After speeding (for me) through my lovely Shellseeker, I finally reached the end of the front and decided now would be a good time to try it on (pause for derisive laughter). I had tried it when I got past the armholes, which was quite some time ago in terms of the length of the garment, but had neglected to since then. Items turning out too short is usually my problem; I certainly didn't anticipate an item being far longer than intended...
Don't misunderstand - I had been looking at Shellseeker with a critical eye and wondering if not only the length but also the width were somewhat more than intended as I got closer and closer to the end, but I somehow managed to sweep this possible issue to the corner of my mind. I didn't think it possible for one of my garments to be so drastically large in comparison to the schematic. I notoriously need to go up a whole mm in order to get gauge as I knit so tightly.
Well, as you may possible have inferred from this post title, miracles can happen, and my lovely, soft, alpaca Shellseeker is a lovely, soft, alpaca sack!
I don't think I need to elaborate on how unimpressed I am with this fact - my expression says it all - the front is a whole 12cm too long!
You can't really appreciate from the photos just how large, unshapely and unflattering this jumper is. Because there is no side shaping anyway, and the only shaping consists of side decreases and centre increases to form the pocket, unless the garment turns out exactly the intended size, you risk looking as if you are, indeed, wearing a sack.
On the first of these back views you can see the size of the jumper in all it's rectangular glory. On the lower photo, you can see how, when one's arms are by one's sides, the fabric forms protrusive folds on each far side around the armholes, which Marno kindly pointed out to me, due to my not being able to see the back!
I knew Shellseeker had no body shaping and relied on the pocket shaping to create interest and, well, shape, and I was fine with that, but I think this jumper can only work if its exactly the right size for the wearer. With that thought in mind, I have taken drastic action. For the first time ever, I have entirely frogged (for the knitting uninitiated, ripped out) Shellseeker. Well, not entirely, as I hadn't anticipated it taking so long and didn't have time to rip it all out during Noah's nap, so I'm about two thirds through, but make no mistake, it will all be gone and I will start again, from the very beginning, with a 1mm smaller needle (I did go up a needle size and a half)! Its funny actually, because even when I did my tension swatch I wasn't entirely happy with the looseness of the stitches, so hopefully with Shellseeker mark 2, it will be a little stiffer (though not much as its alpaca) and just hold together better.
I am entirely blown away but the pattern though, and can only say good things about it. It is sheer genius. So utterly simple yet you can't imagine how on earth something is going to work, in this case, particularly the pocket, until you get to it. Then the method, which you've read through so many times before you arrived at that point, just falls into place and uses such obvious yet subtle ways to achieve it's aim.
So I hope to have a me-sized Shellseeker very soon, although ironically it would be better at this point in time to keep the large version, as I will be expanding in the next six months to accommodate Noah's little brother or sister!!! (Pause for gasps and "ahhs"). Yes, I'm 14 weeks pregnant, and its certainly very exciting. We are so very blessed and thankful for all God has given us.
But I seem to have created a little pattern of making clothes too big for myself lately. I made a dress quite a few months ago that ended up looking like maternity wear, which I decided to keep for when I became pregnant again, so photos of that to come in a few months when I have a bump to fill it with! I also didn't pull it apart because I was actually really pleased with how it turned out, even though it is a tent.
So, all in all, not a particularly successful couple of months in the clothes making department. A sack for a jumper and a tent for a dress. Surely it can only get better from here...