Thursday, June 21, 2012

There Was Doubt

There was doubt in my mind every time I walked past my table and saw this cardigan.  But blocking dispelled it and now I can get on with my summer projects and we can all eat at the table again.  It does, indeed, fit.


This is a contiguous sweater (contiguous is my new favorite knitting technique) from Isabell Kraemer whose patterns and finished objects I love, love, love.  Each one looks like a new favorite sweater.

I originally wanted this to look a little shrunken in fit, but after dealing with gauge problems and fearing it would be too big, I am happy that it fits like a normal cardigan on me.  Only it is sooo much nicer than something I'd buy at Target.


My Notes for the Paulie obsessed:

I must be the most laid back knitter in the world, because I can never get gauge.   So I knit size xs, figuring the loose gauge would be more of a small or medium.  It was.  My gauge, holding two strands of not-so-great sock yarn together, was: 5.5 sts/ 8.5 rows per inch rather than the 6.5/9.5 called for in the pattern.   I felt a need to hold two strands together because the Serenity sport weight (my main color) seemed unusually insubstantial for sport weight knit on size 1 needles.

Several knitters on Ravelry said the garter stitch yoke stretches some with wear and wished they'd knit it in a smaller needle.  Since I was on the smallest needle I could find, I just employed a little knitters death grip, hence the tired wrists.


I started the first 2 contrast color rows after three rows of stockinette.  From this point on it was 8 MC rows and 2 CC  repeated, carrying the color I wasn't using up the inside for less end weaving.


I also included one purl st "seam" on the sides and inner arm of the sweater after reading that some knitters feared all of the stockinette becoming a bit twisted and shapeless over time.  I don't know that anyone's did, but I liked the idea for extra structure, so I included it.

For the decreases at the side I knitted to 3 sts before the "seam," Ssk (inserting needle knitwise), k1, p1,k1,k2 tog.


When picking up under arm stitches, I picked up and knit 11sts, knit around the other 54 sts of the sleeve, then continued knitting 5 of the picked up sts, p1 right at bottom center, then knit to end.  I maintained the purl "seam" stitch on the inner arm all the way down the sleeve.

I also intended to have long-ish 3/4 sleeves stopping at 19.5 inches total, but when I saw that it was not very fitted in the chest, I feared a kimono look so I stretched the sleeves while blocking.  They weren't really 3/4 length anyway.  Whatever works.



 It's not all that difficult, it just seemed to take some real effort- from finding enough yarn locally, to finding the right needle size/gauge, to knitting it on tiny needles.


 It didn't help that I'd zone out as we drove north for vacation and forgot to carry my contrast color down the body or forgot to even switch colors when I should.  There is a fifth button somewhere between Texas and Tennessee.  I'm hiding it's absence in these photos.


 The end result was worth the effort, though.  I love this sweater!  The garter stitch yoke makes it special, along with the I cord bind off along the edge of the collar.  It's also a practical weight for winter in Texas.   However, it's not winter right now and as soon as these photos were shot, it was back to the wife beaters and soccer shorts for me.  Now, for some summer tops knit in front of a fan with an iced coffee.

More on my Ravelry and Flickr

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