Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Projects and mishaps

I really don't keep this up mostly because I'm not sure anyone reads it but also because there are so many other fabulous resources for keeping up with knitting, specifically my knitting, than this blog. For now I'll pretend I've got at least one reader and update a bit.

May brought to our family many significant days. Mother's Day, of course, on which I now get the red carpet treatment and the birthdays of both my mother and my mother-in-law among several others. My mother was celebrating both her 50th birthday and her divorce finalization which was indeed a celebration in her case as it began the chapter of her life in which she has begun to find herself and live her life for herself. I wanted to do something special to commemorate that date and as a knitter that of course means knitting.

I wanted to make something that she would wear (I'm not sure she wears either pair of socks I've made her other than perhaps around the house) and that really seemed like it was "her". I decided on the Featherweight Cardigan in a heathery green color.

This did break a few of my own personal knitting guidelines as I had to buy a pattern which I generally avoid if I can find something I like as well that is free as it keeps the budget open for more yarn. But this also meant I was knitting a garment sized piece and in 3 weeks in lace weight yarn. I'm a pretty dedicated knitter and thus I worked on this project and this project alone during that time. I started on April 2 and finished on May 6th, certainly longer than the 3 weeks I'd allotted. It took so long in fact I didn't block it. I sent it to mom with a soap sample and instructions on how to block. I severely underestimated her confidence in herself to wash and care for this garment though.

She was very touched and appreciative though. I overheard her on the phone showing it off to coworkers and telling family about it which certainly made me feel good that I had made her so happy.

Yet still, it's not blocked and has not been worn.

Because of that I don't have a picture to show you. I will call mom soon on a day off with blocking instructions.

Enter Featherweight Dos.

I decided I loved the way this barely there cardigan looked on women of all ages and I wanted one. I had 3 skeins of lace weight in the same brand but a different color than the one I made for mom but I needed 4 for the largest size.

I searched on Ravelry first only to discover that this was a discontinued color. Luckily I turned up 1 full and 1 nearly full skein and got a great deal. My $10 cardigan was up and running. I wound and wound those lace weight balls and cast on. Things were groovy until I separated for the arms and then I started getting an inkling of doubt that this might be too big. I looked at the gauge and I looked at the sizing and reassured myself.

Once the sweater body was complete I started considering different collar options. I wanted something different. I considered a ruffle, some pretty lace, and poured through "Knitting on the Edge" by Nicky Epstein. I was so eager I scrapped all those fancy plans and did a 1x1 rib. That's when I took a closer look at the sleeves. They are HUGE.

Crappy camera phone at night pic:

I posted on Ravelry about my problem and was given solutions such as to rip out and reknit (not going to happen), make a dolman sleeve (that only makes me look fatter), and that it really doesn't look that bad.

It really does look that bad. This sweater has been sitting, hibernating on my knitting basket for 9 days now. I figure my options are to finish it and see just how bad it really turns out or to give it and the remaining yarn away to a larger friend and let her finish it.

One poster on Ravelry did suggest that the largest size was probably too big for me. I think I might agree now though according to the pattern this should fit me. If I ever get brave again I might try knitting another in a smaller size. I really do love the look of this beautiful, skimming cardigan that seems perfect for all seasons.


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