Monday, November 4, 2013

Nip and Tuck (or, Harriet Gets Plastic Surgery)

I've been thinking for a while about adding an inch to my Harriet. It's the sort of job you put off because it's not much fun to rip out and re-knit, and I was worried I might not have quite enough leftover wool. But, this morning the sun was shining, I was waiting for something else (see below) to dry, and the stars were otherwise aligned, so I launched in. In addition to lengthening the body, I also wanted to shorten the sleeves, so I planned to use the cuff wool to lengthen the body. This was a prototype and, as is often the case with prototypes, it differs slightly from the final version. The sleeves were a bit too long because I hadn't realized the degree to which the sideways stretch would cause them to hang lower than originally calculated. Here's what I did.
First, I snipped off half the cuff all the way around. Remember, it's easier to snip and rip when a sleeve has been worked top down. This sleeve was knitted from the cuff up, so I had to take a more drastic action.

Then, I put all the stitches back onto dpns, spit spliced a bit of leftover wool, worked one round in knitting and bound off purlwise, to match the look of the bind-off on the body.

The new cuff has only 8 ridges of garter stitch instead of 16, but the length is now perfect, and without the bulk of a rolled cuff.
Next, I used the whacked off cuff yarn,

together with my other leftovers, to lengthen the two sides of the peplum. This involved ripping back to the straight section before the peplum increases, spit splicing in the new yarn, and working four extra ridges (8 rows) before re-working the increases.
Finally, I soaked the lower body and sleeves in a bowl of warm water with a squirt of Soak,

gave it a quick spin in the dryer to get out the water, and laid it flat to dry.

I've also updated the written instructions to include an extra inch for the smallest three sizes. The larger sizes are naturally longer because of the way the garment grows in both width and length at the same time. If you purchased Harriet on Ravelry, you'll get an update notification.
In other news, I've started in on a new design in Shelridge Farm's W4.

After a few inches, I did a little wet blocking because this is a lace stitch and a superwash yarn and therefore everything is less predictable.

Yup, got to take it back a needle size. Not really a surprise.