Today I wore my February Lady Sweater for the first time in months and I was reminded of a recent conversation with knitting friends. Last I went to my regular knitting group, most of us were working on cardigans or sweaters/jumpers knitted flat. This gave us pause for thought because the past few years we have all been very busy knitting top-down cardigans and jumpers/sweaters these past few years. So why have many of us suddenly gone back to the dreaded seamed cardigans where you cannot try on the garment as you are knitting and there is so much post-knitting finishing to do?
My February Lady Sweater has not aged well. I knitted it out of New Lanark Aran which is a sturdy no-frills yarn with good memory, but even the yarn's good memory has not preventing the cardigan from sagging under its own weight. The garterstitch yoke has stretched which means baggy underarms and a cardigan that is too long in the body. Yes, my FLS has been washed and dried (several times) but the yoke does not spring back into shape.
Out of curiosity I then tried on my other top-down garments. My red cardigan also suffers from the 'saggy yoke leads to sad cardigan' syndrome as does my beloved handspun garterstitch yoke cardigan although I have not worn it as often as either my grey or red cardigan and so it still maintains some shape. I've worn Liesl maybe five times so it still looks brand new, but Milbrook looks a bit tired even if the yarn itself is very light-weight. My only top-down garment which still looks fit for fight? Forecast. Maybe the cables keep it in shape?
Question: how has your seamless, top-down cardigan or jumper/sweater weathered being used over, say, one or two years? Has your project kept its general shape or has it turned into a sad, saggy unflattering lump like my once much-loved FLS? I'm particularly curious about the cardigans that were all the rage maybe one or two years ago - the 'three buttons at the top' cardigans. You know, FLS, Moch cardigan, Amelia, Tea Leaves, Tappan Zee etc.
Maybe I have been unlucky and maybe my knitting friends have been unlucky - or maybe top-down seamless knitting needs to be thought about more carefully?What's your take on seams vs no-seams?
In other crafty news, I have finally made a decision on which sewing machine to purchase. I have gone for JL300C which is a re-branded Janome. Essentially it is the Janome DC3050 without the 20 decorative stitches I didn't want or need - and it's £30 less too. I'm getting it next week and I am ridiculously excited. I should probably send D. into town to pick it up or I may be tempted into buying some of the new Joel Dewberry cottons: some of his prints are quite Art Noveau, others rather Art Deco, and I'm weak in the presence of references to early 20th C visual design.
I'm currently knitting: nothing! It's true! I need to cast on for an art piece I'm exhibiting next month. I just need to shake off this lethargy of mine. I'm currently reading: Zadie Smith - On Beauty. Again with the lethargy, though, as I'm only twenty pages into a book I ought to be flying through..