My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tangled Yoke Not-Cardigan

Finally - a knitting F.O. to share. This project started out as my spring break knitting & knitting "while-I-recover-from-meniscus-repair-surgery-since-I-can't-do-anything else." I actually made quite speedy progress until I got to the cabled yoke pattern. Apparently I have a hard time counting to 13 (let's not dwell on the irony that I've taught math for several years) & had to rip back hundreds of stitches to fix silly mistakes.

But alas - even after starting another project (cough*tapestry cowl*cough), I finally picked-up & knit the collar, thus finishing the sweater.


Pattern: "The Tangled Yoke Cardigan" published in Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits

Yarn: Cascade 220 Tweed - Don't ask about the colorway - I've had this yarn for years & finally decided to do something about it. I call it "Confetti" because tiny flecks of different colors are interspersed throughout the neutral color of yarn. It was originally intended for a different sweater, but I think the pairing works quite well. Remember - 2010 is all about the stash here at chez Arctic Knitter.

Needles: US5 for ribbing & main body, US 4 for collar.

Modifications: Well, as you can see - this is definitely not a cardigan. Since I've knit a few cardigans already, I wanted another pullover. This pattern seemed easy enough to modify & I was looking to some easy, knit in the round, minimal purling, knitting. I came across a project knit by The Rainey Sisters using a similar idea & followed her modifications (for the split neck, etc).

What I learned while knitting this sweater:

#1: Swatches lie. Hasn't the Yarn Harlot warned us of this before? Here's the irony - I normally don't swatch. I just choose the size that looks closest to my measurements & knit away. Normally this works great. This time, according to the swatch & some math I needed to cast on 210 stitches to get the appropriate size. Well - when all was said & done, the sweater was a smidgy too big, especially in the bust/yoke area. I can live w/a loose fitting body, but a baggy bustline isn't too attractive. Sooo....

#2: Cascade 220 is a great felting wool. Warning: Only the strong at heart should read ahead. I let the sweater soak in the washing machine w/some Euculan. Since it was sopping wet and I wanted to somehow magically make the bust/yoke a smidge smaller, I thought I would throw it in the dryer (yeah, I know) for a wee bit. I put it on the setting using only air & no heat. After a short bit of time the sweater still seemed a bit damp (boy am I impatient), so I reset the dryer & this time used the setting w/heat (gasp!!) meaning only to leave it in for a couple of minutes. I have young children, so of course I lost track of time & the sweater stayed in for far longer than I had intended. While it didn't felt 100%, the sweater was smaller - and *Fit As I wanted it to!!*

#3: Felting diminishes the depth of cables & ribbing. I pinned out the still kinda damp sweater to get the shaping settled & could tell the cables & ribbing don't "pop" as they should. At first I was a bit sad - lots of work put into knitting a sweater only to diminish it's beauty by my stupidity. But a friend stopped by & gushed over the sweater Friday night. I thought "she's right - this is a pretty nice sweater". So - I threw it on the headless lady (my dress form needs a real name - suggestions?) & have been admiring it all weekend.

So - it's finally too warm (for Alaskans) to wear wool sweaters for any length of time, so I'll carefully put it away for the summer & be pleasantly warm come next fall. I think I might even knit this again, but perhaps go down a needle size on the yoke so I don't have to resort to drastic measures. It worked once, but I don't think I need to tempt fate.

:0) Ciao!


KnitNurd said...

This is beautiful and I love your mods!!

Courtney said...

Love it!! very Pretty!

Holly Jo said...

I do like it as a pullover! The yarn is a great match too. Nice work.

I can't believe you put a wool sweater in the dryer. Luckily, it ended well. :)

leah said...

It turned out quite nice and you are so much braver than I am. I almost had a minor stroke at even thinking about putting this in the dryer! But, obviously it could be useful...

I've admired this pattern for a while, but like it even more as a pullover!

Katrina said...

It's beautiful as a pullover! I have the yarn and have it on the needles...but may need to copy you. I like the knitting in the round option, rather than back and forth FOREVER!!

Yes, I almost despaired with you about the dryer story....but it has a happy ending. You rock!

HAPPY LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL! (And the "headless lady" is a fantastic name for your mannequin. Or you could call it Medusa. Didn't she get her head cut off?)