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Crop failure.

We’re now halfway through week 3 of the semester, and my classes are going pretty well. The reality of being one of the few people still masking (even when the University has raised the risk tier to “Medium” meaning that masks are “strongly encouraged” rather than just “optional”) is a hard and exhausting thing, and I haven’t had much energy left over for knitting or anything else, really. Just a few rounds here and there on either my current socks, or on the sleeve of the Ursina sweater.

Except…that’s not working out so well. Since I can work at home on Wednesdays (the only day I don’t teach!) I tried it on today over the dress I intended to wear it the most with, and it just looks weird. The fit is fine in the front (which I somehow neglected to take a picture of, but here’s a video), but the back is really awkward.

Fneh.

As you can see, it really floats away from my lower back at the point where my back curves in. There’s room to put the entire width of my hand in between the fabric of the sweater and my back!

Weird fit in the back

I have a VERY pronounced curve to my back, but I also have relatively broad shoulders, and the combination here is just awkward; it hugs close at my shoulders and upper back, but then sticks out awkwardly instead of tracing the curve as I get narrower.

Fneh.

It’s possible that some of the issue here is the fact that I split the bottom hem; perhaps it would pull in a bit more if it weren’t split, but while I don’t have a photo, I did pin the split hems together and the look was still pretty awkwardly puffy. Some of the issue, I think, is that the half-brioche ends up being a thicker gauge than the sweater (at least in my yarn) and so it would puff out a bit no matter what. But really, I think this silhouette just does not work for me.

So now I’m back to square one. I still want to knit something from this yarn (Peace Fleece DK in “Antarctic White”; I have 3 skeins worth in this particular colorway, plus one that’s a bit darker). I’d still like to have a sweater that works well over this blue dress and other similar ones. But it’s clear to me that this Ursina is not going to be that sweater.

I think that if I want a cropped sweater, it would need to be more loose-fitting in the shoulders AND in a drapier fabric, or else I will inevitably end up with something that hugs my relatively broad shoulders/ribcage, and then stiffly hangs away from my body where my back curves. I’m not sure that the Peace Fleece DK, as a wooly woolen-spun yarn, could become the kind of drapier fabric I’d need, even if I went up a whole bunch of needle sizes.

I also think that a raglan shoulder is going to exacerbate the issue by really highlighting the shoulder area, and I’m not actually sure what type of shoulder to shoot for – maybe a drop shoulder? I’ve been surprised by how much I like the look of the (modern) drop-shoulders on my Gridlines and Honeydew sweaters, so maybe that’s the way to go. Gridlines in particular is one I wear over my black ikat dress a lot, though I didn’t knit it cropped – it’s actually kind of long, and that looks fine over the black dress, at least. Maybe cropped, as cute as it looks on others, just isn’t for me?

In any case, I don’t actually have stash yarn that would work for another Gridlines sweater, and I’m trying to avoid new yarn purchases. I do have reasonably good “make shit up as I go” skills when it comes to designing bespoke sweaters for myself, so perhaps I can think up a way to use the somewhat limited quantity of Peace Fleece DK to create a sweater that will work nicely with my ikat dresses. Maybe a cardigan that nips in at the high waist, rather than a pullover? Or maybe I should just accept that I don’t quite have enough of the yarn to make a sweater for myself, and use it as the main color for some sort of colorwork yoked sweater. Decisions, decisions…which are exactly what I *don’t* feel like making right now. (This is when I miss being able to just browse through Ravelry, but alas!)

It’s hard not to feel like I’ve utterly wasted what little time I’ve had for knitting these last few weeks, but that’s not the best way to think about it; the act of creating every one of those stitches that are going to be ripped out was soothing to me, even if I don’t get a cute sweater in the end. And it’s not like I have a shortage of sweaters; there’s truly no urgency here. Still, though, it’s a bummer.

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