Monday, January 6, 2014

My Journey Begins Inland

Just before Christmas I received my print copy of Journey in the mail.  It was so hard to ignore it as I had gifts and various sleeves at different stages of completion.  As soon as I had all but one completed, I decided to begin my knitting tour through Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond's book with Inland.




When I see a new pattern collection, I'm usually drawn to the garments, so it was natural for me to queue up both Inland and Antrorse.  I started with Inland, though, because I thought I might could finish it before the end of 2013.  I don't know why this mattered to me, it just did.

I was also sick with some kind of cough and stranded on my couch anyway, so why not knit a quick, bulky cardigan.  And it was very quick- ten days from start to finish, and that includes ripping back and re-knitting a portion.


A beginner could definitely knit this, especially with a little support and ideas from the Jane's or Shannon's ravelry groups.  So let 's get down to business because you need to make one of your own.


I used size 3 needles but my gauge was still off.  I checked the revelry comments for the yarn and found that many people find Wool of the Andes Bulky a bit thin for a bulky yarn.  I think that must be true because I just could not get gauge without the fabric seeming insubstantial.  So I decided to knit at a tighter gauge and follow directions for a 36" in the hopes that, once it was blocked, it would actually be 36", which would give me 2 inches of positive ease.  I appreciated the clarity the book gives to choosing your garment size based on your actual measurements.  I have noticed lots of knitters using these measurements to modify or combine size instructions for their best possible fit.


I only ran into one problem in the actual knitting because I didn't order the right amount of yarn.  I had ordered 2 skeins in the wallaby color way, thinking I would do more of the sweater in a contrast color.  Now that I had changed my mind, I really needed one of those skeins to be in porcini.  Halfway through the second sleeve I knew I had to have more, which meant placing an order and waiting.

What saved me were the comments left on Ravelry by other knitters who had used the same yarn.  Several said it grows with blocking, even to a point of making a sweater too big.  At that moment I heard an angelic choir singing, my face aglow in the light of my computer screen.  My last project of 2013 would be saved!

I undid the cuff of the completed sleeve and shortened it a bit.  I also unknit the bottom of the cardigan past the last two button holes and reknit it, changing the placement of those holes.  (They were a little too far apart anyway, so it made no noticeable difference to the finished sweater.)  My ribbing was now starting almost two inches higher than before.  I also only had 9 buttonholes instead of 10.  Shaving these inches off gave me enough main color yarn to finish that second sleeve.  I then added my contrasting pockets and soaked the whole thing, fingers crossed.


When blocking, I didn't have to work hard to stretch the length of the body and sleeves.  I did use various household objects to hold the sides of the sweater down for plenty of width.  One of these days I will get blocking mats, but for now I have my table… a towel… a bag of cat treats… a stray book… a grapefruit...

I am so relieved it became the perfect fitting sweater.  Even the length is right where it should be for a long cardigan.


It is exactly, exactly how I envisioned it would be.  That doesn't usually happen when I make something.  I find myself settling for the best my abilities can produce.  But this worked out perfectly.  The yarn colors looked as good together in person as online, the idea of contrasting pockets that I   borrowed from RoHart of Ravelry was the perfect little detail to add, the rustic wooden buttons, the length… all perfect.  The pockets are even useful, not just cosmetic.   And I love that collar!





This leaves me to wonder what would have happened if one of those wallaby skeins had been porcini and I had knit to the prescribed length.  Would I be wearing an elephantine cardigan that looked like it belonged to my daddy?  It's something to keep in mind for next time.

I love these buttons!  The whole thing looks like a country walk to me.

(more on Ravelry, Kollabora, and Flickr)
other post on Inland is here.

16 comments:

  1. Looks fab! The pockets really make it pop. I'm a big fan of Jane and Co. up in Canada. Another one on my list. I promised myself I would make all the sweaters I have the yarn for first. No new yarn until the Thanksgiving sales. My family were in shock when I announced this. My son said "Mommy, you love knitting". It was really quite funny as I have a ton of yarn and it's not exactly a hardship to use what I have first. His reaction made it sound like I'd run out be the end of the week.

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  2. You are stunning. And so is the sweater :)

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  3. It's gorgeous, Michelle! I love the colour and the buttons!

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  4. That is a gorgeous sweater. I love the contrasting colors. Ravelry comments are SUCH a big help. Yay!

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  5. Oh, Terri, I want to do the same thing, but then Holla Knits comes out with another collection and I'm hooked! :). So, I take a few things like that into account when I say I won't buy more yarn. I've been doing good with my commitment all fall and winter. We'll see....
    I love Jane and Shannon's work, too. I think I've knit more patterns by Jane than any other designer. I am finishing a cowl and mitts combo designed by both of them at the moment.

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  6. I never know what to say to these sweet compliments, except thank you, and I really mean it. :) We just grabbed these pics while visiting family, before I could spill something on my cardigan in the car :)

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  7. Thank you so much! I was relieved when the yarn came in the mail and the colors did, indeed, go well together. And I'm a sucker for big, wooden buttons.

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  8. Thank you, Sarah! I see you have another design out in Knitscene. I love it! That is something I could wear year-round. Now that I've embraced summer knits, I am definitely going to do that one.

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  9. Oh my gosh that's gorgeous! That length wouldn't work for me but looks the perfect length for you - good call adjusting for stretch! The contrasting pockets are a perfect touch and something I'm going to keep in mind in the future. :)

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  10. I'm so excited that you like it and I can't wait to see how it turns out! It's funny, I'm not really that into summer knits, myself but I think it would look adorable over a long sleeved shirt, too!

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  11. Thanks, Veronica. Experience = many, many mistakes. Ha! The reason there aren't many "ugh" projects on my project page is the fact that I usually re-knit until I get it right, or at least decent. So many of my knits have been knit 1 1/2 or 2 times to fix errors. I am grateful for the knowledge I gain in the process, though.

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  12. Thank you, Heather! I liked the length and pockets because it hits below the hips. I have another cardigan that has pockets at the hips and I don't like that look as much.

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  13. oh my goodness! I haven't been here in a while. I love your hair short!!

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  14. Love the sweater and the way you styled it! So glad the yarn quantities worked out for you. Nothing makes me more panicky when knitting a sweater than feeling like I might run out of yarn!

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  15. Thank you,Candace! Its good to hear from you. I fear I've dropped out of sight on Flickr and rarely check out my friends over there. I'm trying to amend that this year.

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  16. Me too! In fact I just ripped back my Antrorse because the worsted just wasn't thick enough. However, doubling strands leaves me with, you guessed it, a yarn shortage. This is my first time to rush order yarn. :)

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