Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cropped Cardigan, handknit

Cropped Cardigan with Fusilli Ties, or maybe with Rotini Ties
(my latest sweater)

The overall length is 20" and the sleeves are the recommended 10" long, as measured from the armhole. I had knit shorter sleeves, stopping at 9" because I thought the sleeve, knit according to pattern, without shaping, would be too large if it ended below my elbow. Now I see it doesn't matter much. The yarn drapes over whatever it covers up, and I think it looks ok as it is. If it grows more, it will be a simple matter to rip out and reknit the hems to shorten it.

I'm actually fairly pleased with the pattern the tri-colored yarn produced. It is largely soft narrow stripes, with some muted pooling in the body. Will I recant my recent resolution and buy variegated yarn for another sweater?

I certainly hope not.

In case anyone is considering this pattern and wants to know the modifications I made, here are the details:

I cast on for the 34.5" size. Once I had increased to 50 stitches in each sleeve, I stopped increasing for the sleeves, but continued increasing for the back and the left and right front until I had 21 total repeats, as needed for the 37.5" size. I wanted a little more coverage in the front than I had at this point, but I didn't want the armhole to be any deeper, so I separated the sleeves and cast on 8 stitches in the armholes. I immediately started increasing for the fronts, omitting the 15 rows of even knitting, then decreased the amount I cast on for the front edges from 9 stitches to 4 stitches. All of this was concocted from frequent try-ons, as I checked and double-checked the fit.

I wanted my sweater to fit like the one the model is wearing, and I knew she is smaller than I am, chest-wise. Since I don't think I'm much taller or longer-waisted than the model, I knew that just making the pattern larger wouldn't work. I was sure I didn't need larger sleeves, and now that it is done, I see that I could have used the smallest sleeve, which was 52 stitches around. I picked up the 8 stitches I cast on in the armhole and added them to the 50 I had for the sleeves when I separated them. Since I knit the sleeves in the round on a small circular, I had 58 stitches total in each sleeve. They measure 14" around, which means my gauge was larger from knitting in the round.

For waist shaping, I decreased 4 stitches on each side with two sets of paired decreases, then knit even for an inch, then increased back to the original total a couple of inches before started the hem. I knit the hems two inches deep. I just like the look of deeper hems.

Everything else was per pattern instructions, except for the leaves, which I explained at the beginning of this post. It is a simple, well-written pattern, and one I wouldn't mind knitting again. I found many helpful tips on the Ravelry project pages for this pattern that helped me decide how to make my modifications. One involved how to apply the i-cord edging. I chose to follow the suggestion of several Ravelers and pick up stitches around the neck before knitting the i-cord; it made the process a bit quicker.


Wool Enough said...

Looks terrific; and I love the rotini ties. I think the cardigan would look great with a tank top or camisole. You can be covered if the weather gets cool and breezy, but get some sun if it's not. And that's the advantage of the multicolor. You can pair the sweater with any solid color that is in the yarn.

Bron said...

Very pretty! I like your mods. :) The applied I-cord edge is something I've done before and I wish more patterns called for it.

Marjorie said...

That came out very well, and I think it looks very nice on you. I could not manage a project with so many food names (I'd just head for the fridge at every opportunity!).

As for the "pooling", I don't think the different colors form the blobs that I find unappealing. I rather like the narrow stripes of the color changes. I still have some variegated sock yarn in my stash, and I hope that kind of striping is how they will look when done.

Kathy aka the Minx said...

I like your longer version *much* better than the original (although I do love that green!). I contemplated adding this one to my "maybe knit" pile but thought it was stunted-looking. Now I know it looks great at a longer length, so I have to go shopping in my stash for an appropriate yarn....

Sam said...

I love it! It has just the right amount of beautiful details. And the subtle variegation of the yarn works fine. Very, very nice indeed :)

jane said...

I love that sweater! Now that I've seen it a bit longer it's on my to do list! Jane P.