theraineysisters knitting and so much more

April 29, 2010

From Sally — It’s a Bolero, It’s a Shrug, It’s (not) a Cardigan?

Filed under: Oak Leaf Cardigan — surly @ 1:52 pm

I know I promised to show off the yarn I bought in Minnesota last week, but instead I’m going to show you my finished Creature Comforts Cardigan. Pictures first, and then I’ll share a few thoughts on this pattern. (Warning: It’s not Lucy’s best style — it does need a model with arms but I didn’t have one.)

This project is the Creature Comforts Cardigan from Madelinetosh. I knit it out of Madelinetosh Worsted (now renamed Madelinetosh DK) in the color Toast. That is slightly lighter gauge than the yarn called for, but I compensated by knitting a larger size.

I have mixed feelings about this project. I love the large leaf pattern that goes up the back, and I love the yarn. But it’s described as an oversized cardigan, and mine is definitely not. It’s difficult, when you’re knitting this, to figure out exactly how large it’s going to be due to the way it’s constructed. So although it was thirty or so inches long and forty plus inches wide without the ribbing (which I added at the end), it’s definitely not oversized or long on me. Based on gauge, the size I ended up with was supposed to be a generous fit on someone with a 38-42 inch chest, and I am a mere 34.

So I am disappointed in the fit because it’s not what I was expecting or what I wanted. It’s still wearable; it looks nice. But it’s more like a long shrug than a cardigan and I wanted a cardigan.

I initially made the built in pockets, but because of the way the sweater fit, the pockets seemed ridiculous and unusable. With the help of my sister the grafting queen, I excised them. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend doing the pockets if you make this. You might be better off adding one at the end (and the pattern provides directions on how to do that).

Bottom line: If you love the leaf pattern and want an oversized cardigan, knit a traditional cardigan with this motif running up the back. If you want something a bit more unusual, then you’ll probably be happy with this. But you might want to knit a size larger than you normally would.

ETA: A quick reminder for those of you in the mid-Atlantic region — this weekend is the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County fairgrounds.

It’s a wonderful event with lots and lots of luscious yarn to look at (and buy). And the weather should be lovely.

April 7, 2010

From Sally — Spring into Fall

Filed under: Oak Leaf Cardigan — surly @ 12:16 pm

It’s beautiful in Washington, DC right now. We’ve had a run of gorgeous weather and my yard is in full bloom: cherry trees, daffodils, tulips, camellias, and more. For example:

Naturally, therefore, I’m working on a cardigan whose color and design screams fall, not spring. It’s the Creature Comforts Cardigan from Madelinetosh. The only link I could find is on Ravelry, so here are some photographs of how it is supposed to look for those of you who don’t belong.

I’m knitting mine out of Madelinetosh Worsted (now renamed Madelinetosh DK) in the color Toast. My gauge is therefore a bit lighter, so I’m knitting a larger size. It’s an easy knit — just a big rectangle that you then seam to create the shape. I started with a provisional cast on so that instead of seaming the ribbing, I’ll knit it all at the same time in the round when the sweater’s finished. It’s going slowly, but here’s where I am thus far. The color is very true in these photographs.

You couldn’t ask for more mindless knitting, and I think I’ll wear it to death when it’s finished. Or at least I will come fall.

ETA: Cindy asked: “The comments on Ravelry about this pattern sound like the pattern is full of mistakes. A couple people had to take the whole thing apart and gave up. I wonder if you found it to be difficult to follow.”

I believe that the pattern has been updated; the one I am using is labeled Version 2. I haven’t found any mistakes in the pattern I’m using. One caveat is that I have barely referred to the directions b/c the pattern to me was pretty straightforward. Moreover, I am using the chart for the leaf pattern, not the written directions. So there could be mistakes in those directions that I haven’t noticed; the chart is error free as far as I can tell.

PS from Susan: I am sick with jealousy over Sally’s beautiful flowers!!  They are absolutely gorgeous.  Last night our water heater died so I had to coif with ice cold water today… :(  That is all. :)

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