Almost-Done Comfort Fade Cardigan

I’ve been working away steadily on my Comfort Fade Cardigan and have an update – it’s almost done!

The previous post on the sweater is here. I had finished the yoke and was comparing the fit to other sweaters in my closet. Here it is after I finished the body. (This one is top-down, so I did the bottom ribbing last.) It was tough to confirm the fit because the collar ribbing is so wide – at this point, when I tried it on, it seemed to be falling off my shoulders.Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

I picked up the stitches to do the neck next (before the sleeves) to manage my yarn. I didn’t have enough of all the colourways, so decided to do the neck, then use half of whatever was left for each sleeve.

When I picked up the stitches for the neck, I forgot that the right side of the cardigan shows the purl side of the reverse stockinette. I also followed the directions and picked up with the first colour, which is my lightest one. At the bottom is my pick-up from the wrong side, which doesn’t look good on what will be the right side. At the top is my pick-up from the right side, which looks better.

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah CookeI did decide to frog and reverse the order of the colourways on the collar, picking up with my last colour, which is the brown. It blends in better and looks neater. See?

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

The collar is shaped with short rows for this sweater and it’s huge. In the picture above, you can see the wedges of short rows that add to the depth of the collar. It’s quite squishy and luxurious.

I cheated on the sleeves and knitted them inside out. (Ha. This makes me feel so clever.) This way, I could knit them in the round instead of having the purl them. The only thing is that I had to remember to leave the ends on the side facing me, not the opposite side as usual.

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

The sleeves are a little long and I didn’t finish all of the decreases as specified. Here’s the almost-completed sweater – I balled up the other sleeve in the shoulder and you can see one of my DPNs peeking out there:

Comfort Fade Cardigan in Rowan Colourspun knit by Deborah Cooke

I couldn’t crop out that wonderful beam of sunlight. It’s so nice to see the sun again!

I’ll take some more pictures when the sweater is done. All I have to finish is that cuff. What do you think?

Revisiting The Mermaid Shawl

We haven’t had a Fibre Friday in a while, because there’s been so much other news to talk about. Also, the Mermaid Shawl had me puzzled. Last week, I figured out what was going on.

Even though I’m using my own pattern, Undine, I didn’t follow the directions. In Undine, the ruffle is created with short rows at the outer edge of the shawl, and this ruffle remains the same width across the shawl. Any changes to the total width of the shawl are made in the body of it, right before the ruffle. This means that the rows in the body of the shawl are perpendicular to the lead edge, like this:Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeDetail of Undine Shawl by Deborah Cooke

When I began to knit the Mermaid Shawl, though, I didn’t read my own directions! I made my increases at the lead edge. This eliminated that ruffle band, but also skewed the knit rows. Because of the location of the increase stitch, they fall at an angle to the lead edge, like this:Detail of Mermaid Shawl by Deborah Cooke

This is pretty interesting. I had no idea this would happen. I would have expected my mistake to make little difference. I was wrong about that!

If I had just continued, following the rest of the directions for Undine, the stripes would have been at an angle for the entire shawl. But, I had decided to make an inverted V in the back, again with short rows, to emulate the shawl in the Jane Eyre movie. The finished V looks like this:Mermaid Shawl by Deborah Cooke

My revised plan had been for the inverted V to be the middle of the shawl, BUT the knitting still doesn’t line up. In fact, it’s only this new part that is perpendicular to the lead edge, and that means that the picture above is actually the midpoint of the shawl.

I need to knit another inverted V of short rows before decreasing to the end of the shawl to make the shape come out right. The finished shawl will have three triangles. This means that I’ll run out of yarn – I’m half done, but have only 30% of my yarn left. I’m going to have to buy a third ball to finish. I do like it, though, and it will bug me if I don’t finish it so that the rows are straight.

What do you think?

Be Still, My Heart

There is something about Noro yarn that speaks to my knitter’s soul. I love the colour variegations in these yarns, and – unlike many knitters – I love the texture of the yarn. I love that it’s a single ply, spun loosely, that it runs thick and thin, and that it’s a “yarn that remembers the barn”. I don’t mind sticks in my string.

Earlier this summer, I started a jacket in Noro Silk Garden. Here’s the first post about it. I could call it a cardigan, but the shaping is so structural and the finished fabric so firm that it feels more like a jacket to me. I’ve almost finished the knitting now and love it even more.

Here it is, with one sleeve not quite done:

NoroCardi

That’s the back of the sweater at the top, with the back hem at the very top. Sleeves on either side, fronts at the bottom. (And my foot! That sock is knit in Lorna’s Laces, btw.) The shoulder seams are still open and the notched bits are the collar, which will be joined. Then the whole thing will be folded down the length of the sleeve, so I can seam the sleeves and each front to one side of the back.

Although I was very matchy-matchy, I don’t think the mirroring will be perfect. Oh well. You can see on the back, for example, that I didn’t have a second run of that black through gold bit, so I had to fake it. The sleeves are slightly different from each other – the one still on the needles will probably end before it gets to the bit of green at the cuff of the other one.

It’s funny how the blue looks so prevalent in the picture. In real life, it looks very green.

I did make a few modifications to the pattern:

1/ I left the stitches live instead of binding them off when instructed, and used a provisional cast-on where there would ultimately be a seam. That means my seams will be grafted instead of sewn. The shoulders have no seam at all – I just picked up stitches and kept knitting. I’m curious to see whether this affects how stretchy the finished garment is – it might well be that the sleeves get droopy without that seam.

2/ I rewound the yarn multiple times to try to keep the colour variegation consistent. I did do one goofy thing. When starting the first sleeve, I misread the colour progress from the front and inverted the order of colours on the sleeve. Instead of the shoulder of the sleeve beginning with that beige, it should have started with the deep and ultramarine blues.

3/ I slipped the first stitch on each row while knitting the fronts and the backs to keep the edge neater. I really didn’t need to slip the first stitch on the edge of the fronts that goes into the side seam, but it was easier to slip every row and not think about it.

4/ I think there is an error in the instructions for the larger size, because the two wedges at the top of the sleeve aren’t centred over the sleeve if you follow the directions. I recalculated and centred them. I made a mistake on the first sleeve and didn’t start the decreases right away after finishing the wedges – those instructions that give lots of details for striping or whatever, then say “at the same time…” get me every time! – but began them after the third repeat of the 6 rows A and 2 rows B stripe. I decided this might work out better for ease in the underarm, so just carried on and did the same on the other sleeve.

Now I have to wash it, block it and sew up the seams. I’ll show it to you again next week, once all that nitty gritty work is done. I do love it, though. It’s amazing how all those colours blend into a coherent whole.

What do you think?