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Friday, October 19, 2007

slouchy cardigan


Slouchy Cardigan
Source: Greetings from Knit Cafe
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight 100% Alpaca color #30, 10 skeins
US size 7(4.5 mm) needle

I modified this one by omitting the hood and adding a collar. I didn't exactly plan to do this, though I had it in mind that I might not wear a hood and then decided not to change the pattern since I liked it a lot as is. Wishy washy moment.
Then during the knitting I made an error with my math as I had to rework the numbers to fit my gauge, and ended with front pieces too narrow to wear. Hmmm, the subconscious once again steps in for me and makes up my mind.



A collar had to be made now so that the sweater would stay on. I picked up stitches and worked a stockinet, reverse stockinet collar with short row shaping and kind of just winged it. The general rule for picking up stitches is approx 3 sts for every 4 rows or some ratio there about. The buttonholes are worked on a diagonal to accommodate my bust and I put in four buttonholes but after trying it on two seemed sufficient. I had already ripped and knit the collar a few times to get the shaping and bind off right so the unused button holes are there for good and don't show up too badly.

After binding off the collar twice and hating how the chain bind off looked I worked a sewn bind off. That's the first time I've felt the need to use a sewn bind off and it did take quite a while to complete but it's the perfect edge for this particular yarn and collar because it doesn't draw attention to itself and folds quietly not competing with the stitch texture.

Since my gauge was off from the pattern gauge and I didn't feel like thinking too hard I decided to work set in sleeves in the round, top down with short row shaping. Also, I wasn't exactly sure how long to make the sleeves and this way it would be very easy to adjust the length. I'm trying to remember where I learned how to do this...(quick trip to the bookshelf) Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti.


I found these buttons in a little shop where they were inside a box hidden in a drawer and they've been sitting in my stash for a few years. They're quite heavy but I love the warmth of all that shell, luckily they're not too heavy for the alpaca.

Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight alpaca is a DREAM to work with. Before blocking the stockinet stitch had a kind of crunchy look, after blocking the stitches even out and the drape is wonderful. The color is most like the top photo but I think this shade might be discontinued. Anyway, all their colors are gorgeous.
On a side note, yarn ends were joined by splicing as needed. I recommend doing this when possible, especially with this kind of knit where weaving ends mid row shows through to the public side.

17 comments:

Connie said...

You've been prolifically knitting! I love the modifications (by necessity, chance and happenstance) that you made to the original design. It looks like a comfy, casual, and yes, slouchy cardigan. :)

Gudrun Johnston said...

I think those accidental changes look great....especially the collar....love the drape too!
For the sleeves did you pick up stitches from the armhole and then do short rows...was it easy?

Carlene said...

Gorgeous! I actually finished this pattern (not as nice as yours, and without mods), but the arms ended up a lot narrower than what I needed/wanted. So your top-down arms were the right decision.

michele said...

great post full of useful tips.

your cardigan looks beautiful with the modifications. and the Blue Sky Alpaca does look like a dream to work with.

i haven't used the splicing method for joining but i'm going to try it now. the sewn cast off is what i use most of the time. it takes forever but i'm always much happier with it. yours looks great. and the vertical button holes - those were smart.

happy sweater wearing. :)

Debbie said...

You are amazing. I just love when you post something new. I'm always inspired by your work. I enjoy your artwork, as well. Beautiful sweater.

Mary-Heather said...

You, my friend, are a finishing machine! I love the sweater - the collar treatment looks great... and the buttons? Drool. Pretty pretty@ I begrudgingly like the sewn bindoff. It takes forever but it really does look good!

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Me likey. What a great adaptation. And you look beautiful!

Emma said...

I love your slouchy cardigan! It looks so soft, comfy and flattering.

Lolly said...

I really like your modifications! It looks really great on you :)

EDNA HART said...

I love the Collar--Blue Sky Melange would work as well and it too is a DREAM to work with.. Once Again --Great Job Kat.

handknit168 said...

I like this cardigan, specially the collar. It is very special.

vanessa said...

The softness of that yarn does ooozze from your photographs.
Beautifully knit, stylish, and looks exceptionally comfortable, all the criteria for the perfect piece of knit wear, me-thinks.

Kathleen said...

Ooh, Kat, very nice. I'm so happy to see it finished and really like your mods. I'm on the second sleeve and then just the optional hood to go, assuming I have enough yarn. I really like splicing, too, though I don't have to do it for my slouchy cardi, as I'm knitting off a cone of Zephyr DK - I love NOT weaving in ends! Your improv'ed collar gives it a sort of "weskit" feel. And I've yet to meet a Blue Sky yarn I don't like (Alpaca Silk, Organic Cotton, Brushed Suri, etc.). There are two skeins of Sport Weight marinating in my stash...

WendyM said...

Looks like something we would all like to be wearing. The collar and buttons really make a big difference and thanks for the notes on your modifications.

a friend to knit with said...

i just love what you did to it...i am tempted to make another one like this!

Romi said...

Wow! I really love it!

projektleiterin said...

That's weird, I thought I had left a comment here...?! Anyway, I think I said that the new collar looks cool and that I feel relieved knowing that even accomplished knitters and designers make mistakes and that things like ripping back are part of the normal knitting process and not due to my abysmally bad knitting skills.