Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Inspired by Socks

A couple of weeks ago I completed a pair of socks inspired by the cable pattern in Fiona Ellis' 'Ruddington' cardigan.
I have started the sweater to match them using Cascade 220 yarn in a beautiful heathered purple yarn.

I finished the right front two nights ago. It was a fast and easy knit since I'd had a lot of practice on the cable pattern.

I do check every once and a while for mis-crossed cables and only once had to rip down about 8 rows to fix one.

I like this pattern for many reasons.

1. It has raglan sleeves which are much more flattering on me.
2. The cables are scrumptious. I don't use a cable needle so they knit quite quickly.

3. The pattern is well written. It does pay to read through the instructions, though, as there are armhole AND neck decreases happening at the same time.
4. Fiona has the first and last stitches of the row in stocking stitch which makes it MUCH easier to sew up the seams later. Not all patterns do this so I appreciate Fiona's attention to this detail.
5. The armhole and neck edge decreases are flanked by 2 stocking stitches. Again, this makes it very easy to sew up once completed. (Have I ever mentioned I like sewing up well-blocked sweater pieces?)

Most cardigans have you knitting the back first. However, I like to knit one of the fronts first. It's a smaller project to have to rip out if it isn't working gauge-wise. In this case it was pretty close to perfect and will be easily blocked to the perfect dimensions because of the elasticity of the fabric due to the cables.

One modification I am going to make is to make the back a smaller size. Last night I measured my back width at its widest point from centre underarm to the other centre underarm and got 18". My front width from underarm to underarm is 25". In the past, I have found by knitting the sweater that has a couple of inches of ease yields too wide a back. So if I make the back a size smaller it won't feel and look too wide and sloppy. The narrower back will work well as long as I make the length the same as the fronts. I may have to ease the sleeves into the armholes a bit but I'm sure it will work. I will also knit shorter sleeves than called for in the pattern as I have shorter arms than most and don't like cuffs that go beyond my wrists.

I have completed one pattern repeat on the second front. Stay tuned...

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