Tuesday, April 18, 2006

IK wrap FO

Today I:

  • had a piece of toast with cream cheese and lox with coffee for breakfast
  • am having veggie loaf for lunch
  • am trying to buck up

IK Winter 2005 Ballet Wrap Cardigan

One of the things I love about knitting is how sometimes it allows my mind to roam freely upon other topics. I finished up this cardigan Sunday morning while I was having breakfast and wracking my brain for a plotline.

Sorry the picture isn't very good, it was first thing this morning and I just threw it on any old way for a quick photo shoot. It actually fits better than it looks. I wore it all yesterday at work, and I couldn't have been more comfortable without being in bed with a hot chocolate and a book. Pattern: Ballet Wrap Cardigan from IK Winter 2005

Size: 34", sort of (see: modifications)

Yarn: Lion Brand Chunky Wool-Ease in "Charcoal"

Gauge: 14s = 4"/10 cm on US #11 dpns (if I remember correctly)


I substituted yarn, of course, something which I think made this project. I am even more in love with Chunky Wool Ease than before. It makes a dense, lofty fabric, and the color is good. It also hides the seaming exceedingly well. The only drawback is that it may pill, and cats snag on it rather easily.

I also only used two needle sizes (Us #11's and Us #10's). The sleeves bell quite a bit, and had I thought about it, I probably would have nixed the US #11's on the cuffs altogether to reign that in a little.

I knit a 34" body with 32" sleeves. I have a reason for this. That reason is that I'm short. I had one sleeve all knitted up when I realized that it was longer than I like, coming practically to my knuckles. I didn't like the cap, either, so it was no big deal to rip it all out until it was the length of a the sleeve for the smaller size. I knit up the second sleeve with the increases for size 34" so that it would match the first sleeve. This has worked out fine. The sleeves don't seem too wide at all.

Those darn caps! I thought I had made some kind of mistake that was causing them to poof at the shoulder seam, but upon closer examination of the cover photo of IK Winter 2005 I realized that the wrap was designed that way. (The whole top row was k2togs!)This was a bit of a bummer, since it meant re-design, and really, my specialty is hats and socks, not sweaters. I tried to read up on armscyths, etc., but my brain started to hurt and I fell back onThe Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. (This book really does come in handy.) And then I went about it in my usual convoluted way. I'm very happy with the results.

It's pretty simple, but this is what I did:

  • I BO the first 3 s at the beginning of the first two rows of the cap
  • then I bound off 2 s at the beginning in the following 2 rows (This is consistent with the IK instructions, I think)
  • on the RS only, I dec. 1 s at each end of the row twice (30 s remained for me)
  • hunted desperately through the KHBP for a cap with 30 s at this point and a gauge somewhere around 3 s = 1" (Remember, at 14s = 4"/10 cm, that's 3 3/4 s = 1")
  • I knit three rows, and dec. 1 s at each end of the 4th row
  • on the next RS row I decreased 1s at each end
  • on the next row, irregardless of RS or WS, I BO 3s at the beginning
  • BO 3s at beginning of next 5 rows in the same manner
  • BO the remaining 10s
  • called it done

A word about the straps. This is how much I cut off of the straps after I had the entire wrap finished: That's about 8", and I could have taken off more. There's a reason why the straps in the magazine photos of this sweater go out of the frame: I could be wearing this sweater and have enough strap left to strangle someone quite comfortably. Not that I would do that. But these straps are super-mega-ultra long. Just so you know.

All in all, this wrap was a breeze. I recommend it.

Yesterday, I:

  • had no breakfast
  • ate a Vending Machine lunch
  • despaired over my blog stats all day at work to fill the time
  • had eel sushi with a green lettuce and heart of palm salad for dinner with a soy White Russian
  • outlined the next Sunday installment
  • couldn't find my 4 mm crochet hook
  • read some more of Margery Allingham's Death of a Ghost
    Eight people have read the latest installment of the knitting fiction. (This is part of the fun of holidays: blog readership goes down 80%.)To you eight loyal fans (or bored people) I want to say thank you, and that next Sunday involves a cat.

    Jeanette said...

    Jamieson still looks very cute. He seems to really appreciate his kitty blankie.

    wenders said...

    Wow. Looks great! I so wish I could go home and knit. And eat Nilla wafers. :)

    arianna said...

    looks fantastic!! i wish i were half that clever with the sticks. i cannot for the life of me modify patterns, and even the ones i do knit don't turn out nearly as professional-looking.

    it's probably why i read everyone else's knitting blogs - i like to at least see other people succeeding at it! :)

    and, the last installment definitely left me intrigued (i'm 1/8!). looking forward to the next one.

    have a good week.

    arianna said...

    heh perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder...but i still maintain that your knitting looks waaay more professional, and much neater than my own.

    i'd guess part of it has to do with the whole being-invested-in-a-project-from-the-bottom-up thing, where you get to know very intimately every nasty lump & bump & erroneous stitch... :)

    knitcake said...

    Its absolutely lovely. Really nice job and it looks great on you.

    Lissy said...

    My mind is reeling over your sleeve modifications. And then you have the chutzpah to say that overall the project was a breeze! I feel like the biggest loser. I can't modify for crap. The sweater turned out great.