I have to say that as much as I have struggled with this particular project, I am absolutely delighted with the way that it has turned out and, more to the point, so is Middle Mudlet. Sewing up proved surprisingly easy with the most challenging and unusual aspect being the creation of the neck band.
I mentioned in my last post about this particular sweater that I was a tad worried about a reference on the pattern leaflet to ‘binding’ in relation to the neck band. There was a paragraph detailing the binding process but as a stand alone instruction it didn’t really make much sense and so I opted to ignore it until I was at the point where I needed to do the binding. So I continued to work on the sweater in if not blissful ignorance of the process, certainly in resignation to the fact that I would need to face it at some point. As it turned out, when I actually started the binding it actually made perfect sense, although I prefer the more traditional and I’m guessing English way of completing a neckband (remember the pattern is from a French company).
So the neckband itself was cast onto the appropriate size needles and worked until the required length was achieved …….. and then it got interesting. Once the last row of the actual neckband was worked, in the pink yarn, a contrasting colour was then fastened on and several more rows were then worked in stocking stitch before the yarn was cut off, leaving a decent length to prevent the work unravelling.
Next the neckband was placed along the neckline of the sweater, right side to right side and using a length of the pink yarn attached to the wrong side of the work and threaded through a yarn needle, the neckband was ‘bound’ to the sweater by sewing through the last row of pink stitches. By this I mean the needle was passed through a pink loop where it could be clearly seen against the stitches of the first row of contrast yarn and then into a stitch on the neck edge of the sweater itself, until all the neckband stitches had been caught up and sewn onto the neckline. Once the last stitch of the neckband had been sewn into place and the yarn securely fastened off, the section of work done in the contrast colour, was pulled back. I admit to a feeling of trepidation as I pulled out the last contrast row, hoping that I had bound all the stitches successfully to the sweater and as it turned out, only one had been missed, a mistake easily remedied.
At this stage the sweater look a little …… well ….. shrivelled and untidy shall we say. Blocking was an absolute must and as it was gloriously sunny outside, I decided to take advantage and set up the blocking on the garden table. Half an hour later, the sweater was successfully stretched and pinned to a large towel on two bits of MDF on the table, in the sun and I reckoned the drying process would only take an hour or two.
“You can’t leave that there!” Mud said as he wondered back into the garden from the front drive where he had been working on Annie. “I need that space! You could put yours over there,” he continued, pointing the girls small wooden picnic bench IN THE SHADE!!!!
To say that I was not impressed was an understatement but the part he was working on (the cab roof which we had detached ready for lining) needed a much bigger space than the much smaller picnic bench! He helped me move the boards with the sweater on over to the bench but the towel stilled moved and so I had to spend another few minutes repositioning everything. Thankfully the end result was worth the effort and the lacework opened up beautifully, leaving Middle Mudlet with a gorgeously feminine little sweater.