FO: Dahlia Cardigan

I’m proud to say that I have finished up my Dahlia Cardigan. Despite a rocky start, in which I had to redo the back lace panel 3 times, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I substituted the yarn. It called for a cotton blend in Manos Serena, but I used Mirasol Nuna, which is a blend of wool, bamboo and silk. The result is a fabric that’s soft, has a great sheen and has lots of drape.

Here’s the lace panel being blocked. You can get a sense of the sheen in the yarn. (Some of it is due to the flash). It’s also probably the truest colour representation. It’s a bluish-purple.

This is it all blocked out. Just waiting for it to dry so I can seam and wear it!

And of course, the focal point of the cardigan, the lace back.

This sweater has a very different construction. You begin with the back panel, then pick up along the side edges and start knitting out to make the fronts. The sleeves are afterthought sleeves, made as you would make an afterthought heel. To do so, you knit with waste yarn as wide as you want the opening and then once the project is done, you remove the waste yarn, picking up the stitches on either side and start knitting in the round. It’s a great way to keep the drape and flow of the pattern and still be able to have a sleeve. However, there are pros and cons to everything. It lacks the structure a standard sleeve has at the shoulder. I find it sits a little weird when I wear it, but that could be because I didn’t place them exactly where I’d like. I think I would have made them a bit longer, or higher had I known what I know now.

Even so, I’m still very pleased with the end result. I’ve had to pace myself and not wear it everyday!

You can find the pattern on Ravelry.

Moving On

You heard right, I’m finally moving on with my Dahlia Cardigan. Truthfully I moved on a week or so ago, I just haven’t shared yet.

Mt Everest from Gokyo Ri

photo by Andrew Purdam 2006

This cardigan has been my Everest.

I spent time prepping for the ascent. I made sure I had the right tools;ensured everything was working as it should; I checked, revised and rechecked before I set off to make sure that it went of without a hitch. I truly had the best of intentions, but much like climbing Everest (I’m assuming here), there are somethings you just can’t predict. This project has been riddled with setbacks: size issues, yarn vomit, exhaustion and straight up frustration. Despite the seeming impossibility of the task,  I carried on with the pattern as my sherpa,  all the while confident that if others have had success with her, I could too.

My persistence has paid off and I’m finally on the move! I’ve finished the back, the right front and I’m about 1/3 of the way through the left front.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…

Or so they say. I’ve been “waiting” for this cardigan to start coming together as planned. So far though, I’ve had no such luck. Since my last update I’ve finished and frogged yet another panel. In fact, it’s a small miracle that I haven’t tossed this project into the back of my stash and vowed to never think of it again. That’s how much trouble I’ve had with it. But I love the pattern. I can’t wait to see it finished and be able to proudly wear it. That’s what keeps me going. That and knowing that it’s not the projects fault that I’ve hit some road-blocks.

Remember this moment?

I do. It was before I even cast on. Before I was faced with endless problems and frustrations. It was that perfect moment before your knitting dream became a reality, and in this case turned into a bit of a nightmare.

It was definitely long before this:

After I ripped back the first “XL” panel I thought that a combination of 3.25 and 3.75 mm needles would result in the perfect size panel. I was wrong.

So I frogged it back to the end of the first chart, which I knit with 3.25mm and continued on with those needles. About halfway through the second chart I went up to 3.5mm in hopes that it’ll work out to the right size. If you thought my troubles ended here you’d be wrong too.

It’s almost as if I forgot how to knit. I’ve made more mistakes and had to tink back more than I’ve had to do on a project, EVER.

Not to mention that I figured if I just left the ripped out  yarn in a crap pile it would magically stay untangled. Nope. Not a chance. I spent a good 45 min last night untangling, all the while cursing myself for not just winding it when I ripped it all out. It’s things like that, avoidable situation that have really made this project a special one.

But, looking on the bright side, I’m all untangled and the lace is really standing out and looking much better than on the larger needles. I’m truly hoping this time it works, because I’m not sure I can bear knitting this lace panel again.

The Ultimate Trade

Now that my summer is over and the weather has cooled down (marginally), I finally have some time to sit down with my knitting and make some real progress. The first order of business, not to finish up all the other projects I have on the go, but to start a new one! This is reasonable right? Actually I have good reason to be starting something new this time. As I was knitting my Aidez Cardigan a friend of mine suggested a trade: “One beautiful knit sweater, for one beautiful lap quilt.” How could I resist!

After several talks back and forth we found a pattern that pleased both of us. It’s simple, yet cozy. The pattern is Nimbus, from Berroco. (Funny that it’s by the same designers and calls for the same yarn as the Aidez Cardigan.) I wasn’t able to get the recommended yarn Berroco Peruvia Quick, but I knew I didn’t want to use the KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky this time either. Instead I chose Loops and Threads, Cozy Wool in Granite. It’s a wooly/nylon blend that is super cozy and will hopefully avoid pilling and stand up to wear.

The progress so far.
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As of now the back piece is finished. I’ve added 6 inches of length to the body to take it from cropped to waist length.

Stay tuned for updates. This one should go pretty quick. (That is if I don’t get distracted by any other projects….)

Out With the Old, In With the New

It’s over. Done. Finally finished! After three long months my Aidez cardigan is all seamed up. It’s even been out and about! Overall I’m quite pleased with it. I only wish that it had pockets!
Aidez Front

Aidez Back

Since I’ve finished up two of the three projects I had on the go I figured it was high time to start something new. I had some variegated green sock yarn that I wanted to use and I also wanted to try a pattern from Cookie A’s Knit.Sock.Love. As a result
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The pattern is Pointelle and so far I love it. It definitely demands your attention, but it’s so addicting to knit. Seems to be knitting up quite quickly as well. Stay tuned for updates.

Featherweight Update

Today’s post is just a quick update on the progress of the Featherweight Cardigan. Despite the myriad of due dates and job applications, I’ve still been able to log a little time on it. Perhaps there are better ways to spend my time, but I’d rather not dedicate every waking moment to work. Enter knitting; The perfect outlet to unwind. (I swear these days are getting longer!)

Featherweight Cardigan
Just finished the increases and set up for the sleeves. All that’s left now is 9″ of straight stockinette. (I will not get bored, I will not get bored).

Featherweight Cardigan
A little taste of how the variegation is turning out. I really quite like it. Just a hint of green to break it the purple.

Still to come, updates on Aidez Cardigan. I’m making a concerted effort to finish it up. Just the sleeves left!

Call me Crazy

I just couldn’t resist; I’ve cast on for Hannah Fettig’s Featherweight Cardigan. Despite hearing from many sources about how long it’ll take, and the fact that it may, at times, seem like the endless sweater, I just couldn’t say no. Thus began the beginning of some of my cardigan woes. Fleece Artist Saldanha
That right there almost broke me, and before things had even begun!

I don’t have a ball winder or a swift, so I rely on the trusty, but time consuming method of handwinding a hank into a ball of yarn. Unfortunately, the hank was 800m! That’s a lot of winding.

But not to be discouraged I pushed on ahead and here’s where I’m at now. Featherweight Cardigan
Almost halfway through the increases : )

Still to come, a better shot of the yarn. The variegated colours are quite exquisite. Despite the pattern being only stockinette, I find myself being captivated by the colour changes in the yarn. Here’s hoping that doesn’t fade too much as I work my way through it!