Monday, October 18, 2010

Presenting: the Carrot

It took days full of grueling hours of effort and really far too little sleep, and I was sewing on buttons in the car about two hours before the event to which I wanted to wear it, but I finished the Carrot Cardi!

And the first thing I have to say about that is: this sweater is not slimming.

I swear, when I tried on Jocelyn's cardi in this very size, it was downright flattering. Does green versus grey yarn make that much difference? Surely it couldn't be my discovery of Mike and Ike jelly candies since last spring, or my continuing flirtation with bedtime milk-and-cookie fests?

Probably, but I think it also has to do with the subtle but definitely horizontal striping of the garter stitch, and the possibility that I should have gone down a size to avoid what seems like extra bulk around the raglan seams, combined with an unfortunate length and three-quarter sleeves (about which more in a moment) and a neck that does not lengthen (ditto.)

Still, love it. It's warm and comfy and the first place I walked into after putting it on, a salesgirl I'd never met before said Wow! You can really wear green! And with a nice bold vertically-positioned scarf, it looks just fine.

Nope, I'm definitely not besmirching this fabulous pattern. It's so well thought-out, the fitting so nicely shaped around the waist. I enjoyed knitting it and learned quite a bit and, I think, executed it rather well just by following the directions, which is not something that can be said for every sweater pattern I've tried.

Here is the biggest thing I learned, and it is about measuring gauge.

(Actually I learned it several months ago and neglected to apply it here, which I will put down to the sleep deprivation I mentioned earlier.)

It is this: no matter how hard you stretch a piece of knitting to pin it out for blocking, it will contract a little when it dries and the pins are removed.

How I relearned it: I measured for the sleeve adjustment from the body pieces while they were still pinned out. I knew I would need to shorten the sleeves, not least because these pretty cuffs can't really be rolled up if they come out too long, and I adjusted the distances between increases up from the wrist to reflect the rows-per-inch measurement I got from those pinned out pieces.

And that is why I have three-quarter length sleeves rather than something that comes to the wrist.

The other thing I changed was the neckline. As written, the flopped-back turn of the collar covers much of one's shoulders, and that kind of neck is especially unflattering on me. As soon as I realized where the pattern was going I started short-rowing like a fiend so as to raise the height at the back of the neck and create a gradual slope to the front.

I'm really pleased with how that came out, though I could probably have gone farther with the adjustments if I'd realized the problem sooner.

Whew. Done! Worn! Admired! and now I'm freeeeee!

And not a moment too soon, because on Friday I found this Tortoro pattern I want to knit up, and the yarn I want to use isn't finished being spun and plied yet...


heklica said...

Despite all the shortcomings that you mention, it is a lovely sweater! Interestingly, I remember it a little greener than in these photos but the salesgirl was right - green looks good on you!

Unknown said...

I love it! It looks great on you.

Karen said...

Looks great! And I love the buttons....

Kathleen Taylor said...

It's totally gorgeous! and it looks lovely on you!

Anonymous said...

Love it! Looks very good on you! (Ilona)

Isis said...

Fantastic! Any tips for someone who has never attempted a sweater but can handle socks?

Mary Keenan said...

Omigosh yeah - if you can knit socks you can knit anything! Sweaters are mostly about stamina... and in my case keeping your tension fairly consistent between sleeves ;^) Pick a pattern you love in a shape you already know suits you and from there it's just follow the leader. I like to check Ravelry projects for my shortlisted patterns to find out whether anybody ran into problems with fit or directions, too. That's actually my best filter for kicking something off the wishlist!