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PROGRESS - my crochet project log

Hollyberry Cardi

Dec 2006knitwool ~$20mediumdefinitely

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. illustration 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.

illustration Also, new camera! With a swiveling LCD screen and a multi-shot self-timer for better self-portraits. I'm finally free to range away from the one room with the big mirror, the bedroom. Which is of course when I realize that the rest of my apartment is not any more photogenic, but oh well, I'll do what I can! At least this way I don't have to worry about the shameful way we never ever make the bed being exposed in the background of the pictures. I'll just do it with words in this sentence instead.