After spending most of the summer & fall on various Big Projects for the family, I finally got a chance to go back to making things for me. Yay! Me, me, me! Anyhoo, I'd been meaning to try a top down cardigan, and I had 3 skeins of knitpicks merino style in hollyberry red, so I got started using Cosmic Pluto's pattern as a guide.
The merino style is dk, and I used size 7 needles, and I followed the directions for the smallest size. After the advised number of rows, I tried it on and found that it was still too short. What I should have noticed was that it was too short because it was too wide. I know one of the advantages of working top down is supposed to be easy fit-as-you-go, but I found it a little hard to envision what the fit was going to be without the sleeves or body hanging from the shoulders. Or maybe I was just in a rush and not seeing what was obvious! Anyway, I worked another couple of inches and then proceeded down the body. The directions have you put about 15% of the stitches on each sleeve; I think next time I try this, I'm going to up that, hopefully thereby moving the whole raglan line further inward. And also I'll go refresh my memory on Zimmerman, I seem to remember there being several chapters about sneaky tricks to make with raglan lines so that they fit closer.
About the time I'd finished the shoulders, I happened to have my off-white sweater on the back of the chair I was sitting on, with my brown scarf lying on top of it, and as I saw the colors combine with the red I was working on, I said: oooooh, purty! And since I happened to have both those colors in stash (the brown is wool-ease, the white is finger weight knitpicks Bare, doubled) I decided to break things up with a nice broad stripe section. Now I kinda wished I'd gone and learned how to make the button band stay red, as the stripes look a bit messy there. Ah well, next time.
Anyway, since it was so large and drapey, I decided not to make this very fitted. I did only 2 of the 4 recommended decrease rows, knitted straight for a couple inches, and then added only a single increase row, thinking it would largely go straight down at the bottom. What I didn't realize was that garter stitch is much wider than stockinette, and when I added the bottom border, it just kept growing and growing. At first I was a little horrified, but I think I've reconciled myself to it now. After all, we've already come so far from the red version of this I had in my head when I first started this project, what's a little more go-with-the-flow variation? An attitude that stood me well when the sleeves blocked out much longer than they'd been. So now it has cuffs. Yeah, I planned it that way, sure.
The important thing is that it is *so* comfy. I love the warmth and the drape of the Merino Style... for the 50 cents more a skein, it is so totally worth it over the Wool of the Andes. I just wish they had the heathered colors; ah well, maybe next season. And meanwhile, I tend to wear more cardigans than pullovers, so it'll probably see more use than my two previous red sweaters.