Friday, August 31, 2007

Barn Jacket!

My sweater is done. It took days for it to dry. It was impossible to get the color right, inside or outside. The below picture shows the color best (made with flash).

You might wonder about the title to this post. When I was a little girl, until my teenage years, whenever I went to visit my grandparents, who had a farm, I naturally helped with all the chores. I especially liked to take care of the livestock, not so much the work in the fields, or house work. Anyway, working in the barn, around cows, pigs, and chickens, was pound to give off some smell. I didn't mind the smell at all, with time you didn't even smell it on yourself anymore.
Still everybody had barn clothe, which we changed into before going to work. Once I had to run and get something for my grandma form the grocery store. There was no time to change for me. At the checkout counter I was standing in line, and suddenly I could smell myself. I was a little embarrassed, but nobody said anything.
Usually you would not wear your barn clothe outside the barn, but hang it on a hook and leave it there.
As to my new sweater, it would have become my barn jacket, because I don't like it very much and will not wear it outside our house boundaries. Good enough for yard work (no barn or livestock here), and for letting the dogs out, when it's chilly. The reason why?
There are several: Even though I like orange and green, I don't like the self striping . It's hard to match it up on all the parts. I did my best, but I didn't want to unwind and cut yarn, just so I get the stripes right. I tried to start at the same color and so on.
It's also a little wide, not uncomfortable so. The biggest reason why I don't like this sweater is the yarn itself.
It is single ply, with NO twist. While knitting with it was O.K., sewing was hell! Every ball of yarn had at least one knot in it, but often more. Now I understand why. I sewed on the sleeves, and every ten stitches or so the yarn broke, just drifted apart like a feather. That meant weaving in all those ends, and that was not going to happen for me. I was really mad because of that, and decided to get another yarn left over to sew it together. By that time I didn't care very much, if it showed or not. It doesn't unless you go looking for it. I've never sewn together a knitted garment that fast! This yarn is made for felting. There were a few ends which tangled while I knitted the pieces. By the time I came to weave in the ends, some of them had felted themselves together just by rubbing against each other. So, if you think of knitting a garment with this yarn, make it a seamless one!
And, which of course is not so surprising at all, it itches. 70% wool does that. Not even the 30% soy could help to make it softer. Washing it did little to make it better. I'm a mimosa, can't stand the itch, except for my feet, they can take more of it.
Right now I don't think I'll slip into this jacket with only a T-shirt underneath with any pleasure. Just thinking about it makes my skin itch. I've encountered worse yarn, but the need to make myself a sweater, and fast, let me not think more clearly about the yarn I was about to choose.
This yarn would be perfect for a blanket though, and some day I will use what's left of it in my stash to make one. And if you like felting, you should definitely use it for that.

I did NOT buy this yarn with a sweater, or any garment for that matter, in mind. I was going to make another blanket, and have a couple of other colorways still in my stash. Next time though, I'll buy me the yarn I really LOVE to knit a garment for myself.

I made eight button holes. Cuffs, button bands and neck were done in seed stitch. For the main part I used the "dot-stitch".

I did the shoulder seams with 3-needle bind off. For the neck, I kept the stitches alive (only on the back), so there's no seam there.

Pattern: none
yarn: Patons SWS in colorway # 160448 Natural Green, one ball is 80g/110yds, 70% wool/30% soy
needles: 5.5mm
size: XL
start-finish: July 23-August 27


shannon said...

even though you don't love the sweater, i think it is lovely. i actually like the striping. i'm a girl who doesn't like the matchy/matchy though.

i know that barn smell. is it silly that i miss it?! :)

Anonymous said...

i think that you did a great job on that sweater!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

It's so pretty. I'm so sorry you are disappointed with the yarn. You would definately be the most fashionable barn girl!

Teresa said...

Wow..that yarn sounds like a nightmare! Drifting apart, itching, lots of loose ends!!! did you keep going. I would have thrown it into the "UFO box" I have in my closet. You remind me of my aunt. She always has a coat or sweater that she uses to take her dogs out, take out the trash or rake the lawn. I was actually making boot socks just for the purpose of putting them over my cotton socks and under my boots for shoveling snow.

I actually like the sweater though. I think it looks pretty. I think it'll be a great fall sweater.

My grandpa owned a farm too. And I miss that barn smell. He had an old horse barn that was never used after he got rid of his horses and on the top part where you put the hay there was loads of old stuff. I remember this old black stroller for babies and being just taken with it.

Sue J. said...

I'm so sorry you are not fond of your sweater. I think it is lovely. However, I didn't have to put up with all the problems. I agree that next time you should buy some really yummy yarn for yourself. Like cashmere?

Anonymous said...

Its too bad that you don't like it - its very cute! I was curious about this yarn so thanks for the info - I'll be cautious about using it for a sweater. Beautiful job though!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you don't like it, I think it's lovely! I like the dot stitch very much and will have to remember that. The soy does give it a nice sheen, it looks pretty even if you're not happy with it!

sgeddes said...

