I've made several sweaters that fit into this category. Fortunately, the more experience I gain with my knitting, the better my sweater results are. Gone are the too low armholes, and ill-fitting shoulders that have to be tugged at every 2 minutes. Gone are the awkward lengths that make me look short (ok, shorter) and stumpy. And gone are the poor yarn choices that don't fit the design being made.
But then there's Coraline. You may remember Coraline because I reported her as a FO just last October. Here she is on the right. I'm smiling because she is done, but not because I'm enamored with the look of her on me.
What I Like:
1. I'm happy with the DK weight alpaca/tencel yarn choice. It drapes to suit the pattern well.
2. I'm happy with the color - I'm noticing lately that I really seem to be into pink more than I would have guessed.
3. I LOVE the flairy lace peplum. When I wear this, I spin around like a little girl in front of the mirror and say "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" but not when my hubby is home, of course
4. The overall fit is great.
What Could Be Better:
1. The reverse stockinette edging around the neck just doesn't fit the style of the rest of the sweater. It's sorta chunky looking, and I think a lacy edging would suit the pattern much better.
2. The neckline. It just doesn't seem proportional to the rest of the garment to me, to have a short neckine and a long peplum. Also, the way it's cut, it makes my upper body look stocky. I believe it needs to be a lower V to solve both of those problems.
3. The poofy cap sleeves. Perhaps these would be OK if the neck were improved, so I'm going to put these on the back burner for now.
The good news is that I have an extra skein of yarn leftover from this sweater, and a daring attitude toward trying to rebuild it. I've never steeked before, so this will be a beautiful opportunity to give that a try.
My first step was to put the sweater on and mark where I would like the neckline to fall. I marked it lower than where I intend for it to be at the end, because I have a neckline border in mind that will be and inch or so wide. I then used some contrasting yarn to baste in the new neckline I'm shooting for.
Next, I blew the dust off the sewing maching and did some stitching along the basting line. I used small stitches and a light, yet contrasting, color of yarn so that I'd be able to see what I was doing. First I stitched right next to the basting line, and then I put in a second line of stitching about 1/4 inch away from the first line. That is probably sufficient to keep the neck from raveling, but then I put in a zigzag between the two lines of stitching just for insurance :-). The key here is to not stretch the garment as you sew, so that it lies flat when you are finished.
The next step was to unravel the reverse stockinette neckband. It came out without too much of a struggle, and I kept the yarn just in case I need it later. (Insurance seems to be the theme of this undertaking!)
Because I'm not quite mentally ready to cut the new neckline in, I decided the next step was to hit the books to find a new neckband. The peplum and sleeves have lace leaf motifs all over them, so that seemed like the right direction to go. As usual, Barbara Walker was there to save the day with the Twin Leaf Panel (Red Book, page 235). I'll be modifying it to separate the "twins" so that the right leaning leaves will go up one side of the neckline and the left-leaning leaves will go up the other. I'll also modify the pattern so that the motif ends at the leaf edges.
So now I'm starting to knit the new neck bands, and will post an update when they are done!