Well, kids, here it is. After 5 months of on-and-off knitting, the pleated top is finally finished. This sweater was a long labor of love, stress, and tears. This was my first experience knitting with lace-weight yarn, and its delicateness has certainly provided me with, shall we say, many lessons in patience and problem solving.
There are so many things I love about this sweater, in particular, the tiny pleats on the sleeves, as well as the pleating at the bust…
And I love the beautifully ethereal way the light filters through the cobweb-like yarn…
The sweater fits more like a tunic than a baby doll, even though I knit to gauge and blocked to measurements. The pattern calls for Swarovski crystals along the neckline, but I left them off because I want the ability to dress the sweater up or down as needed. It looks equally nice paired with a skirt as it does paired with jeans.
Let’s talk a little bit about the bottom hem. After weaving in the last end on Wednesday, I immediately began taking pictures of my gorgeous new sweater. I was jubilant that the sweater was finally finished; basking in all of the hard work that had gone into creating the now finished product. It was, oh, about 4-5 minutes into the photographing that I noticed the bottom of the sweater had loose stitches. Upon further frenzied inspection, I discovered that something had caught the delicate yarn, right in the middle front of the hem and ripped my cast-on edge OPEN. The sweater was literally unraveling.
To say that I wanted to cry is also a gross understatement. Readers, it could have gotten very, very ugly at that moment, but for the love of all things Elizabeth Zimmerman – I did not shed a tear. I went into the studio, closed the door and worked through the crisis as best I could, trying to salvage the now ruined stitches along the hem. I was in there a long time, trying to figure out what I was going to do to fix the problem. My hubby kept peeking in on me, no doubt to make sure I hadn’t stabbed myself with a knitting needle. Finally, he came into the studio and said “Okay. So what are we dealing with here?” And he began to troubleshoot knitting with me.
This is why I love my husband.
After a few minutes of throwing out suggestions, he brilliantly said “Why don’t you just shorten it?” It was then that I had an epiphany! I had plenty of room in the length, so I bound off all of the loose stitches, secured the torn yarn with some creative knotting and felting, then turned the garter-stitch border up inside the sweater and hand-sewed a new hem all the way around. It is not as perfect as I would have liked, but sometimes there is only so much one can do.
But despite its imperfections, I am still in love with it. This was an enormously personal project for me, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Here are the project details:
- Pattern: Pleated Top by Coralie Meslin
- Source: Vogue Knitting Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009
- Yarn: Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb, 1 skein in color 962
- Needles: Size US 3 circulars, used as straight
- Size Made: Small
Have a great weekend, knitters! ~J