21 February 2013

Making Quick Work of a Bad Situation

I was determined that the Minimalist Cardigan Situation wasn't going to get me down.  Or, more truthfully, I have no compunction about engaging in retail therapy when it's necessary, and it was definitely necessary.  I was in Montpelier, home of Vermont's Friendliest Yarn Shop, and I knew I would find some sympathy.  And some yarn.

So I bought (more than) enough for the Harvest Cardigan.  And I pretty much cast on the second I got home.

I love corrugated ribbing.  It's what I used on the cuffs of all those Selbuvotter mittens I did a few years ago.  And I looooove the idea of doing multiple colors so there's a gradient effect.  Very awesomely cool.

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed DK, and I'm following the pattern pretty carefully (using needle sizes 4 and 5).  So of course I didn't get gauge at all and didn't even bother checking until I'd knit half the dang body.  But once I'd gotten about 10 inches in, it started looking kind of...small.  Fortunately, 10 inches in is before the steeked armholes, so I could still try it on.  But 10 inches of a lovely 5-color Fair Isle is more than I want to frog and start again.  And sure enough, it's small, but not toooo small.  I can get away with it... but the sweater would have been way too short, particularly in the front.  Apparently midriff-baring clothing is back in this season, but I'm not so trend-driven that I'll let that bad idea be my excuse for making an ill-fitting sweater.  I have more control over this project than that, and I'm not an idiot.

The solution I chose was to short-row the front to add an extra vertical iteration of the charted pattern.  In short, the actual sweater pattern calls for four of the lightest stripe, and I added a fifth.  But using short rows.  Which effectively made a gusset for my chest.  It'll either look completely bizarre or completely subtle.  I'm hoping for the latter.

The back still has four rows, meaning that it's shorter than the front -- to balance this, I ended up adding short rows of the red after I got past the finished pattern.  Those short rows I added every inch or so, instead of all at once.

Then we had that giant blizzard that hit New Haven really hard -- 3 feet of snow, biggest storm in a century, shut down the entire city for days (church was cancelled on Sunday!  Weird!!!) -- Nemo, Charlotte, whatever we're calling it.  I basically sat on a piano bench in our bay window overlooking a busy-ish intersection (we have a second-floor apartment) and knitted for two days while watching cars get stuck in the unplowed streets.  I finished the entire body of the sweater, front and back.  I also started the sleeves, and as of this writing I have about 8 inches of sleeve done.  It's currently serving the purpose of a purse sock, which is helping me to delay making a decision about my actual purse sock.  Retail therapy, productivity, and procrastination--all in one blog post!

One of these days I'll get around to taking photos of all that progress I made during the blizzard.

Oh, and at some point I need to figure out how I'm going to get someone to reinforce the steeks so I can do the steek-cutting thing.  I am spending a lot of time with costume designers right now, so I can probably find someone with access to a sewing machine.  We'll see.

No comments: