Monday, January 29, 2007

Finished: Marilyn

Before you read any further, a note about the sweater pictures below. I really wanted to get some good natural light shots, but the weather did not cooperate (overcast on Saturday, snow squalls on Sunday). What follows are our best attempts to capture this gorgeous, multifaceted yarn under artificial light. Please, don't hate the model or the photographer -- we know we're not worthy.

Pattern: Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed (40% silk, 30% cotton, 20% merino, 10% viscose), color 02, approximately 8 1/2 skeins
Needles: US 6 and US 3 circs
Started/Completed: October? November?/January 25
Recipient: my coworker
Mods: lengthened the body; adjusted body shaping so that decreasing would all be done on right-side rows; did an extra body decrease plus a couple body increases; did only one double crochet per knit stitch for ruffle

My coworker commissioned me to knit her this sweater way back last fall. I started it and made some decent progress on the yoke before I put it down in favor of my holiday knitting. I picked it up again and starting working on it seriously again earlier this month.

The yarn really makes this sweater, and unfortunately these pictures just do not do it justice. It's a deep, plummy purple shade, but with flecks of reds, blues, and grays. The sweater itself is a basic raglan construction, but the drape of the yarn is just wonderful.

I did have some issues with the pattern, none of which was too difficult to overcome. The first issue came with the decreases for the body. The pattern calls for the decreases to be done on right-side rows every 9th row; however, if you follow this direction, you will alternate between doing the decreases on the right side and on the wrong side. Instead, I did the decreases every six rows, ensuring they were all done on the right side (I threw in a couple of increases as well, since I was lengthening the body). Then, when knitting the button bands, I had to account for the extra length and added some extra stitches. I wasn't quite sure exactly how many to add, so I picked up and knit four at the collar (I disregarded the pattern and knitted the button band on to it) and four along the hem at the bottom and picked up one stitch every other row in between the two areas.

As you can see, the button bands really aren't that visible once you add the ruffle, which is such a nice finishing touch. I used a slightly larger crochet hook than what was called for (it was the smallest one I had on hand) and did only one double crochet per knit stitch, as I discovered that two dc's per knit stitch was way too crowded.

I delivered the sweater to its owner this morning and she was just thrilled. Carrie commented on my last post that I was an awfully generous knitter, knitting a whole sweater for someone else. Well, dear readers, I'm afraid at this point I must fess up: I didn't just knit her the sweater out of the goodness of my heart. As I said, I was commissioned to knit it. She purchased the pattern and the yarn; in return for knitting the sweater for her, I got to keep the pattern and was paid a small fee for my labor. All in all, I think it was a pretty good deal.

The final verdict? It's a winner! The recipient loved it, as did everyone she showed it to at work today. I will definitely be knitting myself one, as I have a big stash of the silky tweed (originally purchased to knit a sweater for J, but then claimed for myself after I decided it wasn't manly enough for him). Although the coworker and I wear the same size, I'll be knitting my Marilyn a size smaller, as it has a fair amount of ease built into the pattern. I'll also be making it longer and with full-length sleeves. I won't be casting on just yet, however; I've still got several knits for others to finish up.

It's been a very long day. I won't go into too many specifics, but I arrived home feeling like crap (still somewhat sick and didn't get much sleep last night). I was so ready to pull into the garage, lug my tired body upstairs, and climb right into bed, but I stopped to check the mailbox first. I'm so glad I did -- my Sockret Pal strikes again!
Lava lamp not included in package,
but it looks groovy with this yarn!
My pal once again sent me a package that wasn't really a package (i.e., just some goodies to tide me over until my final package arrives). On the left are two skeins of Knit Picks Memories in the Yukon colorway, destined to be a cozy pair of socks to keep my tootsies warm in this chilly weather we're having. On the right, two skeins of Knit Picks Gossamer (a laceweight) in the colorway Caribbean -- interestingly, I have two skeins of this in my stash, but couldn't decide if I wanted to use them for another Adamas shawl or for another Lace Leaf Shawl. Now I won't have to choose! Finally, up front, my pal enclosed some sock-shaped point protectors (which I will need quite soon on the baby blanket, as the rows are getting quite long).
Thank you, pal, for making me feel so much better on such a cold, miserable winter day!


  1. your marilyn looks wonderful and you're right the real color is absolutly yummy! i peeked at the unfinishsed marilyn a few entries before this. i made one is a dark gray and loved the yarn, i planned to make another myself but you know too many things to knit and not nearly enough time to knit them.

  2. very lovely sweater. Some friends and I are going to the knit festival on Saturday. I can't wait.

  3. The sweater looks great!