Selfish Sewing: Margaery Sweater

Taking advantage of my recent joyous sewing mood, I welcomed Spring with three new garments: a knitted spring sweater, a refashioned skirt, and a self-drafted knit dress.

Allow me to introduce you to my new sweater-tee. Made from this pattern on Ravelry, with 5 skeins of Sublime silk-bamboo “baby” yarn. (Note: I think this yarn and yarn company are gone now.) This sweater reminds me of spring leaves, which makes me think of rose gardens, and because I completed this between Seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones that also reminds me of Margaery Tyrell. My sweater will henceforth be named “Margaery.”

Spring Garden Tee by Alana Dakos (on Ravelry)

Why I made it: I had been trying to knit myself a sweater for a while. I started with a bright yellow cotton short sleeve sweater pattern, but the fit never was right. I frogged that first sweater and proclaimed that I would be working on a cardigan during Game of Thrones Season 3, but I was not excited about that pattern so I frogged it as well.

Alana Dakos’s Spring Garden Tee was what I was looking for: simple, but with a hint of feminine detail to keep it interesting. I wanted my first hand-knit sweater to be versatile; something that could be dressed-up or dressed-down.

What I love: The sleeve detail is an example of why knitting amazes me. By simply skipping a stitch or wrapping the yarn around the needle twice, patterns can be made. When I started knitting seven years ago “K2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk” was a foreign language. During this project I had to frequently remind myself what certain abbreviations meant, nevertheless, I completed the lace sleeves very quickly.

With an internet connection, I firmly believe that anyone can learn how to knit and specifically knit complicated designs. There are numerous knitting how-to illustrations or Youtube videos online, as well as some great online classes at sites like Craftsy.

Debuting my new sweater at a spring-time party.

What I will learn to live with: Gauge and blocking are something I am still wrestling with. After blocking this sweater the length ended up longer than intended and there is a bit more ease around the waist and hips that I would like. I’m pondering tossing this in the dryer for a few minutes to see if it shrinks, but I worry that the silk-bamboo fiber will be damaged.

I feel better when I look at the model on the pattern, her sweater extends over her hips the same amount as on me. I think I knitted this sweater correctly, but I know in the future that I like my sweater hems a tad shorter and my waists a bit snugger. A smaller needle may have been useful.

The matter of weaving ends in is also a learning process. I will now always try to start new balls of yarn at side seams, where my arms will cover the woven in threads. While mostly concealed, some are noticeable to me. I won’t point them out because I want to see if others notice.

Coming up: the refashioned skirt and the self-drafted knit dress.




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