Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knit by Faith, not by Sight



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With faith, in the pattern and in my calculations, based on a swatch or two, I finished the Whispy Cardigan last night.  Before washing, it didn't much resemble the lovely drapey cardigans in the pattern pictures.

Knitting with this stiff, lace-weight yarn has been difficult.  I had to wash my swatches rather harshly to get a fabric I liked.  Because of this, I had to knit according to the calculations I'd made from the swatch.  I calculated both the row & stitch gauge, and used those numbers, times the inch measurements of the pattern, to adapt this pattern, written for wool yarn, to this linen string.


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And sure enough, after washing, I was left with the Whispy cardigan I was hoping for.  Except for one small problem.  The linen yarn wasn't easy to knit.  It's not resilient.  I often found I'd inadvertently dropped a stitch.  Unfortunately, two of the stitches I'd dropped didn't make themselves known until after my sweater had gone through the wash a couple of times.

Then, I found this:
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There were two of these, one on the body of the sweater, another on one of the sleeves.  A true perfectionist would have unraveled and reknit.  I, however, used a crochet hook to reloop the stitch to the point I assume it was dropped.  Then I used yarn and duplicate stitch to anchor the stitch in the garment.  It ends up looking like a decreased stitch.  Given the nubby and variegated look of this yarn, I'd dare you to find it.  Except I think it would be more polite of you not to look.

I made this sweater to wear over t-shirts and tanks in the summer.  I wanted something that wouldn't add a layer of heat, but would add a layer of style.  I tried to wear my new sweater yesterday over a tank, and found that a little skin showed about my underarm.  I don't think it'll bother me in the summer, but mid-October, it looked a little odd, and felt a little cool.  So I wore my new Whispy over a long-sleeved t-shirt.  Not really a good look, but I'm afraid it's the best I can do till I bring this back out in April or May.
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I don't think this is the most flattering shot (translate this to mean, "I hope I really look better in this than the picture shows."), but I'm including it, because I know it helps me to select (or not select) patterns when I can seem them on different sized and shaped bodies.  So I'll take one for the team ;-)

Details:

Whispy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
  • Euroflax Milan, color Granite.  Two cones @ 100 g., 625 yards. 
  • US Size 4 & 2 needles (mostly 4)
  • Modifications:  added roughly two inches to length
Next summer, I'll know better how well I like this sweater.  But overall, I'm pleased.  It turned out pretty much as I expected.  Quite frankly, when I ordered the yarn, I thought it was more black with natural, when in reality it's more navy with natural.   I wouldn't necessarily recommend anyone else knit this sweater in linen.  I don't like knitting with linen.  But I think a feather-light linen sweater will be just the ticket when the mercury rises next spring and summer.