Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Circular Cardigan

I've been working for over a year on this circular cardigan. I love the design and I love a circular cardigan. I bought one a few years ago when I was visiting my daughter in Tacoma. Loved the sweater, it was so comfy and cozy but it pilled savagely as soon as I washed it. To make it worse, it was a soft acrylic and stretched out of shape, making it narrower and longer. Anyway, I liked it enough to want to make one. Then I found Nigella, a sweater pattern from Berroco. It called for a super yarn spun from rayon and cotton. PROBLEM...the border is over 800 rows but a very easy lace pattern to follow. I got past that and then started the actual circle. As I knitted on this thing on and off I realized the yarn was actually stretching out of shape as I knitted. It was getting longer and longer and when I got down to the end of the circle, I realized, this was NOT going to be a sweater that I would like any better than the one I bought because of the properties of the yarn. This was a sweater that should be carefully folded on a shelf and worn only on special occasions.......not the sweater I had planned on wearing all winter when I needed something to snuggle into.   We all know a soft cotton will stretch out of shape as we wear it. Rayon is known to be iffy when washed so the combo is not my favorite for such a sweater. I finally gave up when I was supposed to be down to 17 stitches and still had 50+ on my needles (yes I was HKing this project and made a mistake or two while knitting).

I decided that as much as I loved the sweater I would have to abandon it.BUT I couldn't do it, I HAD to have that sweater so I went to my LYS and bought some wool yarn that I have knitted with before and like a lot. Shepherd's Wool by Stonehedge Fiber Mills. Its a soft Merino and should hold its shape. I also decided to change my needle from size 8 to size 7 after measuring, I think I was knitting it too loose. Then I decided, I just couldn't redo that border. I can't do it again...800+ stitches......until I realized I could probably do it on the machine. So I got out my LK 150 and spent half a day recreating that border pattern.

I'm now up to row 100 on the LK 150 and the results are great!  I must say, this pattern looks good from both sides.  Once the million rows are finished, I will turn it on its side and knit on another million stitches and start knitting circular which can't be done on the LK 150 but that's ok.  You are working your way down from lots and lots of stitches to around 17 stitches so every time you decrease evenly around you are working with less stitches, quite a bonus I think.
and BACK

I also think this pattern would be great as a peplum on the bottom of a pullover (with quite a few less rows of course).    See the pretty scallop?
I'm working furiously with the machine part of this sweater because I want to get it onto my HK needles.  I like to have something to HK in the evenings while I'm watching TV or traveling around.    MK is for day time for me these days.

What will I do with the tons of cotton/rayon yarn I bought?  I'm thinking it would be a super yarn to use for something like a bolero.  It can easily be machine knitted and its really a nice yarn for a smaller garment.   


Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Love the yarn you are using now for this and love the pattern, hope this one turns out for you.

Knitman said...

I am looking forward to seeing the finished garment.

Roz said...

I wish it was done too, its starting to get cool here in Northern Michigan. I'm knitting furiously on it every chance I get,