I like the colors! I'm sad you odn't like the sweater. It's hard to see about the yarn in a picture online - but hopefully you'll get some good use out of it as a barn coat.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

The colorway is beautiful (I love those colors), and your knitting is extraordinary. You should be very proud of it. True, some wool is scratchy to the point of not being able to wear it next to the skin, but it will look lovely over a shell or something with a nice skirt or pants. How long have you been knitting?

Michelle said...

I think your sweater is very nice. And like you said, it will have it's purpose. It's not like you'd wear a perfectly gorgeous cashmere to mow the lawn or anything! When SWS first came out, I had really high hopes for it. I knit my mother an entrelac hat and scarf set, which she says she cannot wear because it sheds like crazy. I haven't tried felting yet, which I will try someday.

Anonymous said...

I like the sweater - you did a great job. It is much too pretty to be called a barn sweater.

DAWN said...

I love the expination of the post title. Very appropriate. I love SWS colors but I really hate knitting with it. The sweater is lovely, just ashame you are not better satisfied with it. All the work and time, ah.

Anonymous said...

I love your sweater, I am sorry you don't :(
I know very well about barn smells. We have a farm and one day I was sitting at my desk at work and smelled something absolutely terrible. I finally figured out that on my way to my truck at home, I stepped in some *goose poop* and it was still on my shoe. Ug.

Angelika said...

I like the color and the stripes, dispite of what you say, but maybe it's different in real life. I do understand the itchy part though. Had the same happen to me too.

Anonymous said...

I think your sweater is lovely. I would wear it with pride if I were you!!

Beverly said...

Thanks for the review. Too bad you had such a bad experience with this one.

The sweater is cute.

Heike said...

Hallo Monika,

Schade, dass Dir die Jacke nicht so gut gefällt. Auf den Fotos sieht sie jedenfalls wunderbar kuschelig aus und die Farben sind auch sehr schön. Aber wenn´s Dich kratzt ist das natürlich schlecht. Hat doch super geklappt ohne Anleitung! Der Halsausschnitt und die Blenden - alles perfekt geworden, WoW! Ich staune, dass Du die Jacke fertig gestrickt hast obwohl Dich das Garn so genervt hat. Hochachtung!

Viele Grüsse von Heike

hakucho said...

Well, Monika, I think your sweater is beautiful. I 'm sorry you are not happy with it, but I understand ;) Someday I would love to make that perfect far every one I have made is not exactly what I had hoped for. I think that's why I shy away from knitting sweaters. Better luck next time. I'm sure you'll be very warm in your new "barn sweater" this winter.

happy knitting :)

Anonymous said...

Well I really like the sweater -love the striping and color too! (I understand the frustration with matching stripes - I went crazy with my Noro Silk pullover)
You would be a very fancy barn girl!

TracyKM said...

It is very pretty, even if you don't like it much!
I have wanted to use that yarn, but I know there are a lot of felting patterns for it, so that scares me, LOL. Like the Patons Classic Merino, which felts so well--I have sweater patterns I want to use it with, but I don't want to handwash a sweater anymore.
I went to the Spinrite tent sale hoping to get some of the SSW (SWS? I can't remember). But I guess it's still 'hot' as there was none discontinued/mill ends!

Debi said...

I think it's lovely! Too pretty for the "barn" :)

Cloudberry said...

I guess it would have been a forgotten UFO here... So you have done a great job by getting it off the needles :)

Strickfimmel said...

Die Jacke ist Dir doch gut gelungen. Es ist nur ärgerlich, wenn Du sie nicht tragen kannst oder willst, weil die kratzig ist. Aber ich mag auch keine Kratzwolle, schon gar nicht am Hals oder an nackten Armen. Aber trotzdem Klasse dass Du sie fertig gestrickt hast.

Susanne said...

Hallo Monika,
was für eine tolle Idee, aus dem Cardigan ein Barn Jacket zu machen. So was braucht man immer, auch wenn man keinen Barn hat. Für meine Gartenarbeit nehme ich auch immer gerne eine bestimmte Strickweste, die mich warm hält und die ich ansonsten nicht auf der Straße anziehen würde.

Übrigens vielen Dank für die Komplimente zu meiner Püppi und meinem Jäckchen, und... ich bin nicht beleidigt, wenn Du die Weste nicht strickst.

Bis bald und liebe Grüße

Violiknit said...

Sounds like that yarn put up quite a fight, but the sweater looks great; I think you matched up the self striping really well. (I once made a vest for my mother in Kureyon, and she insisted the stripes matched up. Headache!)

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

I really like the colors and look of it, I think it will be great for around the house. Thanks for the information on the SWS, I'll definitely keep it in mind when considering it for a project.

T-Mom said...

I'm sorry you don't like it, because i think it's really nice. I love the stitch pattern; I think it sets the yarn off very well.

I love barn smell. Miss it. Esp. horse barn--that's the greatest smell in the world.