Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What is this I spy? Lovely, un-dyed wool? Garter stitch? Is that a raglan sleeve? And a human inside that sleeve?! No way!
Pattern: Garter Yoke Cardi by Melissa LaBarre from Knit.1 Fall/Winter 2008
Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade Ecological Wool in 8018
Needle: US 8
I love this sweater. A lot. I love this sweater particularly today as it is snowing and 11 degrees out.
Let's talk about my modifications. Ok, I modified everything. Reinvented the wheel. Banged my head against a calculator and wanted to give up on more than one occasion. The problem was the yarn. I had this yarn and I really wanted to make THIS sweater with THIS yarn, because I liked the color and I thought it would be incredibly versatile. But THIS yarn wasn't going to be getting gauge for THIS sweater. I decided that this didn't matter. Normally the gauge thing is not a huge issue. Just calculate out the pattern numbers in your gauge and usually there's a size in there that will give you what you need. Not the case this time. So I threw the yarn into the wind and just got on with it.
I used the pattern as the starting point, calculating how big the neck opening was supposed to be and how many stitches I needed to increase to get to my final body and armhole counts, and then I just cast on. This all sounds much more cavalier than what actually happened, which involved much tense scribbling on a piece of scrap paper and a few evenings of intense self-doubt. When I got past the yoke increases and the raglan increases and I reached the measurement I wanted for the yoke depth, I found I was short a few stitches, which I not uncommon for me in top-down construction, so I just cast on the number needed at the underarms, breathed a sigh of relief, and continued forth as the body is very straight forward. For the arms, I decided I wanted a slimmer fit, so I added decreases to the pattern. The end result is quite a close fit.
The other source of stress was that the yarn bloomed a lot in blocking, which I knew because I washed and blocked my swatch (something I've taken to doing because skipping this step has recently bit me in the rear as I have watched my beloved Dollar and Half cardi grow and grow and GROW with washing). This meant that though the math was working out, I had no idea whether it was going to fit until after I'd washed and blocked it. Luckily, it did.
Let's talk buttons for a second. I really wanted something spunky for the buttons on this sweater. (Oh, also, I used 3/4" buttons instead of 5/8" since my gauge was so much bigger than recommended.) I was not able to find what I wanted despite going to two different stores. These are actually a kind of luminous dark green, which looks nice but is a bit more sedate than I was hoping.