Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Ogee Tunic
Cast on:
February 1, 2007
Bound off: May 7, 2007 (so, apparently it didn't take literally forever.)
Pattern: Norah Gaughan's, from Knitting Nature
Tension: Oh, ALL RIGHT, I'll get out of my comfy bed and go measure........sleeve shows 25 sts and 38 rows to 4 inches. Back shows 25X34. Pattern called for 23X32. Now I understand why this sweater is too short. YES I SWATCHED.
Yarn: 12-ish skeins Sjuntorp Elite 100% Egyptian cotton 50g/125m colour #5 (dark electric blue? light royal blue? something like that.)
Yarn Source: Needle & Arts Centre 2003 January clearance, $40 for a 20-ball bag (meaning this sweater rings in at a measly $24).
Needle: Susan Bates Quicksilver 3.25mm circular
Modifications: lengthened the sleeve a bit - too much as it turns out. Wish I had lengthened the body an equal amount. (I would have, but I didn't realize I was knitting like a spastic fruit fly.) Substituted 100% cotton for the 100% wool called for. Sewed up the bottom 2.5 inches of the V-neck so I would not be flashing my luscious cleavage at all and sundry. You're welcome.
Notes: I like the feel of this sweater more than I like the look of it. When I check the mirror, it looks great...when I see a picture, I'm not so sure. It has taken me a while to post the FO because I wasn't happy with any of the photos. This doesn't particularly matter to me - it's enormously comfortable to wear because of its A-line shape, so I will wear it whether it looks good or not. The bottom hem is very loose - I think this sweater would flatter a classically pear-shaped body beautifully.

I had one moment of extreme irritation with the pattern writing. Gaughan notes "You may want to knit the Front first in case you need to make any adjustments to the length of the Back as you work." So I am merrily knitting the front, and I get all the way to the neck shaping only to read: "When piece measures same as for Back to shoulder, shape shoulders as for Back."

But.....I hadn't KNIT the Back yet, ACCORDING TO YOUR INSTRUCTIONS. A small thing, but no less annoying.

One other aside about the pattern - if you are knitting this (or, indeed, anything from this book) be sure to check the errata first. There are errors in every chapter. This particular design contained three, one of which is a wrong-way cross in a cable chart.

Working with this mercerized cotton yarn was hair-raising. I did get used to the splittiness after a while, and a needle adjustment took care of most of it. However, I still had to kind of massage the stitch over the tip of the needle, which gave me sore fingers after a while. As with all cottons, I found that this one showed gauge inconsistencies mercilessly, so I ended up developing a new way of purling to eliminate the problem. I now purl with the working yarn wrapped once around my little finger, to keep it just a tetch tighter.

Although I got used to the yarn eventually, when I was finished the sweater I went to Knit Night and handed the remaining 7 balls of this accursed stuff to my friend Kate, who loves cotton with an illicit passion. Fill yer boots, K.

When sewing up and weaving in ends, I had a few decisions to make about the cotton. The bundled yarn kept splaying at the cut end, and poking through the knitting. Also, for all its strength (just TRY to break this yarn without scissors), it really didn't like being used for sewing. It would fray and break after a short bit of seaming. I could have switched to DMC, but I just persevered, using short-ish strands of yarn. This resulted in way too bloody many ends to weave. To prevent the yarn from coming un-woven and poking through to the right side, I applied "Fray Check" or "Fray Stop" or whatever, to all the ends as I wove them in.

Step 1: weave the end through.
Step 2: pull on the yarn end so that the seam gathers a bit:

Step 3: apply Fray Check to the 1/2" - 1" of yarn that you have pulled out of the seam:

Step 4: pull the seam tight again, smoothing the gathers and drawing the yarn tail back inside, where the Fray Check will dry and glue that sucker in place:

Step 5: let the Fray Check dry, put the sweater on, and hope for the best.


Jo said...

I think it looks lovely - and I have to say I am impressed that you have made two things from that book - it is still gathering dust on my shelf!

amanda said...

That is really beautiful! Love the color and design. It looks great.

Kate said...

The colour photographed well, it is quite true. The front pattern is what I really love, and the sleeves. Such clever shaping.
And yes, it is true. I really DO love me some cotton. Mercersized, worsted, handicraft, bring it on!! (Thank you.)

karen said...

Beautiful Blue! Your Ogee is a winner - your perseverance paid off many times over - it looks awesome.

Lizbon said...

Sweater looks beautiful, and I love that blue (big surprise), but ohgee I would've tanked a long time ago on such a tricky project with misbehaving yarn. I admire your fortitude. And cables.

Sue H said...

I really like the pattern on that tunic, especially at the neckline.
I always have the working yarn wrapped around my little finger, whether I'm knitting or pearling, it's the way I was taught to knit.

Jenny said...

I think the sweater is gorgeous! Love the colour!

Gwen said...


uberstrickenfrau said...

I dunno if you've already done this, but, TAG! This is the 7 things about yourself meme. if you posted a big ol' long rant on how much you hate these, oooopppsie.

Desiknitter said...

Hi, I just started the Ogee Tunic, and came to your page through a google search. Your tunic looks gorgeous! I love the colour and the fit, even though you're saying it's too short.