Completed: Raglan Sweater & Jeans

You get a 2 for 1 special today, a raglan sweater and jeans, because I can’t blog as fast as I make!

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Also please enjoy the first flakes of what turned out to be a mini blizzard. I was determined to photograph this before I was knee-deep in snow. You only get two photos for this post because every other shot ended up with an awkwardly placed snowflake falling in front of the camera (or on my nose, boob, etc).

The yarn for this is the one I mentioned in my re-SEW-lutions 2014 post. Santa left this Berroco Weekend in the Clothesline colorway in my stocking for Christmas. Boy does Santa know me well. 😀 Lots of people have complained about how “splitty” this yarn is but I didn’t have any problems at all. In fact, I rather liked working with it. I knit continental and some people have mentioned that the z twist of this yarn gives a headache to English style knitters so perhaps that’s the difference. I did have trouble joining it, though. I prefer to use a Russian join but this yarn was too slippery and fell apart trying to do that so I just had to hold the ends double for 4 stitches to join it. Seems to have worked out ok. Most of the joints are invisible or hidden in my armpit. Though there is one on the elbow of the right sleeve which I’m not too thrilled with because it looks bulky.

I’ve had this pattern, Brick by Clare Lee in my Ravelry queue for well over a year. Once I cast on, it went so quickly I could have made 60 of them in the time it sat in the queue. I cast on late on a Thursday night and only worked a few rows but then I had it finished by Wednesday morning! Whaaaa?! Yep. A full, long-sleeved sweater done in less than 6 days! That is speed knitting at it’s finest. I didn’t sit for hours on end knitting either. It just went that fast thanks to the fact that it’s stockinette in the round.

I made the size small, which says it should be for a finished bust of 33″, hoping for some negative ease on my 36″ bust. Despite being perfectly on gauge and having the right number of stitches on the needles, it measures at 34″ when laying flat. Not sure what’s up with that. In any case, it’s certainly looser than I had hoped for, especially since I am short-waisted and didn’t adjust the decreases for waist shaping accordingly. I just stopped decreasing when I hit my waist and then switched to increases.

I have hand washed this sweater in the hottest water I could and dried it in the dryer and it doesn’t appear to have shrunken at all, much to my dismay. I’ve thought about pulling it out from the armpit down and reknitting it, but it’s not so terrible. I’ll wear it plenty as is.

Next time I make this, and there will definitely be a next time, I will start out with the size extra small and be sure to make fewer worked-even rounds between decreases to get it nipped in at the waist the way I want.  Any details I missed you can find in my Ravelry notes.

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And your bonus feature for today: jeans. Two pairs, actually. I took my own advice from the last pair and cut the hip just a tiny bit (like 1/4″) wider so it doesn’t pull around the pockets. I also adjusted the back yoke so I didn’t end up with that dreaded tail feature like on the other pair! I set the pockets a bit more to the center as well.

I cut out both pairs of jeans almost a month ago and they’ve been sitting there waiting for me to get up the motivation to sew in my frigid sewing room. I finally invested in a small space heater and happily got back to sewing.

I spent my entire day off work on MLK Jr. Day sewing these jeans. I was working them assembly line fashion (sew all pockets, press all pockets, sew all flies, press all flies, etc) and they really shouldn’t have taken me more than the morning but I had some major malfunctions.

It seemed that every thing that could go wrong did. When I first sat down to sew and tried to change out the walking foot for the regular presser foot, like a rookie I mistakenly unscrewed the needle instead. It fell through the hole in the throat plate, deep, deep down to the point that after disassembling as much of my machine as possible, I still couldn’t retrieve it with my serger tweezers. I hesitantly turned the fly wheel and didn’t hear any clanking or grinding so I reassembled the machine and set about sewing with a new needle while the old one still floats around aimlessly somewhere in the depths of my poor old Singer. I should have just taken that as a sign that I should stop sewing for the day, but I was determined to have two new pairs of jeans by the end of the day.

If you were following me in the RTW Fasters group you may recall me slapping myself in the face over the fact that I sewed the zippers on backwards not once, not twice, but three times on both pairs!! After I finally assembled the jeans enough to try them on, I realized that I had set the pockets in a better position horizontally but they were waaaay too low. They were actually hanging down on my thighs! More forehead slapping and seam ripping. At some point my seam ripper threw itself off the sewing table into the trash can in an attempted suicide. Luckily I saw it happen and rescued it just in time to use it again.

However, after much frustration and 12 hours (!) of sewing, I now have two new pairs of jeans that actually fit. Hurray!

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7 thoughts on “Completed: Raglan Sweater & Jeans

  1. Not just jeans that fit, but jeans that fit perfectly! I think I’m almost at the point to give jeans a try. It’s either that or not wear jeans, since I’m a RTW Faster too.

    • Give it a go! Make sure you have plenty of heavy duty needles bc you’re sure to break a couple. Other than that its nothing special over any other sewing. Jeans were one of the first garments I ever sewed since I have a super short inseam and even the short lengths in rtw were too long on me unless I went down to a size zero (and also went back in time to when I was 12 years old and actually fit in a size zero!)

  2. Pingback: Completed: Winnepeg Pullover | Vint Hill Vintage

  3. Wow! A sweater in a week and two pairs of jeans also. I am so amazed. You sew very well and knit well, too. I am plodding along on a knit sweater and wish I knew how to knit Continental because it seems to go so fast. I love your color choice (yea! Santa! ). Looking forward to more of your inspirational posts.

  4. Pingback: Completed: A Brick Chimney | Vint Hill Vintage

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