Wednesday, February 12, 2014

K'done: Caramel Cardigan

You might not believe it from these pics, but this sweater is one of my go-tos.

Pattern: Caramel, by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Monika Design Cashmerino Soft, in Laurel Leaf and Cypress Shade
Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7

Well, maybe you would believe me, given that the sweater is showing some pilling action. According to my project page, I started this in February 2013, and after a few fevered weeks of work, I got distracted by something and set it aside. (Magpie? Moi?) I picked it up again in August 2013, I think, and worked on it with the intent of being able to have a wearable garment for the fall season - and I succeeded, with all the finishing done on 9 September 2013. I've been happily wearing it to work, layered over other tops, ever since - I think I wear it once every week and a half or so. I'm actually actively trying to avoid wearing it weekly, just to avoid being recognized as that weirdo in the green striped sweater, because honestly I've got enough eccentricities about me that I don't need overwearing of garments to be added to the pile.

The pattern is great - a simple knit, with very little in the way of shaping, only the raglan increases for the sleeves. To be honest, the resulting sweater seems a bit wide across the back for me - when I pull it on, the shoulders are usually slipped a bit forward, with the back raglan line falling over the top of my shoulder, and I have to adjust them back into place. The back collar doesn't gap out significantly once the shoulders are properly aligned, but there is some ease back there. I suspect this is an issue with my particular shoulders, and not a fault in the design. There are a few rows that the pattern instructs you to work straight in stockinette after the ribbing before beginning the raglan increases that I thought seemed odd, but I rolled with it, and the result isn't odd. I made no modifications, but in the stripes I did carry my non-working yarn along the end of the row/round, twisting it with the working yarn as I went so that no large loops formed. I did this to avoid having to weave in eleventy bazillion ends in the finishing. It was unproblematic, but note that some care must be taken to make sure the yarn is nice and relaxed as you carry it along, or else there will be puckering.

Now that I think about it a bit more, I may have worked some additional stripes on the body, in the interest of using up more of the darker green yarn - I was working through the remnants from my Parcel, and wanted to avoid having just one lonely 50 g ball leftover. I succeeded.

In terms of tech specs, I used a cable caston at the neckline, largely because at that point in time I had not yet discovered the Chinese Waitress caston, which is now my preferred caston (unless I want a particularly sturdy edge). I used the double chain bindoff at all the hems.

The yarn was great to work with, and I enjoy wearing it, even if it is pilling some - I blame the cashmere content, cashmere seems to want to fuzz up. Indeed, there's a halo on the sweater in some of the more subject-to-friction areas, but I don't think it detracts from the sweater in any way. The superwash aspect is great - I toss the sweater into a mesh bag, put it through the machine with the rest of my clothes on a delicate cold cycle, then spread it out on the not-a-table to dry.

Also, those so-called blanket-style fronts? Super fun, and super cozy. No wonder I keep reaching for this sweater in these colder months.

Would I knit another? Well. Right now I'm not averse to it, except for the fact that there are so many other sweaters in the pipeline of things I'd like to knit. I may do it again someday. Just not today.

Nor tomorrow.

Like I said. So. Many. Sweaters.

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