Vicki showed up at the door this week with a finished sweater that we sort of designed together. She originally came and asked if I could help her design a sweater with a shawl collar and . . . . I’ve never knit a shawl collar anything, but that was no reason to say No. We did some research, maybe 10 minutes worth, and measured her gauge swatch and away she went. The V neck was the first problem. It needed to be wide enough to taper nicely almost to the waist. Some math—and I did say it was merely a suggestion–and we had the thing. But it was curved and didn’t work well as at the waist. Too wide. So we picked up stitches and used short rows to fill it in. You can do that. It’s a bit like patching something that is too small.
Next problem was shaping the shawl and in midstream it sort of became a collar. It is a great collar, so who were we to argue. The bottom had ribbing and was too long and drew attention in ways Vicki didn’t like. She just pulled that out, bound off and the plain edge is covered by the drape of the sweater. Smart!
Finally, she adopted my own method of buttonholes. Don’t make any. Just overlap the ends and sew on buttons. Then you never button the sweater crookedly and embarrass yourself in public. Ergo, all sweaters are pullovers.
I am so proud of Vicki because most of this design and redesign was all her. She started experimenting with making changes from the day she knit her first scarf, but after taking my Sweaters from the Top Down class she has been unstoppable. Cast on the shoulders, apply some of your basic sewing pattern knowledge and wind up with the sweater you wanted just exactly like you wanted. Caveat: sometimes you have to take stuff out and try again, but it is well worth it.
Bravo, Vicki. And she and I both truly believe that anyone with just a bit of daring can do this just as well as we do.