Pattern: Oblique, by Véronik Avery
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy, in Chocolate Night
Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9
Well. This sweater has been taking up headspace for me for rather a long time. According to my Rav project page, it took me a year and nearly two months to crank this one out. Not exactly a prompt knit. But remember, there was some drama involving me failing to read one of the pattern directions properly, which led to me producing an 85% incorrect sleeve along with a 100% correct back and 100% correct sleeve. There was a period of hibernation while I deliberately ignored the evidence of my carelessness, and then I decided I wanted the sweater enough and ripped back the bad sleeve to fix it.
You may notice that in the above image, the ribbing looks a tad crinkly on the would-be-button bands - I say would-be-button bands because I left off the buttonholes, since I have no intention of buying buttons for this piece. It's a layering cardi for me, and doesn't need to close, which means I can skip the part where the sweater sits forever in button purgatory because I can't be bothered to get myself down to a button store and buy the flipping buttons. But back to the ribbing - it's not blocked. This sweater's construction has you sew the main pieces - fronts, back, sleeves - before picking up for the collar and button bands. Since I like to block pieces before seaming, this means that the sweater was mostly blocked when I finished up with adding the ribbing, and I'll wear it a bit before giving it another wash, which should settle the ribbing a bit.
It may also be apparent that I did some downsizing of the pattern here. In part for aesthetic reasons - I didn't want a swimmingly big cardi - but also for the very practical reason of yarn chicken. I had 1000 yards - 4 skeins - of the yarn, and I had looked at others' versions on Rav, and one of the overarching themes of the comments seemed to be Eats more yarn than pattern suggests, and the pattern suggested that the smallest size should eat 936 yards for the smallest size, which was still bigger than I wanted anyway. I decided to ensmallen the XS version: I took away the foldover cuff on the sleeves, I shortened the sleeves to something like bracelet length (I'm always tugging my sleeves up above my wrists anyways), I shortened the body, omitted one waist decrease set and its corresponding increase set, omitted one row from the collar, and my gauge was a bit smaller than as written in the pattern, at 18 sts to 4" as opposed to 17. The resulting sweater doesn't cover my bum and has maybe 0.5" of positive ease - quite different from the modelled sample.
Clearly, I succeeded in making the sweater happen with my yarn supply. How close was it?
Um. Yup. That's all the yarn I had left when all was said, done, and seamed. Not very much at all. The ensmallening was clearly a necessary move for successful sweater completion.
The pattern was nice and clear, though I'm not sure about the pick up rate suggested for the collar and buttonbands - the designer recommends picking up 4 out of 5 stitches, which I did, and it all worked out fine, but it was only after I had finished with the collar that I remembered that I lopped a good three or four inches of length out of the body, so I should have quite a bit fewer stitches on those buttonbands than the pattern said I should have. I didn't. Since the collar is done after the buttonbands, I would have had to pull it all out in order to go back to try and correct the buttonbands, so I just left it. It doesn't seem to be flaring right now, and I'm sort of counting on the somewhat flexible nature of ribbing to save me in the end - I'm thinking I could block the ribbing to be slightly compressed to avoid flares or weird ruffles.
Oh, I also didn't do the very bottom edge of the buttonbands correctly because I failed to consult the pattern fully. Once I got set up in k2tblp2 ribbing, I just went with it. The very bottom two stitches of each buttonband are supposed to be knits on the RS, but on my sweater they're purls. Oh well.
This batch of Classy is a batch of 'old' Classy, which means it's a bit scritchier. I'm wearing it over a short-sleeved tee in these pictures, and it was a bit irksome on the arms. I guess that means I'll probably only wear it with longer sleeved tees underneath. That's okay. I still think it's a pretty nice sweater.