Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

Pattern: Cabled Jacket by Debbie Bliss from The Cashmere Collection
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra in Seafoam
Needles: 6.5mm Crystal Palace bamboo circular

I am sorry these photos were so long coming, trying to co-ordinate a second pair of adult hands to take the photos, decent light and a reasonable background has been challenging to say the least. A pilling problem added to the mix only made things worse. But here they are at last.

I have to say I love this sweater, it is so warm and cosy and fits so well. I kept finding excuses to wear it in Sydney, despite it’s being completely inappropriate for the weather, and I have hardly taken it off during the week since arriving in Adelaide. For all that I love this cardigan I have to say that it has a rather serious pilling problem. I had to scrape this ball of fluff off it this afternoon before taking these photos.

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket produced this ball of fluff

So, my notes on the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket - think about using smaller needles and probably steer clear of Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra. The pattern calls for a 7.5mm needle and I have used a 6.5mm, however the design is much more fitted in the arms than the body so I nearly ran into trouble with the arm scyes. I think the 7.5mm recommended in the pattern is too big for my taste/size but as happy as I am with my sweater a 7mm may have been a better choice than the 6.5mm I used. The Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra is lovely to knit with and beautiful to wear, but given the degree to which it “relaxes”* with the first wash and the pilling I don’t think I will be using it again, for anything. I know that Steph used Rowanspun Chunky for her Cabled Jacket and I don’t believe she has mentioned a pilling problem so I would probably think about using that if I were to make another one. And finally, I would also knit a longer collar. My collar is the suggested length and yet it seems somewhat shorter than I was expecting. I would probably unpick this one and knit a couple of inches more if my remaining yarn weren’t cut up into small pieces.

*To say that Jo Sharp Ultra “relaxes” is something of an understatement, if you do use it make a big swatch and block it because your gauge will change.

just a little snip

Monday, July 4, 2005

A few photos from yesterday.

The Debbie Bliss Cabled cut in half

The Debbie Bliss Cabled cut in half

The Debbie Bliss Cabled cut in half

The Debbie Bliss Cabled cut in half

You will notice the photos stop mid process. That would be because I never did manage to complete the next step. About 5 hours after this last photo I gave up trying to sew the pieces back together and detached the whole upper piece of the left front. I then frogged it, wound it, wet it, microwaved it, re-knit it and finally re-seamed it. This morning I attached the last two buttons and put it straight on.

One of the things I hated about sewing my own clothes is that I would always be so sick of the garment by the end of the sewing that I couldn’t bear to wear it. If anything I have ever made deserves to be hidden at the back of the closet for years, this sweater is it. But you know what? I love it. LOVE IT. It’s too warm for our weather but I will probably wear it anyway because it’s gorgeous. I will post some photos as soon as I manage to take some that do it justice.

Tonight I have been working on Isabelle’s quilt, I would show you some photos but the light is just too crappy.

this explains A LOT

Sunday, July 3, 2005

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket - nearly done, until I realised there was a problem

Can you see it? What about here:

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket - 8 rows too many in the left front.

That extra repeat of the horseshoe pattern goes a long way to explaining why I used as much yarn the second time I knit the left front, despite going down two needles sizes. And why it seemed bigger than the right front. And why I did have the expected amount of yarn left over from the back. And why even after trying twice to line the stitches up correctly I had to ease the left side seam to get it lining up correctly at the ribbing.

Exactly how stupid can one knitter be? Quite stupid apparently. And also somewhat lacking in self control. I was supposed to start Isabelle’s travel quilt last night, but after a wonderful day where I cleaned the house, Jesse sold the old car, we went to see a friends art exhibition, to a yarn store to choose the colour for my next project (I will be using Claudia’s cardi mod), to the museum and the swimming pool I just couldn’t stop with only the collar to go, I had to keep knitting. If I knew then what I know now I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

Kristine was right, there is crying in knitting.

On the up side, in the finishing of this sweater (which I now have to un-finish) I have come to realise that I will only ever wear it when on holiday to colder places (the snow on the way home next week, Adelaide, Melbourne, Blue Mountains etc). Thinking of it as a comfy, cosy, holiday sweater has completely changed my perspective on it and I am over my arm fit issues.Though if I were going to knit this again I would probably take the middle ground and knit the whole thing on 7mm’s. Never the less, YAY for a positive note to end on…

one sleeve, two sleeves

Friday, July 1, 2005

The Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket is coming together

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and suggestions. As you can see I have seamed up the first sleeve. It is a bit snugger than I would like but I have decided to make the second sleeve as per the pattern (less two needle sizes). I think it will block out just enough, and/or stretch with wear. This yarn has a lot of give and I can get another hand down the sleeve with ease.

