Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Pure and Simple Carigan

241 in Cactus (4)
Originally uploaded by JRoKnits
So I wanted a cotton-y sweater that I could make and take along on our trip to Orlando in May. Will I need a sweater in Orlando in May? Maybe, maybe not, but I stil wanted one.

I fell in love with the Knitting Pure and Simple Neck-Down Shaped V-Neck Cardigan (#241). I decided on Cotton Ease because I like the yarn and there were some new colors. Cactus looked like it was it. I mean IT.

'Lo and behold, Michael's actually had these new colors. Cactus looked a little different than it had on my computer screen, a bit more muted, but it was nice and I still thought that color was IT. I bought 6 skeins and went for it.

I used 7's and 5's, just like the pattern recommended, but has a slightly larger gauge than the suggested 20 sts/inch so I felt comfortable choosing my exact bust size. And since it only has the tie closure, it didn't matter even if it were a little smaller.

The knitting went fast and it was turning out lovely. Until I tried it on. And really looked at my face instead of the sweater. The color makes my skin go just enough green to make me look like I'm ready for the grave. This was really disheartening since I'd had such high hopes for this sweater. I put it aside with only a few rows done on one sleeve.

After starting - and loving - a February Lady Sweater but needing something more mindless for TV watching one night, I decided to pick up the Cactus Cardi again and get it over with.

Though I consider this pattern to be overall well written and without errors, I did have to make the same adjustment that many people have made - fewer decreases on the sleeves. The sleeves actually start out quite wide and decrease fairly rapidly to a size that would be too tight for most people around the bicep/elbow area.

So I did the sleeve decreases as directed in the pattern, but I did one fewer decrease for my size - to 48 stitches. I knit 10 rounds even, then did increase round/4 rounds even for a total of 3 times. Then switch to the smaller needle, do 10 rounds of seed stitch, and bind off with larger needle knitwise. Perfect just-below-the-elbow sleeves.

Now that it's finished and I've had a chance to wear it in the wild, the color is still not ideal but not as bad as I'd originally thought. Color aside, it is a FANTASTIC cardigan! I love it. It's light, comfortable, fits perfectly, and my sleeve length is perfect for me. Nothing to get in the way or have to continually push up, perfect for when I'm knitting or working. Perfect.

In every way. You should make one. I'm making another in dark brown.