Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lesson Learned

The top doesn't fit. Holy crap, does it not fit. I mean, it'll go on and cover everything it should, but it's so tiny that it smashes my boobs flat in such a way, I don't even know how to describe, it makes me look flat chested with fat armpits . . . really, really not flattering! However, after some thought, I figured out where I went wrong and I'll be able to fix it. It won't be done in time for the party next week, so I'll just wear the original top that fits perfectly and will not cause wardrobe malfunctions.

The problem with the new top was deceptive gauge. I was getting about the right gauge when doing the knitting, but there's a bit of quantum physics at work in this pattern. The instructions say things like "knit the strap until it is such and so length, when fully stretched." Because the original designer used cotton, and I used cotton for the first top, we got the same amount of stretchiness and therefore similar length straps. The new top was made with acrylic straps. Much stretchier than the original cotton strap, so I did knit until the right length when fully stretched, the problem being that length was not the only factor that plays into the fit here. The stretch is terribly important. You need the strap to be fully stretched around your torso in order for it to stay in place correctly, but since cotton has minimal stretch, a cotton strap maintains it's structure against the stretch far better than the acrylic. While I had technically knit the acrylic strap to the right length, it was still overstretched.

This is actually the real reason they always tell you block your gauge swatches. Gauge is not just about the dimensions of your stitches, but the behavior of your stitches (stretch, drape, etc). It's really a rather quantum process. This is the first time that gauge has seriously screwed me over in terms of fit; I've had things come out slightly bigger or smaller than I've expected, but never anything that I couldn't work with or simply accept as a quirk. I'm trying to think if a gauge swatch (which I did not make) would've even helped me in this case, but I think the deceptive stretchiness might have foiled me no matter what. When I remake the top, I'm planning to remake it bit by bit fitting it as I go and measuring it against the orginal so I can figure out exactly where I need to make alterations. Because the acrylic borders the whole top, I'm going to have to change the dimensions of the whole thing ever so slightly. Shouldn't be too hard since the pattern is really simple, but it might take a lot of fiddling and frogging.

In other news I did finish one wing panel and it looks awesome. I was working on it while hanging out with some friends and even the ones who had no clue what it was thought it looked awesome, so that makes me feel very encouraged. And do not fear, despite my dismal camera situation, there will be pictures of the wings! I know this for a fact because I know all the guys that do photography at the local parties and I know if I ask nicely they'll take some shots and upload them to Facebook so I can grab them and show you guys. So yeah, by the middle of next week, there will finally be some photos!

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to photos!

    Gauge is for people who want to sleep. psh