Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shalom Cardigan

The Ravellenics are over. I managed to complete 8 items and was awarded with 18 medals!

I was originally going to make a Simply Pi Shawl as one of my bigger projects and cast on for that last Friday. I got about 100 rows in before I decided I would never wear it and dropped it. But now I needed another big project! So I spent a day looking for something that was doable in less than a week and still let me finish 34 hexipuffs.

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan (found in sidebar)
Yarn: Cascade 220 [6 skeins black, 1320 yards; 1 skein red; 220 yards]
Needle Size: 5mm
Ravelry Project Page: Shalom Cardigan
Dates: 8/6/12-8/11/12 5:22 AM
Ravellenic Events: Sweater Triathlon, Synchronized Stash Busting

I decided to go with the Shalom Cardigan. I had wanted to make it for a long time and figured this was the push to do it. It's designed to be made in bulky weight and doesn't have sleeves. I'm not a fan of making sweaters out of bulky yarn because I'm already bulky enough as it is and don't need any extra. My exception for this is coats/jackets because pretty much any coat I wear will add bulk. 

So I read some project pages on Ravelry on switching from bulky to worsted and then also increasing it significantly because the pattern is written for a small/medium and I'm more of a 1X/2X (48" bust) but then I got kind of bored and itching to cast on. I just added  12 extra stitches and went with it. After casting on 79 stitches I worked the pattern as written except when I got to the twisted rib section I switched colours to this lonely skein of red I had. When I got to the garter ridges/increase row I switched back to black. And repeated. 

I then tried separated the sleeves from the body and tried it on. It fit. But it was just...not right. I didn't like the way it cut me up so I decided to add two extra repeats to make the yoke go down to right before my underbust which is what is shown in the original. 

Those two extra repeats (including increasing in the same manner) added quite a lot of extra stitches and a lot of extra time. Once again after the fifth repeat I separated and tried it on. It fit and it looked right and it didn't cut me up weirdly and I was satisfied. 

I cast on 32 stitches for the underarm and embarked on the long journey of seemingly endless stockinette for the body. I worked 6 plain rows of stockinette directly after the row where I added the underarm stitches. Then i decreased 4 stitches (double decrease) every 4 rows a total of 9 times. I then increased 4 stitches every 4 rows for a total of 6 times. This landed me almost at a perfect length so I then knit 10 rows of garter and bound off. 

Moving on to the sleeves I picked up 79 stitches between the stitches I put on hold and the underarm stitches (1 stitch for every 2 stitches I cast on) and knit 30 rows of plain stockinette which reached my elbow. Then I decreased (double decrease) 2 stitches every 4 rows 17 times. And then ended with 10 rows of garter. I wasn't really paying too much attention to the decreases and the yarn was black and I was mostly knitting in dimly lit rooms at night so when i finally looked at it when it was done I was not satisfied with the decreases. If I were to do this again I would have SSK'd and K2TOG'd for a more seamless finish. I originally chose the double decrease because where I was decreasing matched up with the side seams perfectly and I felt it may have been more fluid to have the same decrease throughout.  I would definitely change the side decreases as well. 

This is surprisingly my first sweater of the year and I finished it just in time for some sudden cool weather. Still a bit warm to wear right now though but I have the perfect outfit to wear it with once it cools down more.

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