Ink Flare, after being a really quick and straight-forward knit, actually caused quite a bit of high drama at the end. I finished the body and the sleeves very quickly - all in all it can't have taken much more than a week - and I was equally quick to assemble the jumper and sew the sleeves on. I then grabbed my crochet hook and set to crocheting the hem, and that's when all the trouble started.
I'd decided to forego the garter hems at the sleeves. The plan was to hem with a crochet chain instead.. Having done it I realised that the end result was... odd-looking. The yarn is so stretchy that the crochet border, even when done very loosely, kind of drew the knitted fabric together in a way that didn't suit the jumper at all.
So the crochet border was unpicked. Now the sleeves rolled up slightly - much better.
I then went on to crochet the neckline. This turned out to be much more of a problem than the sleeves. Even without the crochet border I'd already had the suspicion that perhaps the neckline is too high / narrow for this type of jumper. I don't mean that there is a flaw with the pattern - it worked just fine for my purple Ink Flare for example - but that for this type of yarn, and this type of open, airy fabric, the neckline needs to be particularly open and slouchy to pull the project together. See, even while I got the correct gauge, the open fabric stretches quite a bit and makes this a very casual knit, wide in the body and the sleeves, and the neckline, I think, needs to reflect that slouchy look. As it was, the neck looked like the only fitted thing on the jumper, making the whole lot appear like it was oversized with only the neckline done to the correct sizing - not a great look!
So I unpicked the crochet, then tried it on again. While this was better, the neck was still too tight. This is where it got messy. Being the lazy thing I am, I didn't then, like a good girl, decided to de-assemble the jumper to carefully unpick the tops of all the pieces. Nooooo, not me! Instead I decided to do it while it was all still hanging together.
You can imagine how that went...
It didn't help that a) the yarn had sort of tangled and didn't particularly wanted to be ripped (it is mohair, after all) and b) that I had already sewn some of the ends in, meaning that I had to unpick as a I went along...
Great idea, that was...
I undid what I think was about three rows, then crocheted that border on again, using the leftover yarn from the unpicking (that was another bad choice because there was never enough of it so I had several joins). I cast off, then tried it on.
Nope, the cast-off, despite being very loose, was still too tight and bunched the fabric up. More ripping, followed by another, ultra-loose cast-off. Then I crocheted a very very loose crochet chain to finish the now rather messy-looking neckline off more neatly. Tried it on again.
Nope, still not right - the crochet border, once again, pulled the fabric together in a way that made it bunch up. This was quite amazing to me because you can't imagine how loosely I did the crochet border - the loops were HUGE!
So the crochet was ripped once again. Assessing the situation I then decided that I was going to have to go with the flow and just leave that slightly unsightly unfinished border as it was, because at least it meant that the neckline sizing was right.
I tidied up the sewing where the sleeves attach to the body of the jumper - this looked pretty messy by now but not much I could do about it, and then stuck the whole project in the wash in the hope of levelling out the neckline a little by blocking it.
Some blocking was required, and it's still not perfect, but hey, the rolling hems do help to hide the unsightly bits!!
But you know what? I love it.
It's been some journey, this last bit of knitting Ink Flare, but I love the end result. Yes, to the discerning knitter the problems around the neckline and the messy sewing which resulted from the repeated ripping are fairly obvious, but the jumper is cuddly and so so soft, and I do actually quite like how it fits now. The boys like it too - boy #2 has already announced that he wants me to knit a jumper for him now. I'm only too happy to oblige! :)