the joy of it.  We got a picture, although you can’t really see what is going on because the yarn is black.

So now I will share how I knit it to fit the way it does, just skip the italics if you don’t need to know that.

When I separated the sections the front middle was 1.25 inches of solid black rows, and the sleeves and back were 3 inches.  The sections by stitches were front – 137, sleeves – 99, back 134.  I cast on 14 stitches on each side to connect the back and front while putting the sleeves on spare circular needles.  Around an inch from the armpits I began to decrease 4 stitches every 4th row for a total of almost 12 times (tweaking at the end to have uniform stitches for the front and back) for a total of 252 stitches.  Then I decreased the amount to 228 stitches by knitting a row, knitting 2 together every 20th stitch the next row, knitting another row, and knitting 2 together ever 19th stitch.  When I reached 10.5 inches from the armpit, I switched to smaller needles and did 2.5 inches of DSC_00151 by 1 ribbing and tried it on.  I was wearing a crop top.  Well not that short, but skin was showing.  That was at the beginning of October.  So I tore back.  I increased by 4 stitches every 3rd row (6 times) until I had 254 stitches.  I must have made a mistake one of the times to end up with two extra stitches.  It now measured 13 inches from the armpit.  I redid the ribbing, and it took forever in my mind so I got antsy and bound off at 2.25 inches, it looked fine and it was a week before my deadline of Thanksgiving.  The pattern recommended 3.25 inches, which to me seemed excessive since the ribbing was not the main draw of the pattern.

Showing sleeve length

Notice the left sleeve is an inch or so above the wrist

Finally I started on the sleeves.  I transferred the sleeves onto doublepoint needles and picked up the 14 from the armpit area, getting rid of the need to seam that later.  I decreased two stitches every 3rd row around 12 times, to end up with 90 stitches total.  I Sleeve Length Difference Shownthen worked it straight and decreased in a manner that was later reversed, so I will not detail it.  I did 2.5 inches of inches of ribbing.  I had finished both sleeves and thought I was done.  So I tried it on and found out the sleeves were a tad bit short.  So I threaded lifeline 11 inches from the armpit ripped back.  I decreased 2 stitches every 6th row until 14 inches and then every 4th row.  At 17 inches there were 71 stitches and I decreased every 9th stitch.  I then switched to the smaller needles and did 2.5 inches of 1 by 1 ribbing.  This time I tried it on after only altering one sleeve and determined it was the length I wanted.  I then carefully made sure I was going to undo the shorter sleeve, but I most have blinked and an elf switched it, because I ended up realizing after pulling out the ribbing and a bit more that I had just done it on the sleeve that was right.  So after refinishing that one and then the other, I tucked in all the yarn ends and sewed on the tag my sister had made me (that I thought I lost but, had really cleverly stored inside the sweater, sometimes I am too clever for myself).

DSC_0049I waited to the next morning, and went outside to get a picture of the finished product in use and realized, with the length I would be fidgeting with the bottom when I was wearing it, because it just wasn’t quite perfect.  The picture to the left is what happens if I wore my dominican jeans that site below my belly button and have moved my arms upward.  Since I had no pressing need to wear it, I decided to add length to the ribbing.  I thought I no longer had the right size (I had accidentally left a circular pair in my father’s car when I was in the states) so the last inch is a slightly wider rib, but I don’t believe most will notice when I’m wearing it unless an inch from my waist and scrutinizing it.  So in the end, I had 3.5 inches of ribbing for the waist.

Forest Darkness Bohus Sweater

I am quite pleased with the resulting sweater.  It’s not perfect, when the arm first splits, there is a portion of extra fabric.  And the sweater is more fitted than I originally planned, so it will be a deterrent against gaining weight.  But to me, looking at it, it is beautiful and wonderful. The pictures are slightly crocked, because I rested the camera on a wooden ladder run that seems to not have been completely parallel to the ground, or the ground may not be level.

Forest Darkness Bohus Sweater Back

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This entry was posted in Cold Weather Cuddlies, Neat Knits and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Finished for real

  1. Pingback: A 2 hour dress | Artsy Ashley’s Crafty Blog

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