Going, going, gone… Nantucket’s deconstruction

Nantucket Jacket, IK Winter 06


Tana left a comment that was apropos to this post about Nantucket’s deconstruction.

Tana points out that “the tops of set-in sleeves should be 35% of the master number (around the bust).” The sleeves are definitely too tight for the size I knit, unless you have skinny arms for your body size (it happens but never to me). My most recent thoughts on the sleeves are: 1) it was an honest mistake (we all make them… ok, I make them), or 2) it was designed so that the pattern would stretch out a bit on the arm. Maybe the designer thought it would look better with negative ease.

Tana also noted, “It looks good in the waist ease-wise but a bit snug around the bustline and too big at the hips.” This is exactly how it fit.

I need to refit the sweater regardless of bust size because it did end up with an “A”-line, or pear, shape that doesn’t suit my hour-glass shape. I wish I measured the finished hip-size before I ripped it out so I could verify my gauge. Using the pattern gauge and the stitch counts for the size 41.5 (which I knit), the bust would be about 41.5″ and the hip 46.5″ (assuming my math is correct). With my measurements that would give negative ease in the bust and positive ease in the hips. And it did. I could have knit the 46.5″ size pattern for positive ease in the bust but I didn’t want that much ease in the bust, and it would have had too much ease in the hip.

I also knit a smaller size because I am an eternal optimist about how I’m going to lose weight *ahem*.  Did you notice how I avoided admitting my actual measurements on the internets? Ha!  I can’t lie to myself if it’s in print on the internets!

In the magazine pictures, you don’t really see the bottom of the sweater on both sides of the model’s hips. On page 64, it looks like she might have a bit of extra fabric on the bottom right but the picture is too blurry there to tell for sure. I think you could block out some of the ease and ruffles depending on your yarn. I didn’t block my sweater because I knew I was going to rip it out if only for the tight arms.

The godets (triangles) pull up on their own because of the seed stitch. The cable stitch is firmer so you end up with a natural scallop in the seed stitch portions (it shows on the magazine cover). Also, my ruffles were probably worse because I didn’t sew the side seam all the way to the bottom (but the seams were not stretching out so there was positive ease here).

I agree with Tana (and others) that length should be added above the godets (triangles). The length issue is a personal preference thing. If I were going to wear it over a shirt like the model or a dress, I would keep it short (and more fashionable).

I want to reiterate that I love the look of Nantucket. I am still considering reknitting it. It has taught me a very important lesson though.  Heed this lesson! You need to check your gauge before knitting, and then check all the dimensions of the sweater before you knit it.  In hindsight, it seems like common sense…  but I’m lazy.


6 thoughts on “Going, going, gone… Nantucket’s deconstruction

  1. Yeah, lazy here too.

    I so admire that you’ve actually knit whole sweaters for yourself though. Some people are subconsciously paralyzed by fear of failure and just let 5 inches of a back sit on the needles for months. Y’know, just… some people. 😉

    La la la la laaaaa….

  2. I actually bought the real yarn for this project but have not started it yet out of fear.

    I so feel your pain with the sleeves thing. I knit another sweater in another edition of IK. The pattern called for some silk-wool blend and I used a cotton-wool blend. My yarn was much stiffer than the yarn in the pattern. When I tried on the sweater, the body fit perfectly, but the sleeves were huge. I mean, my arms were half the diameter of the sleeves – add to that the stiffness of the yarn I chose and I’m telling you, I looked like a football player. I took them off and re-knit them with smaller caps, as a friend suggested. Still hated them. So I frogged the whole thing. I totally feel your pain. I have sleeve issues anyway because when I try stuff on at the store, sometimes I have to size up just on account of the sleeves – apparently my upper arms are larger than average compared to the rest of my body.

    Anyway, my main fear with this project is the ease issue. When a sweater is shaped as this one is, too much ease nullifies the shaping. The sweater on the model looks a little snug in the bust but not excessively so. In the hips, I would say there isn’t more than two or three inches of ease, but that is just a guess. The sleeves are definitely fitted, but they do not appear to be pulling on the model. I already commented on the lack of ease in the sleeves. I would also say this sweater, if you look at the proportions, is designed for someone with only half an hourglass figured – big in the hips and flat on the chest. A true hourglass would have about the same hips and bust with a smaller waist, which is not true at all of this sweater.

    I hadn’t really sat down and come up with a definitive plan yet for myself, but I was thinking of doing less decreases in the godets and then adding some ease under the arms for the sake of the bust. I also wanted to lengthen the sleeves.

    Bottom line, the question is how much ease is appropriate for the bust, waist and hips. Then I think one must adjust the pattern for themselves because no two hourglasses are the same. You can get away with knitting a more standard size when there is no shaping, but if you have shaping that shows off your curves, it has to fit your curves or it’ll look really bad. That is my conclusion.

  3. *Sob* Seeing this gorgeous jacket being distroyed breaks my heart ;( But then again, if you weren’t happy with it, there was no use in keeping it, you wouldn’t have worn it anyway – so it’s certainly better giving it a fresh start which I really hope you’ll do – and this time it’ll work out just perfect!

  4. “I also knit a smaller size because I am an eternal optimist about how I’m going to lose weight”…

    Ok, since you were brave and confessed first, I’ll confess too…I’ve done this for Every. Single. Sweater. I’ve knit for myself. I also somehow manage to convince myself that my boobs aren’t THAT big…and every time the results are the same. *sigh*

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