My big plan was to finish up the projects that are already on my needles this year, and I am making progress on that. I’m in the midst of knitting the last square for the ugliest afghan in the world, for example, which will then just need to be sewn together (ugh. The sewing is about half done) and have the border knit onto it. The border is about 1/3 done. It is, though, the ugliest afghan in the world, and not a project that fosters a lot of enthusiasm. It might be warm when it’s done. It’s destined to go in the car to keep the dog claws off the upholstery, which again, isn’t very inspiring.
So, I needed another project to keep me from losing hope completely. The winner was Audrey, a lace and cables cardigan knit in Rowan Angora Haze and included in the Rowan Angora Haze pattern book. This yarn was discontinued and replaced by Rowan Mohair Haze, so I bought two sweater lots of AH when it was discounted to clear. It was time to get one fuzzy sweater on the needles. Here, btw, is the Ravelry link for Audrey, and also the one for Angora Haze. It’s still out there in discount bins all over the world.
The yarn is really soft and fuzzy. It does shed a bit but not as much as I expected. It’ll be interesting to see whether it sheds more or less once the garment is completed. My nose does tickle a bit after I’ve been knitting on it, but again, it’s not too bad. I did try a suggestion I saw on a Ravelry forum – I put a white linen tea towel on my lap when knitting this sweater. It gives nice contrast for those dark stitches and also catches any shedding hairs. I wrap the knitting in the tea towel when I’m not working on it.
Of course, my yarn is deep purple. 🙂 Here’s the left front so far:
This shot was taken with the flash – the colour isn’t as rich as it is in real life, but you can see the cables better. Here’s a shot without the flash – the colour is more accurate but you can’t see the cables well. 🙂
The cable pattern is actually easy to memorize, which surprised me. It’s certainly not a television knit, but it’s not that complicated. I knit the left front first, because I’ve had sizing issues lately with Rowan patterns. A lot of them turn out big, and I didn’t want to knit these cables over and over again. I knit a size smaller than I thought I should, and it’s coming out perfectly. The fabric is a little bit stretchy, and I guess it’s acting like a rib. Although the left front laid flat is 10″ wide, as it should be, I can easily smooth it to be 12″ wide. I’m glad I didn’t knit a bigger size, as it might get sloppy in the wearing. I doubt this yarn has a lot of elasticity – it’s just too soft for that.
I’ve made the front 2″ longer because I don’t want it to be as cropped. Also, I’ve eliminated the increases between waist and bust, and just knit it straight. That means I had to modify the decreases for the armscye (since I had fewer stitches overall) but that wasn’t a big deal. I won’t make the rolled collar but just a regular one with a buttonhole, and it seems to me that the sleeves are a bit too wide. I’ll double check those counts and measurements before knitting them.
Naturally, knitting one of the fronts first has left me with a dilemma. I’m going to have to put it aside unfinished and knit the back before I can continue. Rowan patterns often have an instruction like the one in the pattern “knit the front until it is 26 rows shorter than the finished back”. Aha. (I have another sweater on the needles that’s in time-out because of this. I have knit the back on that one, but since I substituted a different yarn, my row gauge is off. I need to figure out whether the specified number of rows will make the collar too deep or not. Knitting math tends not to get done, so that sweater front has been waiting patiently in my basket since November.) This weekend, the left front of Audrey is going onto a stitch holder and I’ll cast on the back.
What do you think?