Monday, December 04, 2006

More Mermaid

Good luck to everyone else who's working on a Mermaid! I wore mine to work today and was stopped in the hall by someone who complimented it. (This takes a fair bit of doing in an organization of engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and other assorted geeks.) He was extremely surprised that I made it myself. The upshot is that this takes a long time to knit, but it isn't hard and the payoff is good.

I looked at the other Hanne Falenberg sweaters, but I'm just not tempted by anything but Ballerina. I think I might be able to better satisfy that urge by knitting a nice tweedy capelet, even though we've passed capelet-appropriate weather here in Boston with today's "snow". Who knew that slush could fall from the sky?

From Ava:
Gee, I have to finish my Mermaid now. Yours looks great! I appreciate the photos and the tips. I have one question? what is the armscye? How could it be cut deeper? Do you think the droopy shoulders could be remedied by shoulder pads?

Thanks, Ava. :) The armscye is the hole for your arm. There are essentially two dimensions to a set-in armscyes, which I'll call length and depth. (That diagram is supposed to be a sweater; the red is the armscyes, which is where you didn't knit so that there would be a place to sew in a sleeve.)

If the length is too short, your sleeve will rub your armpit raw. If its too long, it can literally pin your arm to your side. (See my first attempt at a sweater, for which I did not write the pattern, thank you very much. If anyone wants a laugh, I'll dig this out and take a picture wearing it, now that I have help in the house. The degree of pinning was so extreme that I couldn't take my own picture in the mirror.) A deeper armscye will pull the sleeve a little farther up on your shoulder. As someone with excessive curves and small shoulders, Mermaid would have fit me slightly better if it had slightly more depth to the armscyes. Shoulder pads might well fix this, but I don't usually wear them. To be clear, this is a minor quibble; I'm very attuned to perfect tailoring, even if I don't manage to dress as well as that would imply.

From Jasmine:
hmm, now I am worried about knitting this -- I was going to make the large size and shorten it to the medium length as to accomodate some curves but it sounds like you think darts might be the way to go -- I'd hate to knit this up and have it not fit well.

It depends on where your curves are. Even with all the hip I have, Mermaid is more than roomy in the hips. I just find that it isn't nipped enough in the waist for my figure, and that it could use some bust darts (like every other sweater design ever made). I'll write up something on short-row shaping tomorrow to give guidelines on tweaking the math. If you're feeling desperate, I can often be bribed into math. :)

I've worked out the math for my next design and started it off. A few inches of knitted coned yarn scrunched up on circular needles isn't very exciting, though, so I'm going to save the progress pix until after the short-row shaping post. Short-row shaping saves my butt every time I knit, now that I've figured out the simple math to follow.

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