Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oblique Cardigan, praise + problems

Once I checked Ravelry and learned that the Oblique cardigan often ended up larger than expected, I thought I'd better knit a sleeve, a sleeve/swatch. I'm glad I did.

My first observation is that I like the cushiness of the twisted ribbing, especially in the Ultra Alpaca. The 50 stitches produce a cuff about 7.5 inches wide, which should be perfect.

My second observation is that the yarn overs of the right-leaning lace pattern were not lining up correctly.
A google for errata and a check of the Ravelry forums for discussions of lace problems produced nothing of help. I checked the charts I made of the stitch patterns, and they were fine. Since I had cut and paste (in Excel) from them to make a chart of the sleeve, that couldn't have been the problem.

I knew I had to rip out what I had knit, but I tried a private message to the person on Ravelry who had posted the most recent Oblique fo. (That's Tina/Auragone, and she produced a magnificent yellow-green sweater, using the same yarn. The second link is the Ravelry one, so you'll need to be signed in to see it.)

Within a day, I had reassurances from Tina that the stitch pattern is correct as written, so I gritted my teeth and went through my charts, block by block. I finally realized that I had transposed the yarn over and the k2tog on row 5 when I set up my sleeve chart. What a relief. I am much indebted to Tina. Her response helped me zero in on the problem and solve it.
I only needed to rip out a few rows before tooling along to finish the sleeve.

I like the patterns, they are simple to knit and produce a lovely result.

It has taken me nearly two weeks to knit this sleeve, but the sole reason is that I consider it a long-term project. This is my project for the Grey's Anatomy KAL, a loosely-organized KAL that revolves around knitting while watching the tv show. Since the show only happens once a week, I knit this project on Thursday nights.

Like many of the characters on the show, I cheat and knit it other times. Not too often, probably no more often than the characters cheat. :D

I expect to finish the sweater by September at the soonest. For now, I'm glad to have mastered the stitch patterns, and relieved to have the sleeve/swatch done. It is too, too long , and I shall have to rip and reknit it to the proper length. I have recalculated my gauge and will adjust the proper sizing for the fronts and the back. All of this will save yarn. I hope I don't have to buy that extra hank that others have reported needing.

The next problem I have to resolve is illustrated in the last photo. I have always had problems with loose stitches when switching from knit to purl. This looseness is often visible in the single column of textured lace stitches. I'll probably play around with some twisting the second yarn over to tighten things up.

However, I am considering eliminating the reverse stockinette here. The knitting would go much faster without that change from knit to purl and back for those middle three stitches. I think it might look nicer, too.

Actually, the textured lace pattern was the first problem I had. The instructions for the sleeves allowed 3 stitches in which to knit a stitch pattern which is provided in the instructions as a repeat of 6 stitches plus 3. I suppose if I had knit the back first I would have gained an understanding of the stitch pattern and its hidden 3-stitch repeat. Since I started with the sleeve, I had to puzzle it out by studying the charts I made. Thank goodness I didn't mess up that chart.

A final note on the charts: there aren't any charts in the pattern, and myself and others have written up their own. I was going to provide mine here, but I am not sure I should. The pattern is free, but it isn't mine. I'm not sure I should publish charts based on it. As it is, I can't brag on my charts. I don't bother with symbols, I just type out the written instructions (k, k2tog, yo, etc.) in blocks.


Wool Enough said...

That is quite the challenging pattern. But really lovely. I had a great time admiring the Ravelry FO's.

I was intrigued by your idea of changing those three stitches to regular stockinette. It doesn't look as though it would make a difference on the sleeves, but there seems to more of that bit on the front and bsck. Might change the appearance a lot, although it's hard to tell how. Maybe a smoother look?

Sam said...

It is a beautiful pattern. This will be lovely in Alpaca. (I'm a big fan of Grey's Anatomy too!)

vlb5757 said...

It's nice to know that other knitters struggle with patterns. I love the pattern and I know it will be lovely when it's done. I watch Grey's every week and didn't even give it a thought I could have joined that group!

sydney said...

That's going to be a beautiful sweater. Good thinking to knit a sleeve.