Well this post has been a LONG time coming. Over a year in fact. And bizarrely, a month since I finished said item. So without further ado, I present to you my Audrey in Unst:
I do wonder if in fact I should name this The Cardigan of Many Mods or The Cardigan of Lots of Maths. I think the latter would perhaps be more appropriate.
This cardi was knitted from Wollmeise 100% in a lovely red called Bussi which while gorgeous and probably the PERFECT red for me, also happens to be impossible to photograph properly:
This cardi was knitted as part of a mini KAL – between myself and two friends who were also doing theirs in different shades of Wollmeise red and who both finished theirs long ago. Gwen knitted hers using Wilder Mohn and Bettina using Granatapfel.
For some early Audrey shots take a look at this post I did in early June: Audrey – Progress so far.
Before I tell you what I think of it, let’s list out some of my thoughts and give you a few more (some daft) pictures.
I’m going to be very unlike myself and start off with the positives.
- It FITS! (Generally speaking… more on that later)
- There was a lot of maths, but I pulled it all off!
- Unintentional positive – my waist is actually a LOT slimmer than it looks in the photos
- I added an extra 2.5 inches after the ribbing and before the waist shaping to try and get the right length. Glad I did as the cropped original length probably wouldn’t have suited me.
- I love the pattern itself and the finished item you should get – lots of little clever touches and it was very well and clearly written
- I’d definitely like to knit it again – next time probably in an appropriate sport-weight yarn
- I sewed my buttons on using a shanked technique (see the Rav notes for more details) and I’m sort-of pleased (I know, I’m gushing with praise) with them
Hmm. Not a lot of positives. Now for the bad points. You ready?
- THERE WAS A LOT OF MATHS! A metric butt-load of maths. So much maths, I had a whole spreadsheet going on where I could write down the number of pattern rows and recalculate what it should be based on my washed gauge
- Ah ha. Gauge. My gauge lied. My swatch told me my cardigan would shrink in length a lot more than it actually DID. So it’s a bit too long and some areas, such as the armholes are hopelessly baggy.
- I should probably have gone for a smaller pattern size, or done more waist increases or something. I have a slimmer waist than the photo says (and I know the camera is meant to add ten pounds or whatever, but that usually happens around the thigh area!) and I’ve done myself no favours by not attempting to tailor more for my figure.
- I should have added bust darts. There’s not really any stretching over the bust area, but I would have loved for the neckline to be a bit higher and just to feel like I’d accommodated all my figure weirdness properly
- This project has highlighted to me how much learning I need to do to make things fit me properly
- I also need to lose at least ten pounds 😉
- I’ve realised I MUCH prefer seaming to doing set-in sleeves. The sleeves on this, particularly the first (which I came to call the Sleeve of Doom in my project notes) nearly finished me off. I love doing magic loop and ended up having to buy a small dedicated circular needle as it just wasn’t possible for me to do ML here
- I have horrendous bagginess around the underarm. This could be caused by:
- The very fact that it is a set-in sleeve
- My cock up when picking up the stitches around the armhole. I was meant to stop doing the W&T rounds 11 stitches before the underarm purled st – I didn’t do this and it’s probably contributed to extra fabric
- My maths? Perhaps some of my bodged maths didn’t come out right?
- As a result of said armhole issue, it doesn’t quite sit properly around my shoulders either
- The sleeves are too long! Waaaay too long. Not sure how this happened, particularly as these are knit in the round. I would have expected them to come out shorter as my knit round gauge is tighter than my flat stockinette gauge. Look at the weirdness that happens when I have to bunch them up a bit as per the last two pictures
- I didn’t have anywhere near as much yarn left as I’d like. In total I used 411g and have 64g left. I know I’m not the slimmest girl and did have to knit a 42.5″ size to get the right fit on stitch gauge, but sad that there’s not more. Thank heavens for generous Wollmeise yardage. Didn’t help that the sleeves ATE yarn. Gobbled it up
- If I lose more than a few pounds in weight (which I hope to) this could end up being hopelessly massive on me.
- I couldn’t find buttons that I really loved. I’d bought some last year that just didn’t look right, so I bought new ones. They work, but I’m not in love with them. Plus there was a bit of buttonhole fudging to ensure my top-most one was high enough to not let the edge curl over. MORE MATHS.
- The back neck edging has some weird curling thing going on and won’t sit flat. The git.
I’m not going to go into the gory details of all the maths… Please take a look at my Rav notes if you have any desire to read about what maths I did to make it work and how I fudged the numbers 🙂
So, how do I feel about this cardigan overall? It’s a toughie. While I love the PATTERN and there’s no getting away from the fact I knitted a garment and it fits, I’m not happy with the fit, which is probably my own fault. Not sure how I’ll feel wearing it out in public in case some screams, “OI PATTERN BUTCHER! YOU WASTED ALL THAT WOLLMEISE!” at me. Unlikely, but I fear it nonetheless. It’s also put me off a little knitting anything remotely fitted until I lose a buttload of weight. But that’s not the pattern’s fault. I’d love to knit it again. And don’t let me put anyone off thinking of knitting this pattern. You’ll love it I promise.
I guess I’ve learned a lot. I need to get more confident with using my own gauge and making adjustments. But in some ways it is a success. But at least it is finished. And for that I am very thankful!