FO: Soap Bubble wrap

Pattern: Soap Bubble Wrap by Connie Chang Chinchio, Interweave Knits Spring 09

Yarn: Lion Brand studio Cotton Bamboo in Cherry Blossom, about 5 skeins

Needles: US 6?  I can’t remember, I started so long ago!

Notes: So… it’s probably a bad sign when I choose the detail shot for the first picture.  But I love that lace pattern, which was lots of fun to do, and not bad at all in spite of all the charts (1 for each front and 2 for the back.)  I really enjoyed the yarn as well, and would recommend it without hesitation.  It behaves more like a cotton than a bamboo, with a nice dry hand, but the bamboo gives it some drape without becoming too stretchy.   The pattern was really well written – I was always clear on what to do, as I always am in Connie’s patterns.  Sadly, we have some operator error here.

sorry for my windblown hair!

The problem?  It’s too big.  I made the 2nd smallest size at a tighter gauge than the pattern called for, and I got the size I was aiming for – about a 35″ bust.  I was hoping it would be nice and drapey without being like a bathrobe.  The fronts can easily wrap too far around me, and they don’t stay where I put them because they are wider than I am.  But that’s ok… really the problem with me and positive ease is that I have very tiny shoulders, and larger sizes tend to slide off.  The photo below (which I didn’t bother to color correct like the others) gives a more accurate view of how large the shoulders are for me.

I think I could have knit less length on the back collar and maybe that would have helped a little, but I don’t think that’s causing the problem.   The problem is that I don’t fit into grown-up sizes sometimes – I hate to shop because I am always consigned to shopping in the juniors department, as the continual upsizing of clothing sizes has sized me out of some misses brands entirely.  Every 6 months or so I forget this fact, and think I wear a bigger size than I do, and wind up with a too large sweater (my Nantucket Jacket shares a similar problem – the shoulders are enormous on me and continuously slide down.)

Note how I am standing, with one hand on my hip, slightly at an angle.  That’s because if I put that arm down normally the shoulder of the sweater will fall off.  It’s also not as flattering from straight on.  Let this be a lesson to you all about how models stand in knitting magazines (I’m not talking about this pattern – interweave is pretty good about getting different angles – but I’m looking at you, Vogue Knitting!)  I think it looks really good in this photo, but it doesn’t stay in real life.  I’m thinking of getting a wide belt obi style belt and belting it that way – I think that would hold it in place better than the knitted tie.  It might also make me feel better about how high waisted I am – in some of the photos my husband took, like the one above where I’m seated, I appear to be belting my sweater right under my boobage, but I am not.  That’s where my waist actually is.  I actually went looking for a belt today, but walked away empty handed after convincing myself that I was not trendy enough to pull that off.

I would totally recommend the pattern – I think this would be so cute on someone with more curves than I have (read: any *sigh*)  I wouldn’t recommend going for too much positive ease if you have narrow shoulders relative to your waist – since this is a dolman style it’s going to fit looser up there anyway.  I would also slip the first stitch of each RS row of garter stitch edging – I didn’t (except on the tie) and wish I had.  The pattern calls for doing your seam edges in garter stitch, which I personally find harder to sew up than keeping the selvedge in stockinette, but of course YMMV – I know people who prefer both!  I thought about grafting the top seam of the sleeves rather than doing a 3 needle bind off. I didn’t, because I was worried about stretching.

Right now I don’t think I’ll wear it much because of the falling shoulders, but I’m not giving up – I’m going to definitely try it out with a belt.  I’m not even upset that I made it too big, because I’m so happy that my knitting mojo is back again.  I’ve come up with a plan that I’m now working on for the future, and suddenly I want to knit instead of sit around and worry all the time!

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23 thoughts on “FO: Soap Bubble wrap

  1. Even though it is too big, it is beautiful! Your knitting really inspires me. I hope to one day finish the sweater I started, but I am afraid it will end up too big and I will be disappointed. I’ve been knitting socks lately. Can’t have too many socks. :)

  2. Wow, the sweater really looks lovely, so I hope your wide belt idea works out! If not, I thought you would want to know that while you and I are about the same size around, I am 5’10″ and have very wide linebacker shoulders… just sayin’… LOL!

    Seriously, good luck with the belt and I’m glad your knitting mojo is back! We’ve missed you!

  3. I have the exact. same. problem. I hate hate hate shopping for that very reason. Shopping for maternity clothes was even worse, though I’m glad to say THAT part of my life is done with for good!
    Too bad about the fit of the sweater. You’re right that it’s a lovely design.

  4. emily says:

    I do hope it works out with the belt! It’s very pretty; I love the colour especially with your new hair. and the lace is great… *reconsiders knitting it*

  5. tanyadiva says:

    Thank you for the report on the Lion Brand yarn, as I’ve been curious. And your knitting is always so meticulous – I think the Obi sash might just solve your problem with the drape.

  6. It’s a gorgeous sweater! How disappointing to have it not fit! I think your idea of a wide belt is a good one. it would be a shame to not wear such a pretty sweater

  7. Angie says:

    It really is a cute sweater. You could sew on pink grosgrain with snaps and keep using the sweater’s belt. Maybe just go with the bathrobe idea… line it with cotton and increase the length… Thank you for sharing all your ideas on the upcoming project possibilities. Blithe in purple would be great on you, especially with the small shoulders:) But I agree, it is really hard to choose!

  8. i have the same problem. i really have to say no to kimono/dolman style sleeves b/c the extra weight tends to pull them off my shoulders. i really want to rock that style, but it doesn’t work for me.

    i think the design is pretty, and i love the color you chose. if nothing else it looks very comfy, kind of like a *gulp* bathrobe.

  9. it’s such a cute sweater, but i know what you mean. i have the tiny shoulders problem too, so in sweaters of this style i have to go with a smaller size to prevent it from falling off.

    you did a great job though, it’s super pretty. i know it’s not the fit you want, but it does look like it would be comfy for lounging around in.

  10. Trine says:

    I saw your pictures on Ravelry before I read the blog post and thought “Ack, it looks like it might have turned out a little too big.” and unfortunately I was right. :( I don’t think it’s all too bad, though – but of course that’s easy to say when I can’t see it on you in person. ;)

    I hope buying an obi style belt will help. I love waist belts myself, and I think they look really good on small people like you (and me). It’s a really cute sweater otherwise, and I hope you can make it work! :)

  11. Laura says:

    take a length of fabric ribbon and sew it along the collar from shoulder to shoulder. It sounds crazy, but it really does give the collar some extra body and may keep it from draping to your elbows. You could also squeeze the collar a bit on the ribbon to make it a smidge smaller–not gathering it noticeably, but encouraging the stitches to get closer. seems worth a try since the sweater looks great otherwise!

  12. Marie says:

    Your blog is on my feed as I am always inspired by your work, and find our tastes very similar. This sweater is beautiful and maybe you can make it work.

    Do not despair of your (sometimes difficult to clothe) physique; you are slender, graceful and very elegant. Your sweaters usually look better on you than on the original models. My 16 yo daughter has the same problem/blessing, and she is lucky, lucky, lucky like you. Actually middle school was very difficult for her in finding the right size since girls wear close-fitting clothes and she had a very late puberty (she’d kill me if she knew I was mentioning this, but who knows us that’ll read this?).

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, even the not-so-stellar results. Did you look into possibly and carefully shrinking it?

  13. Michell Adams says:

    Hey there – love your blog! Someone may have already mentioned this, but would it be possible to hand-stitch some twill tape (1/4 or 1/2 inch) into the wrong side of the neck line? Your knitting inspires me!

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