The outtakes were pretty amusing in that completely not amusing is-that-really-what-I-look-like sense. And black is so hard to photograph.... So let's forget about that and enumerate the wonderful things about this sweater. No Michelin man arms! The length! The way it buttons without gapping! Its cozy softness! Here are the details:
Dollar and a Half Cardigan by Veronik Avery from IK Spring 2007
Yarn: Sheperd Colour 4 Me 8-ply (11 balls?) 100% wool
Needles: US 6 and US 8
First of all, shortened the whole shebang, from hem to sleeves. Pattern calls for 26 1/2" body length and 23" sleeves. Final measurements for me: Chest: 42" Body: 24" Sleeves: 19 1/4" (The chest is actually what the schmatic measurements are in the pattern. All of the schmatic bust measurements are not what is given in the finished size on the pattern. Be forwarned.) Used a needle two sizes smaller for the reverse stockinette sections, as per suggestions from the knit along. I knit the ribbing at the hem and sleeves in US 8, but decided to use US 6 for the button band, because I wanted a stiffer fabric to prevent gapping when buttoned. I did not pick up the number of stitches recommended because I had shortened the body so significantly, but I would pick up what is recommended next time because I had to block the button bands separately to keep them from bunching. This worked fine though. I also did 5 buttons instead of 4 and put them on the striped side instead of the cabled side because I wanted to add visual interest to that side (plus, it's a more natural buttoning position.)
All in all, I LOVE THIS SWEATER. It fits so much better than I thought it would. I was worried that it would be too big because I would generally knit a 40" size, and without waist shaping, I was worried. Plus the Michelin man thing. It is still apparent that there is a clear distinction between the lace and the reverse stockinette but it's not puffy. I might recommend in the future to knit this slightly small and then block it out. The finished pieces were exactly the right size so the lace didn't really open much, but it is still a nice textural contrast. The 100% wool yarn probably didn't help with the lace definition either. Also, for those that might knit this, try to do as much of the increasing and decreasing in the reverse stockinette sections as possible, because it's really really confusing in the lace panels.
And, oh, the yarn, the yarn! It's so soft and squishy, which makes this a super comfortable sweater, for those days you're feeling a little vulnerable. I'm so glad I bought enough for another sweater in light blue, which was supposed to be for the Deep V, but may be allocated to another project. Plus it's warm, which is helpful when you're trying to save on your heating bill.
As my teacher would say, "Me likey."