This is pattern is supposed to be “one size fits all”, but it is pretty huge in the body if you knit it up at the suggested gauge; However, with sleeves which are more fitted than the body (by design) you run the risk of the sleeves and/or armscye being too small if you knit it on smaller needles as Steph and I have done. I am a US size 10 with arms more like a 12 and I would not recommend making the smaller version if you are any bigger than that as you may run into trouble with the sleeves or armscye.

I have to say that I am really hating my arms today. The weight gain (and inability to maintain the regular exercise routine that I was in) due to my infertility and treatment thereof really get me down sometimes. It seems like every thing in my life goes in cycles, and given that my menstrual cycles are whacky the cylces of my life are whacky and the drugs etc just make it all even more fun. I am in a holding pattern treatment wise at the moment and trying not to think too much about still not being pregnant, about still not having sibling for Isabelle. Somehow trying not to focus on the real problem makes my yo-yoing weight much more frustrating. I remind myself that I have taken the weight off before, kept it off and been blissfully happy with my health and my body for long periods of time. I know that if I have done it before I can do it again once this is over, but some days having a puffy face and fat arms just really gets to me.

my inexperience is getting the better of me

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket SleeveDebbie Bliss Cabled Jacket Sleeve
Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket Sleeve

My inexperience is getting the better of me. This is my second sweater with sleeves, well there was a baby sweater but they really don’t have the same fit issues as sweaters for adult shaped bodies. To be honest the stitch pattern for Carla is so outrageously stretchy that it did not provide much experience in getting the right sleeve fit either. So this is where I am, knitting my first serious adult sweater, first cabled sweater, first time using such bulky yarn, first time using this particular yarn, first, first, first….

I blocked the sleeve (as in washed and laid flat to dry on a towel, there were no pins involved) and it fit better than it did prewash, the ribbing definitely does not need to be any bigger. I decided to keep knitting. I am now ready to start the raglan decreases and it still fits, sort of. I am not sure whether to finish the sleeve or rip back. I just don’t have the knitting experience to weigh up the issues and make the right guess. What are the issues?

1) This is a chunky sweater with a whole lot of design ease in the body - will the arms look strange if they are too close fitting?

2) This is a chunky sweater, and Jenna’s explanation of why heavier yarn requires more ease to get the same fit as a lighter yarn makes a lot of sense to me. I have other sleeves that fit like this one and I am perfectly happy with them, my feeling is that the fabric being so thick is what makes the fit of this sleeve seem not quite right to me.

3) I have no idea how much this sweater is going to stretch with wear, if it is only a tiny bit, well it probably won’t be enough, but anything from moderate to significant stretching will make it quite a nice fit.

4) I think I do want a bit more ease in the arm that I have at the moment (pre any stretching that might be provided by point 3) but I absolutely don’t want it over sized or puffy either.

Can I say again how much easier a decent photo of the design in the pattern book would have helped with both choosing and knitting this sweater?

I think the only solution here is going to be to finish this sleeve, seam it in and then depending on how it fits possibly knit the second sleeve differently and see how that fits before reknitting one of them to match the other. Post blocking I can see that I definitely don’t want to add 4 more stitches to the ribbing as I had previously thought. At the moment I am thinking that if I were to modify this sleeve I would be knitting the ribbing as per the pattern, knitting the increases much faster than the pattern suggests and then possibly adding one or two more increases a bit further up. The question is, how to then get rid of those extra stitches so that the raglans all match up correctly.

Updated to add: I wrote this before I took the photos. The sleeve was fitting better by the end of what seemed like an endless attempt to get a decent photo in poor light. So I am currently feeling like it is worth the effort to finish this sleeve and assemble one side of the sweater before making any rash decisions. At least it’s an easy one to seam….

first things first

Monday, June 27, 2005

Of course before I start anything else I actually need to finish the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket (well, before I start anything other than Isabelle’s travel blankie). So far the right front is the only piece I have knit just once. Clearly this sweater just wants to be knit twice, the first sleeve is ready to rip. It’s only half done and I haven’t blocked it, but I have seamed it and it is just way too tight. Turns out option B was probably the way to go….I will leave this one as is, block it too I guess, and knit the second one with the extra stitches before making any final decisions.

