Monday, November 26, 2007

My wrap-up

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Valley Yarns Colrain, color "Chestnut" (109 yards per ball), ~7.2 balls
US 4 Knitpicks Options circular needles (32")

I knit the smallest size. My initial swatching showed that I was almost getting gauge with US 4 needles (the pattern recommends US 7). Instead of trying again on US 3's, I decreased the number of stitches I cast on for each piece to make up the difference. However, I neglected to alter the number of stitches involved in armhole and shoulder shaping, resulting in deeper armholes and narrower sleeve caps than desirable. Luckily both are still workable -- they're just not proportioned as nicely as they could have been. I used short-rows for shoulder shaping and did a 3 needle bind-off for each.

I also chose to add additional length (a half inch) to the fronts and backs (it has been my experience that sweaters are often too short on me if I don't add a couple of inches, at least). This turned out to be a bad idea.

After blocking it was too long/too big looking in general:
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I hadn't taken into consideration the drapiness of the fabric or the fact that this cardigan is meant to be worn open over a shirt (and is not fitted at all). It hit in the middle of my butt, and looked like a limp red tent on me. Ooof.

Maddeningly, it looked OK (actually rather nice) with the fronts cinched together like this:
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(although the back pooched out strangely around my waist in order to accommodate my buttocks)

I looked for a clasp, but was not happy with the clunky looking overly-fancy ones available, so I sewed on hooks and eyes to keep the fronts closed instead. Unfortunately, this focused too much tension on the hooks/eyes so that the fabric around them pulled rather disturbingly (no photo, sorry).

I took these off and made i-cord frogs, which I sewed to the fronts like this:
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While they look nice just sitting there, frankly, they destroyed the minimalist nature of the Minimalist Cardigan (not to mention I attached them a little high, which made me look extremely flat chested and weirdly proportioned, and they looked kind of crooked). Soooooo..... off they came.

I decided that I needed to go ahead and crop the cardigan, or I was never going to get any wear out of it. I picked out the seams toward the bottom of the sweater and lopped several inches off the back and both fronts. Then I put the live stitches onto a needle and worked downward - adding about a half inch of the k2,p1 ribbing before binding off (I know this doesn't match the length of ribbing on the sleeves, but I was afraid of adding back too much length after my surgical escapade). When finished, I reblocked the bottom edge only.

Now, I may be completely batty, but I'm much happier with the way the sweater looks on me! Yay!

I may still add some kind of relatively invisible closure (I was thinking of putting a button or two on the inside of one front edge and a loop or loops on the inside of the other), so that I have the option of wearing my Minimalist Cardigan with the fronts cinched in.

Oh, yes. One last note: the ribbing at the cuffs wasn't tight enough to stay put if I shoved the sleeves toward my elbows a bit (which I am prone to do, and I think this looks better, anyway), so I wove some elastic thread inside each cuff -- much better!

Oops! Not quite done.... I just love the look and feel of this yarn -- it's buttery soft, and the tencel gives it such a nice sheen and drape. Highly recommended!

5 comments:

kathy in Juneau said...

Fantastic!! It's beautiful and looks wonderful on you. Thanks for all of the details. I'm still plodding away on mine (in between other knitting distractions) and now I can't wait to finish it!!

Beehave said...

I think that it looks great, too! I am swamped at work and haven't had much time to knit... the back is done and I am 1/3rd of the way up the sleeves (knitting both at once).

Octopus Knits said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! And have fun with your Minimalist cardis : )

Tanya said...

Really nice! Oh, I wish the holidays would move on so I could work on my Mini!

Holly Jo said...

Love the clasp! It looks beautiful on you and the color is great. :)