Friday, March 4, 2016

K'done: Thursday Special cardigan

Worn for the first time on a Friday, but whatevs.

Pattern: Thursday Special, by Elena Nodel
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted, in Merlot Heather
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's really hard to take good pictures of a sweater yourself using a smartphone camera while wearing said sweater. I also want to sarcastically thank those clouds for blowing in and hiding the glorious sunshine that I woke up to - I was fooled into thinking there would be nice light for these pictures. Thanks heaps, clouds.

I am ridiculously pleased with this sweater. It was a fun knit - the little arrowhead lace pattern on the fronts was memorized in almost no time, and there's no body shaping, so much of it was great for knitting while reading, or knitting while sleepy. The unusual construction promised in the pattern description came in the shoulders, and it wasn't complicated, so no need to be scared away. My gauge was 20 sts to 10 cm / 4", which is a tad smaller than the gauge called for. So my sweater is a bit trimmer through the body, which I was expecting and am therefore happy with - I haven't tried to measure or anything, and it's a bit tough to judge since the sweater isn't really meant to close, but I'm guessing I have about 2" of positive ease in the body. The sleeves are also slimmer than indicated in the pattern - I'd say I have maybe .5" of positive ease at the upper arm? The sleeves actually made me super nervous while knitting - when I got past the point where I could see the size of the armscyes, there looked to be plenty of space, but once I got to picking up the stitches for the first sleeve, things were less clear. I slipped the first stitch of every row, because I like slipped stitch selvedges on pieces that will be seamed or picked up from, but I find I often end up having to work out my own system of how many stitches to pick up. For this cardigan, I ended up picking up one stitch from each selvedge stitch, with an additional stitch picked up after 3 - so something like pick up and knit 3, then pick up and knit 2 from the bars of a single selvedge stitch. Doing this landed me one stitch short of the number of stitches the pattern said I should have, so I called it close enough. Then, once I actually had some sleeve fabric, I started worrying that it wouldn't actually be enough to accommodate my arm. It seemed to have zero ease freshly knitted, and I kept telling myself that if the fabric wasn't puckering or gapping along the armscye, then I had a good pick up ratio, and no adjustments should be done. To compensate for how narrow the sleeves seemed to be, I omitted the first set of sleeve decreases, and then to allow for a little more ease at the cuffs, I also omitted the last set of sleeve decreases. I also got a little carried away working the first sleeve after finishing the decreases, and worked it longer than I had meant to, but the finished length is good.

If I were to do this again - and I totally might, I'm quite thrilled with the finished piece and having another in a different colour is rather appealing right now - I'd try to pick up a few more stitches for the sleeves. A little extra room in there might be useful if I want to wear a shirt that isn't a tank top or short-sleeved tee underneath.

Or maybe I just need to introduce a little more physical activity into my life.

Tech specs: Chinese waitress COs, double chain BOs, all selvedge stitches slipped purlwise, Russian joins throughout.

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