Monday, March 23, 2015

Targeted Sweater Dimensions

My favorite light weight cardigan has the following dimensions:

  • 42 inch chest, with fronts overlapped by 1 inch. The back is 22 inches across. Each front is 11 inches at the underarm.
  • 40 inch waist
  • 44 inch at bottom ribbing
  •  23.5 inch length
  • 9 inch armhole
  • 22.5 inch sleeve length with 2 inches ribbing and 8 inch cuff opening.
  • 2.5 inch drop from back neck to front neck
  • 1 inch from bottom of the sweater to the bottom button and 3 inches between buttons.
This is what I'm trying to re-create when I knit a basic sweater myself.  In principle, it shouldn't be very hard to accomplish this. However, if I cannot figure out how to knit to the same gauge as the gauge swatch, a successful sweater will be impossible.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Demoralized by a Sweater

Well, I'm glad I blocked the body of the sweater. The gauge swatch blocked out at 5 sts per inch. The actual sweater blocked to 6 sts per inch. I wanted a sweater that was in the range of 40-42 inch bust. I got a sweater that's 32-33 inches. While I could block aggressively and probably pick up a couple inches of width, there's no way I'd get an additional 8 inches.

The body of the sweater as knit is also only 19 inches long. I'd much rather have a body length of 24 inches so the top of the sweater at least hits the top of my jeans/high hip. The cropped cardi look is not something I want to wear and I don't think it's flattering on my middle-aged, overweight body.

On the positives, I really do like the yarn--very soft and comfy in feel. The feel of the fabric at 6 inches to the inch is quite firm and should stand up to daily use without stretching out. The swatch had a bit softer hand and I think I like it better, but I'm not sure I'll be able to just go up another needle size and make it all work.  The pessimist/realist in me just says the gauge will end up being off in the other direction (too loose) and the end result will be a sweater that's too big and also unwearable.

I also like the look of the twisted rib button bands and ribbing.  It's a sharp detail and it's nice and firm.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to manage a neat, even edge, but it turned out very well without a whole lot of worrying or tweaking on my part.

 I'm not sure what to do next.  It appears that I just can't get sweaters for me right. Interestingly enough I can successfully produce sweaters for other people (babies, children, and adults) that meet gauge and apparently fit just fine.  For me, I've goofed up the swatch to sweater transition five times in a row, I'm not confident in my ability to consistently produce an entire sweater at a specific gauge.  Whatever I produce in the gauge swatch is never what comes out in the actual garment.  Even more frustrating, some times the blocked sweater gauge is looser and sometimes it is tighter, though more often than not, the blocked sweater gauge is tighter than the blocked swatch.  There are over a dozen sweater projects currently stored in my yarn stash, waiting for time/attention. Now I'm afraid to tackle any of them for fear I'll end up spending (wasting) a significant amount of knitting time on a project that will once again end up frogged. :-(

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cardigan Body and First Drogon Done!

The body of the Algonquin cardigan is currently laying flat to dry.  I did a three needle bind off for the shoulders and almost immediately plopped it into a nice warm bath.  With my rather poor luck on maintaining gauge on projects larger than socks, I thought it wise to check now before knitting the sleeves.

I finished off the first Drogon sock last weekend and went ahead and washed it up too, along with the Girl on Fire first sock.  The latter grew a bit.  It may need a healthy machine wash.  The fuschia color bled pretty heavily in the wash water, but was minimal in the rinse water.  I hope it continues to diminish quickly.

The Full Moon mystery shawl remains stalled since getting halfway through the first clue.  I carry it around with me, but haven't wanted to dive in further yet.

Monday, March 09, 2015

I Stuck with the Cardigan

The first Drogon sock continues to languish.  On the other hand, the left front of the Algonquin Cardigan is now completed and I'm an inch or so into the right front.  I'll knit on it a bit more while I wind down for the night. With a bit of luck, I might get the whole body finished by the end of the weekend.  There is something about sleeves though that seem to take forever and the 2nd sleeve takes twice as long as the first....

Since I had the ballwinder out to wind the next skein for the Algonquin Cardigan, I went ahead and wound the yarn for the next sock project too.  I've decided to turn a bright aqua skein of Colinette Jitterbug into a pair of Leonore socks by Caoua Coffee.  However, I'm not going to cast on until I finish the Drogon Socks and possibly the Autumn Socks.

Did I mention yet that I was snared by a Mystery Shawl Knit Along?  BadCatDesigns' Full Moon, in honor of the Chinese New Year.  I've knit half of the first clue.  I'm using Elegant Yarns Ethereal in the colorway Olive. The yarn looks green in some light and brown in others. There are glints of gold and red.  It reminds me of spring growth emerging from the cold mud of winter.  I've got 2 skeins for a total of 1600 yards.  I'm not planning to use beads, though I suppose I could change my mind once I get to the charts with beads. 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

First Sock Still Lingers

Well, I didn't quite get the first sock finished. The trip home was mostly sleeping instead of knitting.  And I've been sick the last couple days so very little knitting has been accomplished.  The cardigan is now to the armholes and I've divided into fronts/back.  Can't decide if I want to keep going on the cardigan or try to knock out that silly first sock today.

With any luck, my fever will go away by the end of the day and I'll actually be able to go to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Travel yields knitting progress

For the first time in a long time, I actually got a significant amount of knitting done while traveling.  Most of this was accomplished during flight delays, which made for some exceedingly long travel days, but still it was nice to hammer through a good 1/3 of my first Drogon sock.  Tonight I'll finish off the first sock and maybe cast on the 2nd of the pair.

The worsted weight cardigan from Morehouse Merino is about 1/2 way to the armpits.  This has been my evening knitting when I'm too tired to read at the end of long days at work.  It's difficult (though not impossible) to mess up stockinette stitch!