Knitting everything twice really is wearing thin.

so now I really am confused

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The back of the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket. Again.

The back of my Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket is done, for the second time. It is smaller, it matches the fronts, all appears to be well. So tell me this, if I used only about a yard less yarn when re-knitting the left front, why is it I used more than half a ball less yarn for the back? The back is exactly twice the size of the left front, so I was expecting, oh two yards leftover, maybe three. I was not expecting this:

half a ball of yarn, that's half a ball more than I expected.

Should I be worried or should I just accept this as one of the mysteries of the universe? Perhaps I should weigh the two fronts to see if they used a similar weight of yarn? Does it matter if one front is heavier if they both seem to be same size?

I cast on for the first sleeve last night. I have done the ribbing and a few repeats of the cable pattern. I pinned it together and tried it on. It does fit, but it is kind of snug. It is also going to come out too short unless I knit some extra rows at some point. I figure one can never have too many basically trivial things to worry about, I was not surprised when the sleeve was not straight forward. On the one hand I seem to have chunky upper arms compared to the rest of me, certainly I often have to go up a size in store bought sweaters to accommodate my arms. On the other hand gapey sleeves that drag in everything drive me nuts. I am trying to decide between two possible plans:

A) knit the sleeve exactly to pattern, with my shorter row gauge the increases will end lower down on the sleeve than intended and I will then have to knit more rows than expected to reach the requisite 18 inches of sleeve before the raglan shaping.

B) I could add 4 stitches to the ribbing, which would become 2 stitches of stocking stitch at either side of the sleeve and then do less increases more evenly spread across the length of the sleeve.

At the moment I am leaning towards option A. I suspect that the sleeve will become looser with blocking and even more so with wear and I don’t want it too loose…

it’s all good

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Isabelle appears to be lice free, at least for now that is. She thought packing her head in conditioner and wrapping it in glad wrap was fantastic.

Isabelle, all wrapped up

Isabelle, all wrapped upIsabelle, all wrapped up

It was just as well she enjoyed this part because the hour and half spent combing her hair was no party. Though David Attenborough made it bearable, and for that we thank him. Isabelle thanked us for the marshmallows we gave her afterwards.

The Cabled Jacket is also going well (for now? at last?). The blocking resulted in two well matched fronts and there was no great effort involved in the matching. If it had been hard work getting them to match I would have been worried, but for once something went well. Actually two things went well, because the button shopping was also just fine and a day later I still like the buttons I chose.

Buttons for the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

I was actually really lucky. I was the only one in the shop, their toy box was engrossing and the guy on the desk actively wanted to help me. At first I was a bit put off by his determination to find me buttons but he was the one that got it right in the end. These buttons are made from mussel shell and they are double sided. The side I didn’t like was the side on display so I would NEVER have found them without his help and they are exactly the sort of thing I was after. The ones I found on my own were the same size and also shell but they were much paler and thinner. I think the weight of these is better suited to the sweater and I like that their colours are more varied than the ones I found myself, so yay for helpful sales people!

Time to knit up the back. Again.

riddle me this

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How is it that this one giant ball of recycled Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket left front yarn (Isabelle did some mighty fine winding here if I do say so myself):

One great big ball of yarn

When knit up on needles 2 sizes smaller ended up with only this much yarn left over:

Not much left over

I don’t know how much less yarn I thought would be required for knitting this up with the smaller needles, but it was definitely more than a meter. The weird thing is that I actually felt like my gauge was tighter re-knitting the the left front that it was knitting the right front, and yet it has come out slightly bigger. Well at least I think it has. The right front has been blocked, but only up to the start of the raglan decreases. The left front has been knit, blocked, ripped, the recycled yarn washed, balled and reknit, I am hoping this has had some impact on how it knit up the second time. I guess I won’t really know until they have both been blocked again whether they match or not. I will be beyond pissed if I have to knit one of them again.

But before blocking (which may take days of drying time given our weather at the moment) they are coming with Isabelle and I for a little outing - to the button store. For now this is what they look like and it has me worried, almost as worried as I am about the buttons….

A pair of fronts

Wish me luck, on both fronts, buttons and blocking.

bath time

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket - back and left front in the frog pond

I hope it was the right decision not to reknit the ribbing, it was done on the same needles for all three pieces so I am hoping that when I re-block them all they will all come out the same.

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