What is this thing called a finished object? It seems like it’s been a while since we had one. My Tangled Yoke Pullover Not a Cardigan is finally off the needles. Yay!
I have a feeling it’s not what some of you expected it to look like. First, I’ll show the photos and then explain why and how I did what I did. (It’s a hazy odd day out; I had a lot of trouble getting decent photos. This yarn changes color depending upon the light, which is very noticeable here. The sideways photo is the truest to color.)
The grafted under arm:
As you can see, I chose to do a Henley style neckline — preserving the split at the front of the cardigan. I went through a lot of options when I decided to make this a pullover.
1. Have the front and backs identical. If you look at the photos of the back, you can see there is a transition point where the asymmetrical cables go out towards the front. I thought I might be able to duplicate that in the front, but it’s not really possible without a lot of fiddling and changing of stitch counts.
2. Simply have the main cable pattern repeat all the way around the neck. I seriously considered this possibility. Mathematically, it would have been very easy. It’s a ten-stitch pattern repeat (that increases and then goes back down to ten). I had 230 stitches, so I wouldn’t have had to make any adjustments. I would have chose one of the two basic cable repeats and been on my merry way. The issues were these: what part of the cable pattern would I use to center and would it be tricky to deal with the inevitable “jog” you get between rounds in circular knitting? I would have started the rounds on one of the shoulders to minimize the jog. My bigger issue was where to center the pattern and whether I would like the way it looked. I did a lot of futzing with photographs etc. and decided I wasn’t sure I wanted the look I was going to get.
3. Keep the pattern the same but not split the neck. I would have had a fairly large expanse of plain stitches between the bobbles that complete the pattern. I could have adjusted that by reworking those so that they came out more towards the middle. I think that would have looked fine, but I ultimately decided I sort of liked the Henley split look.
What did I do? I cast on the same number of stitches for the front and back. In my case, it meant I cast on four more stitches than the pattern called for. I worked the sweater in the round, but other than that I pretty much followed the original directions up to the yoke. (I did originally knit the purl seam stitch, but I “undid” it as I explained in an earlier post.) After I joined the sleeves to the body, I tried it on periodically until I thought “Okay, here is where I want it to split.” I then put four stitches on a holder and at that point started knitting back and forth.
I also knew that I wanted a wider, lower neck than the cardigan had and I wanted the cables to sit lower. I wanted them to wrap around my shoulders. When I had knit about 1 1/2″ and just after I split the neck, I did a set of short rows. (There are none called for at that point in the pattern.) Then I knit straight up, but started my cabling sooner than the pattern called for. There is a decrease round immediately after the cabling. I waited to do that because it would have been too soon to do those with my changes; the sweater would have been too tight and it would have pulled up. After I did the decrease row, I did a second set of short rows (approximately where called for in the pattern).
For the neck, I did an inch or so of garter rib and left the stitches live. Then I picked up stitches along the split on each side and knit garter rib. I bound off the neck and split stitches together using a two-stitch i-cord. One note: if you do a split neck like this, make sure you knit the band that goes along the split long enough or it will pull when you stitch it down. Although I had four stitches on a holder (which I grafted to the edge of the garter rib), I really needed to make sure my ribbing was long enough to cover six stitches because I lost one on each side of the neck when I picked up.
I’m really happy with how this turned out, although there were moments when I had my doubts. It fits perfectly. It’s one of those sweaters that actually looks better on me than on Lucy because I have shoulders and she doesn’t. I tried to take some photos of myself in it, but they just didn’t turn out.
If only my little assistant were here to help. Oh look! He’s trying to swim to me!
I think it will be a long wait.
The yarn felt scratchy before I blocked it, and I was worried about that. I put a few drops of my heavy duty conditioner in my soaking water (the same conditioner I use when I blow dry my Krusty the Klown hair straight), and it feels much softer now. The sweater has a nice drape to it and if it ever cools off here in DC, I have a new fall sweater.