Friday, February 28, 2014

Eastwood Cardigan

When I cast on for Eastwood, by Allyson Dykhuizen, I thought it would be a fun, striped knit in colors I love- sort of a no-brainer.




I wasn't very far into it when I realized it would very much be a "brainer."  There was no one difficult technique.  It was just knits, purls, stripes, picking up stitches, and seaming, but they all came together in a unique way that stretched my knitting muscles.  When I cast off the final pocket, I felt like I'd had a really good workout.  Not the deflating, marathon kind, just the refreshing kind.



In other words, I felt like a knitter as I knit this.  I only got to veg out in front of the tv for a few parts.  Okay, I laughed and cried my way through the first season of Derek.  (I usually hate it when I can tell a show wants me to cry, especially when it involves children, animals, or elderly people with sad, soft piano music in the background.  I find I must resist or that I can't feel anything after being so baited, but Ricky Gervais has me wrapped around his finger with this storyline.  I was helpless.)



No mods here.  I worked the size 36 with US 2.5 needles, knitting at a smaller gauge while expecting growth with washing.  I used my big, honking skein of Dirty Water Dyeworks Clara in chartreuse with 7 skeins of Wool of the Andes Tweed in flagstone heather.  The subtle color shifts in the Clara give the whole thing a one-of-a-kind look, while the WotA kept it budget friendly.


Something is up with my gauge lately, very inconsistent.  Since this was worked sideways, the stitch count determined my length for the back.  I want to shake my fist at stitch counts!  But I guess that's an immature thing to say.... or just weird.  Anyway, my finished length was a bit shorter than the diagram but it did block out like my swatch to be an inch longer than called for.  That was what I wanted.  It just makes me nervous to knit something that doesn't quite fit comfortably before blocking.

As it blocked on the table, I paced like an expectant father in front of the maternity ward.  I even used sad little straight pins poked through a few layers of Mo towels as a blocking mat.  Mo towels are the old, frayed towels we would use to bathe our big lab, clean spills, or wash the car.  Mo's gone now, but we still have a basket of these towels commemorating his bathing ritual and other unsavory tasks.  Why I'm including this, I don't know.


Oh yeah, the point: it worked!  I love the fit of my Eastwood.  Now, I'm gonna wear it on a hot date with a grocery cart.  This was my first finished knit for the Holla Knits Knitalong.

 (more on my ravelry, flickr, kollabora)

Other posts on Eastwood: planning, swatching, and  stripes.

17 comments:

  1. I already gushed about this on the forums, and I'll probably gush about it again on the project page, so I might as well gush about it here. LOVE IT! Love it soo much. Seriously, that is a really good fit you managed there. I can only hope that mine fits half as good too! Such a fun looking cardigan, I hope you get lots of wear out of it.

    I hear you on this being a 'brainer' though. The front panels definitely needed your (mostly) undivided attention, and even the striping, while pretty easy with no changes in stitch count outside of the arm and pocket holes, still required at least some attention. Less brainless than I expected, but at least it's not boring!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sounds like this beautiful knit marched you right to "graduation" as a truly advanced knitter. Love how you described your learning process ~ it's exciting when a pattern truly tests us but in only good ways. Hope your date with your shopping cart was fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its a lovely cardigan, and it sounds like you really enjoyed the process! We have 'Oscar' towels too, our lovely dog who is long gone (5yrs) but still named after him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Heather! I'm equally as excited about yours. Even though I blocked my swatch and saw that it would grow with washing, I was still worried it would be too small. But it's a good fit. I made the mistake of knitting the garter "rib" stitches more tightly than the rest, I guess because my normal ribbing is usually too loose. That caused the back to lay weird before blocking and may have cost me a little length. I so love the forgiving nature of wool.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, thanks, Evelyn! It was testing the skills I've learned in the last few years- particularly blocking, seaming, and picking up bound off stitches. I rarely am satisfied with my technique in doing these, but this was a good way to practice them.
    The date with the shopping cart was meh, the date with my husband was much better :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aw, Oscar and Mo towels! They will always be part of our families, huh? I still dream about Mo regularly. And thank you, Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been conscious trying not to knit the garter rib too tight, just because of your comments on it. It's automatic to knit tighter there though, because I know my ribbing is often loose too. Thanks for the heads up there!



    I think I need to reswatch. I can't remember at all if it grew at all. I don't think it did, but that doesn't seem right at all. You have me a bit worried though, because I don't think this sweater would work if it's too wide across the shoulders. I have tonnes of the Autumn Heather, so I'm going to make up a quick swatch today or tomorrow to double check.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I bet you'll be fine. My growth was in st count, which only affects the length of the stockinette portion in back. Keep in mind that I blocked aggressively because I wanted even more length. But re-swatching isn't a bad idea. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, that's a good point. I'm just a bit paranoid about the back width - I've had issues with it in sewing so the paranoia follows me into knitting as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's beautiful! I also found myself totally hooked on Derek, even though I was warned that it was sad. Also, don't ever consider not posting those anecdotes! I love meandering blog posts, and those little bits of life make them that much more real and personal.

    ReplyDelete
  11. congrats. it looks great. sorry to hear about the difficulties though. i hate swatches and guage!! i knit a swatch, count the stitches, cast on for the right length and it never is!! i mean never!. drives me nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It looks perfect (as it should after so much work!)! You really have an eye for color. I love the green and grey together. You also have an eye for beautiful, yet unusual patterns. I love watching you turn them out so quickly and expertly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. such a beautiful sweater despite the difficulties! thats why i love knitting...some projects challenge you but the finished projects makes it worth it. i love the pockets!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you, Katie! I like weird details included when I'm reading other people's blogs, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks and I hear you! I think I've gotten pretty good at guessing how a fiber will work once knit if I've used it a lot before. The. My swatch can be a little off but I trust blocking. I felt that way about WotA tweed but that little garter ribbing had me worried. Whew, glad it all blocked out fine.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Look who's talking, Vanessa? :) You're turning them out pretty quickly yourself. Sometimes I'm drawn to a pattern by the yarn color it's worked in and sometimes it's the construction that gets me. In this case, it was both. Plus, I won the green yarn.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you, Kristen! I do like a challenge sometimes. This pattern wasn't difficult so much, it's just that I stretched my blocking skills. I worried that my pockets would be bulky under the front panels, but they aren't. I don't even mind the way they peek out just a bit.

    ReplyDelete