Wednesday, April 07, 2010

You might see the trap but you still fall in

one button
This is meant to be my new go-to, wear all the time black cardigan for this winter. The pattern is Mr Greenjeans from knitty.

I like it better with only one button done up, but all three is a warmer option.
front view2

Unfortunately I'm disappointed with the wool and wish I had used something nicer. Sometime last year, Lincraft Merino Crepe 8 ply (actually more like a 10ply in weight) was going very cheap, so I bought a whole lot of it with some kind of cardigan in mind. I expected the wool to be a reasonable imitation of Patons Totem and thought it would make a good, hard-wearing fabric. It seemed pretty crunchy as I was knitting it. A soak using hair conditioner helped a bit, but it is still a bit hard, and somewhat prickly. To add insult to injury, it doesn't appear to be terribly hard-wearing either. The first time I washed it, I left a lot of ends hanging (because I wasn't sure if I would have to rip out and redo some of it), and I was amazed to find that just a gentle soak and rinse had made the loose ends start to felt!
front view
I actually finished this a while ago, well before the leaf yoke top, when it was far too warm to wear it. I didn't even manage to keep it on long enough to try for photos. And I was really disappointed at how scratchy and prickly it felt - I really wondered if I would end up wearing it much at all, and if I would always have to wear long sleeves underneath. Now that the weather has turned cooler, it doesn't feel as bad, and I think I will end up using it quite a bit.
back view
Putting aside my feelings about the wool, I am pretty happy with the fit. Others have pointed out that there is something a bit funny about the raglan shaping with this pattern - there seems to be a little bit of extra fabric there, and it hangs oddly if I wear it open. Other than that it is an elegant, simple pattern that was easy to adjust - I made the sleeves and body longer than the original, and started the cabled section higher. I also made the ribbed band a few rows wider than the pattern specifies, partly because the buttons were quite big and partly because the body seemed kind of narrow (though blocking sorted that out).
no good band
I did have to pick up and knit the band twice - the first time I had way too many stitches and as you can see in the picture above, it flared out badly. The second time I followed the pattern instructions (crazy, hey?) for the ratio of stitches to pick up, and it worked. I also took the opportunity to change the button spacing - I knew I wouldn't wear it done up at the bottom anyway, and I liked the idea of putting those oversized buttons quite close together to emphasise their scale. They were a lucky op-shop find some time ago.

Thanks dear sister, for taking the photos of the finished article and putting up with my self-conscious chatter the whole time.


2paw said...

It looks lovely, fits you so well and the new position of the buttons is perfect!!!

Donna Lee said...

I need to make myself a go to sweater. The one I have has holes in the elbows and needs some patches (holes are too big for darning). I like that one on you. It fits well and looks like you'll get a lot of use out of it.

nettie said...

The style and fit are just lovely, and I hope that as it gets cooler you'll get more wear out of it as it suits you so well.

Anonymous said...

despite your reservations, it looks great on and i think will be a very useful item for a canberra winter. and im sure it will soften up over time too. nice work!

Alwen said...

It's a very classy looking sweater, and those big buttons suit it right down to the ground!

Rose Red said...

I think it looks great on you! Excellent fit and the buttons (and button placement) are perfect! Shame about the scratchiness, but am sure you'll get a lot of wear out of it once winter really hits.

I've got this pattern in my queue (and have the yarn for it...) - just not so much time!

catsmum said...

it looks fabulous but such a shame about the yarn [

Kuka said...

oooh liv it looks great!
(you've got me thinking about pulling mine out of the WIP cupboard and finishing it off!)
From memory I think i had a bit of a disappointing experience with the merino crepe too - also because i expected it to be like totem.