Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yarn Anxiety

Geezer Chic from No 50 was one of my favourite garments - I loved the shape, style and drape (and the name), but the yarn certainly didn’t stand up to any wear at all, even though it was quite expensive. I’ve kept wearing it, sort of privately, because I still like it - I wore it for my road trip to Indiana last week and it’s so comfy, but I finally realized that I do need to retire it. I had it on the other morning when I answered the door - it was early but not that early! The woman took one look and apologized for waking me up - heck, no make-up yet, but I didn’t think I looked that bad ! Then it dawned on me - she saw my ratty sweater and figured it was a bathrobe or something! Okay, I get the point!
The original was made with a 2/18 wool/silk blend used doubled - most of it is stockinette - so that’s pretty easy, but what really set it off was the bands - full needle rib for the hemline that added just the right weight to hold the stockinette fabric down and add swing to the A-line shape and the front band - a wee bit tricky, knit circular, with great vertical buttonholes - I have to say, the instructions are excellent!!
So, what to substitute?? I decided to go with a burgundy 2 ply cotton, Brittany by Yeoman Yarns - I had just used that yarn for Simple-icity and seeing as it was stockinette, double stranded, figured it was okay to shortcut the swatching process. (With the same stitch count, but more rows to the cotton because of shrinkage, 46 rows as opposed to 38 on the wool/silk, so adding the extra rows will require more yarn.) These cones have been on my shelf for some time - they are the older version of 350g/3000m cones which I always thought to be adequate. The newer put-up is 450g/3850m cones - the original stuff was pretty big cones with tons of yardage - the point is, I didn’t want to be wasting yarn on swatches if it wasn’t necessary.
I made a sleeve and weighted it - 74g. Okay, the back was 196g. It could be close, so no pockets - that will save a bit. All 5 pieces done, just the band left - I did need to make a swatch and wash and dry for the shrinkage factor and I have 40g left on each cone. It’s really hard to tell, but before I got this far, I was consoling myself that the new ‘geezer’ wouldn’t look bad with a black band. I've already taken those killer black leather old man buttons off the original to re-purpose them on this one and make it impossible for me to continue wearing the grey one...if it turns out, I'll wear it in Raleigh!

1 comment:

Fibrebender said...

Appreciated seeing your new Geezer creation this weekend in Raleigh. It is smashing as was your other knitwear. Thank you for all the tips and examples.