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Sleeve Fail

Or, how an almost-finished sweater becomes a gauge swatch. A really, really big gauge swatch.

I want to preface this by saying I think that Cloudy Sunday is a super cute sweater. But even as I was knitting it, I had the sneaking suspicion I was knitting it for the body I want instead of the body I actually have right now.

So imagine my delight when I finished the body, pinned the shoulders in place, tried it on and discovered it didn’t look so bad. Definitely not terrible like I had feared. (You’ll have to trust me on this as I have no photographic evidence of it.)

Now, the sleeve shaping is interesting in this sweater, and I was excited to get the shoulders seamed and the little bit of ribbing knit on. That’s where it all went wrong. I thought that I had just been careless in picking up the stitches for the ribbing on the first sleeve, so I took greater care with the second. And had the same problem.

I just don’t care for the way the two sides split off at the end of the sleeve cap. And how it results in a little “pooch” in the sleeve that distorts the ribbing. Maybe this could be fixed by seaming them further, but I just don’t like the sweater on me enough to be bothered with it.

Hence, a big ‘ol gauge swatch. I’m thinking for an owls.

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New Year, New Sweater

I technically finished the Lodi Cardigan well before the new year (I count 4 days as being well before), but “Old Year, New Sweater” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of this one. I couldn’t even wait to get pictures before I started wearing it, so when I finally got around to taking some, it has that decidedly “lived-in” look to it. But I’m ok with that.

Pattern: Lodi Cardigan by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Solstice in 2306 Buff

Needles: US5/3.75mm and US7/4.5mm

This is the first sweater I’ve knitted that changed needles sizes to incorporate shaping instead of increases and decreases. It made me realize how much I look forward to doing something different when I get to the body of a top-down sweater, especially when it’s in stockinette.

I did make a couple modifications. I shortened the sleeves by 1″ and bound them off fairly tightly to try to avoid them “belling” out. Also, since I’m pretty short-waisted, I worked the purl ridge detail at the waist at 7.5″ from the underarm instead of the 9″ the pattern called for. This puts it pretty much at my natural waist instead of below it. And then, because I do like to camouflage my lack of torso whenever possible, I lengthened the body to 13.5″ instead of 10″ before starting the garter-stitch hem.

My only slight disappointment with this cardigan is that while I can just button it all the way down, it tends to pull and gap more than is flattering. I call this a slight disappointment because I think that it looks good unbuttoned, so I know I’ll still get a lot of wear out of it. But it did bum me out a bit, because I was fairly certain I had allowed enough ease to be able for it to function as a fully-buttoning cardigan. I think where I went wrong was not stopping to consider that buttons spaced 4″ apart are not flattering to a busty girl; I just blindly followed the pattern in that respect. I will keep this in mind with the next cardigan I knit.

My one of my favorite parts of this sweater has got to be the buttons. My best friend’s mom gave me a whole shoebox full of buttons this summer, and these are from part of that stash. I love the little pop of color they give to the neutral yarn.

And my very favorite part of this project? My finishing work, to be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever woven ends in so nicely, and I backed the buttonband with grosgrain ribbon and used backing buttons for the first time. I’m ridiculously proud of how even and how almost invisible my stitches are (if I do say so myself).

I didn’t back the buttonhole side, but I think I might eventually to keep it from stretching out of shape. I did some preliminary research into this, and it seems some people will use their machines to put buttonholes into the ribbon itself. I don’t think I’m that ambitious. My first thought was just to back the sections in between the buttonholes themselves, to make sure they still have enough stretch to accommodate the buttons, and I think that’s still what I’ll do if I ever get around to it.

And just to prove that I do actually wear my knits, not just model them on my dress form, I present a “Lodi in the Wild” picture.

The wild being my backyard.

I don’t get out too much in the winter months. I prefer to stay in and knit.

Roll Interrupted

My posting roll got waylaid by a not-so-spectacular week last week followed by an equally lackluster weekend, but I hope to get it going again.

I have a finished Lodi cardigan, progress on some happy striped socks, a bulky-weight sweater that seems to be knitting itself, and a sweater’s quantity worth of recently acquired yarn to show.

Hopefully I can find some patches of late afternoon sun to take pictures so I don’t have to go another week to get some pictures. Because picture-less blog posts tend to be real snoozers. Sorry about that.

The Disappearing Sock

It was J’s sock that got ripped out.

I hadn’t gotten to the toe on the first one before I realized I wouldn’t have enough yarn for a full second sock. It was just a simple garter ribbed sock across 80 stitches using US1.5/2.5mm, which I’ve used for a couple other pairs of simple ribbed socks for him, using yarn with similar yardage (and the exact same kind of yarn, Trekking XXL, for one).

Before

But apparently garter rib eats up more yarn than 3×1 rib does. This is good to know.

After

Eventually I’ll restart it, dropping the stitch count and going up a needle size.

After After

I probably should have done that immediately after frogging, instead of heeding the siren call of starting a sweater…But it’s always more fun to ring in the new year with a brand-spanking new project!

Guessing Games

I’ve got two pairs of socks on the needles – one for me and one for J. Can you guess whose is whose?

Double points for guessing which one has already made a trip to the frog pond since this picture was taken.

I do like me some stripes.

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden in 274 and 304

Needle: US7/4.5mm

This took me forever to finish, because it was boring as all get out to knit, but I’ve been wearing the stuff out of it ever since.

I really lost steam about halfway through. That’s when I finished the first two balls and matching up the colors on the next two seemed too much of a bother. Then the glaring color change started to bother me.

I tried to tell myself that that would just mark the dead center of the scarf, and besides, I could tie it in such a way as to hide that part. I don’t think I ever truly convinced myself, and the last half was a real slog. When I finally got to the end, I had to cut it short by two rows due to running short on yarn. It bothered my perfectionist side that the color change wasn’t going to be dead center after all. I know, I need to let this kind of thing go.

But holding it up, the second half is actually a bit longer than the first despite being short two rows. You can see it in this picture, which is the way I typically wear the scarf (please also notice the glaring color change being situated front and center. Sigh.) I changed to the Continental way of knitting over the summer and figured it was just a scarf so any change in gauge wouldn’t be disastrous.

Fortunately, my happiness in stripes far and away exceeds all of these complaints. I love this scarf, and the colorful stripes are just the thing to brighten up those gray and cold winter days. We’ve lucked out this winter, and have actually have had sun and 40 degrees but I have a feeling that “real” winter is going to come sooner than later so I will appreciate even more this warm cheerful scarf!