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Hanne Falkenberg  Mermaid Ramblings

mermaid7bt.jpg (5076 bytes)

I started knitting this on September 3rd stupidly thinking I could get it done as a sample at the Fall Fiber Festival in Orange Virginia October 2nd.....what was I thinking that Saturday afternoon!  Please remember that I do most of my knitting after a long day and have usually taken the meds to help with restless legs so am not sure how clear my thinking is. As of September 9th, I am about ready to start the back neck short rows, so I am moving along okay on this project.  Comments below are some of the concerns I have in working the pattern.....and things that may be clearer to you, however be aware they need to be thought about.

There are no measurements on the drawings so I had to assume I knew which size to make based on the sizes in the pattern......I did try on a large at Market and though it was what I considered a bit small.....problem with this is I don't know how accurately it was knit to size.  I do want to make one of these big enough for my 52" chest measurement sometime in the future, however, not wanting to take a chance of running out of yarn, decided to knit the large for my daughter for Christmas, she still has many pounds to loose after having twins about a year ago, but a large should fit, I am going to guess that she is currently about a size 16.  The Large says the bust circumference is 42"....does not indicated if this is the bust measurement or the finished measurement of the garment.  The length is 26", not that is is really important, however will be referred to when I get to gauge.

I am notoriously bad about doing swatches as I usually knit to gauge without changing needles....a really bad assumption to make that I don't need to do this....however I started right in on the sweater.  I have done a Falkenberg before and the needles suggested did result in a sweater with the right measurements.  The needles called for are 3mm, which instead of hunting for, I just pulled off the needle rack. and double pointed needles 3mm1/2.....silly me, I was anxious to get started and it started with these needles and I used a 3mm needle, not giving that 1/2 much thought, probably didn't even see it!  It wasn't till page four of the directions that it said cast on with a 3 1/2 mm needle to start the sleeve, that it dawned on me I started the I cord on too small a needle, was not about to start over when I am almost half done with the body of the sweater.  So, am hoping that the collar will lay right, if it doesn't will need to cut off the I cord and apply it as for instructions for the other side.

So now that I know the needles size is not right decided to do some measuring, and looked at the needle I was using....guess what the company put a 3.25 mm needle in the package marked 3 mm.  Thinking I might have gotten lucky, took the measurements.   Since there are no measurements to use as a guideline, I checked the 50 rows of garter stitch = 4"....this is good, that is what it the front of the sweater from the I cord to the center row of the underarm measured 11" which will give me a 44" sweater. which is in the ball park size wise.  However the length is only 23.5" instead of the 26", this might be okay as Martha is about 5'6" but longer would have been better....maybe it will relax a bit when blocked and can be blocked a bit longer.  Don't think this is a critical issue, however if she was much taller it would have been.

So now I am cruising along and get happen to look at the work and over night I forgot how to do the rolled edge at the bottom and when I looked at the directions must have picked up the wrong set of instructions, as the next night the section after the first gusset doesn't look the same as part of the section before the gusset....okay lesson learned, I can over embroider those few rows and solve that problem or I can leave it proving I am far from perfect! That decision can be left till the finishing. Have NO time to rip.

Then I get to this BOLD statement Continue in Stripe Pattern and work edge-sts along the shoulder similar to the edge along the lower edge of the Jacket. I thought I was following the directions, but mine sure don't look like what is on the bottom, infact, the inside looks like the bottom....still haven't figured out where I went wrong, have reread several times, however am half way across the shoulder by now so decided since the shoulder will be seamed, maybe this won't be too noticeable.   Chugging right along....

It is looking good, and moving along at a pretty good clip even with these small needles, oops, what is that, looks like I dropped a stitch about 1" back....grrr, pull it to the back and catch with the same color of thread and attach it to the row above with a darned stitch and wove in the ends, and increased a stitch to make up for the dropped one.   Ready to start the gussets. Ridge 3 gives me an ambiguous direction, reading it now it seems perfectly fine.  Must have been late when I got to that point and I just had to see that new color added.  I did what I thought it meant, it seemed to work, don't have any holes and the number of rows worked out right, am half way through the gusset so went to bed.

Wasn't much better the next night, started on the center row of gusset and muffed those directions, not realizing that I was supposed to work to the last yo, then continue another 3 stitches, yo and go back to the beginning of the row, I just did the center row working all those yo together with the next stitch and completed the ridge. The the directions for ridge 2 didn't make much sense since I had not done the previous row right....did I quit and figure it out, no just motored right along, wasn't later that I looked at the color photo did it dawn on me what was supposed to be done....I had 3 rows in the vertical dark stripe rather that 2 row, well, I have started the seconded gusset, so will just continue this mistake. I have 20 R in my gusset rather than 18.  Did finally dawn on me in one of my more alert knitting sessions where I went this deadline, will just make all the gussets alike, who is to know???

There is the use of a Marking Thread....says to move along the needle every time you pass it.  No problem sounds clear to me.  Am going to go watch grandkids for the weekend, sweater is now far enough along that I don't want her to see it so decide to work on the sleeve as it is worked sideways and isn't going to look like anything but a weird piece of knitting for awhile.  Since Martha's arms are long, didn't want to risk the sleeves being too short so went up to a 3.5 mm needle.  First row has a place marking thread I continue on working moving this everytime I came to chugging away and hit this tidbit....after completing said number of inc work even until there are 51 ridges counting from the MT at the cast on edge....oops, I was carrying it along.  Well it is not to hard to find the cast on row to count from.   Also, on the short rows for the top of the sleeve, I got to the correct number of rows before all the increases were made, but stopped at this point and sleeve is now set aside since I am home again.  When I start working on the sleeve again will see if I can see where I miss counted.  It all seemed so clear at 11:30 PM after running after 3 boys, one 3 and the 11 month old twins all day long!

Have worked across the back shoulder and says to have a MT so you know where to decrease for the neck....seems pretty obvious to me but I now fasten a marking thread to the side of the shoulder where the neck will be. Am about ready to start the center gusset of the back, before going to bed, decide to sew the shoulder seam together so the sweater isn't so floppy and if I go back to the sleeve can set it in and see how this is all going to look.....still want to make one for me and looks like there are reasonable places to make additions to the pattern to do this without loosing the integrity of the design.

Much later,
I did finish this sweater, and gave to daughter at Christmas, she really likes the sweater.  It finished to about 44" however is not intended to meet in the front so would fit a larger size.  I need a 52" sweater and it was obvious that I need to add width under the arms for this to look and hang right on me.  And it doesn't look like this would be a problem to do, I will probably add about 3 more inches, under the arm.  Although the sleeves seem plenty big enough around, would need to add some additional width so they would sew in right. When I make another one, I will do a provisional cast on for the front and do the I-cord trim all the way around so it is all the same tension.  On the original, I ended up cutting off the beginning I-cord as it was too tight and could not be blocked out to hang right.  Hopefully sometime this summer I will find time to make one of these for me!