Monday, May 28, 2012

Double Take

I had such fun knitting Rainbow a sweater earlier this month that I thought I'd squeeze in another one for the knitalong before the month was over.

Pattern: Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates, 6 month size
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh DK, colorway Lapis, approximately 1.25-1.5 skeins
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 6 (4.0 mm) Addi Turbos
Started/Completed: May 21/May 26
Mods: quite a few; see below

Having just knit this pattern, I knew that this time around there were a number of things I was going to change. (I also knew that it was going to come out on the smaller side, so I deliberately made a 6 month size for a baby that's due in September with the idea that the kid will wear it this fall and winter.)

As I did with Rainbow's version, I changed the direction that the cables on one of the sleeves crossed so that the two sleeves would mirror each other and cross toward the front of the sweater. Unfortunately, I was not paying enough attention on one sleeve because I discovered some time later (when I had already joined the sleeves and was partway through the yoke decreases) that there was a cable miscrossed on one sleeve. I was too far past it at that point to want to rip back, so once the sweater was complete, I did a little cable surgery. You can only tell that anything was changed if you put your finger in the arm and feel the little bit of extra bulk from weaving in some additional ends to secure the stitches on the wrong side.

I also narrowed the sleeve cable quite significantly (see the photo above) as the raglan decreases encroached on the area of the cable. I didn't like the idea of the decreases "eating up" the cable and leaving a large area of reverse stockinette, so I changed the cable to a basic 2x2 cross for several rows. You'll notice that I also changed the direction of the raglan decreases (k2tog before the marker, ssk after); I think the decrease lines look a lot more tidy this way.

The decreases on the sleeve proved to be the one area of difficulty this time around. I started the yoke with the correct number of stitches and did the correct number of decrease rows. However, when I got to the very last row of the yoke, which has raglan decreases but not decreases at the neck edge, there were only four sleeve stitches remaining between the markers. This presented a problem because the decreases were supposed to be done one stitch in from the marker (i.e., slip marker, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, slip marker), but obviously I needed six stitches in order to do this. For this last row, I moved the decreases right up next to the marker in order to get down to the correct number of stitches, but that means that the final decreases on the sleeves do not line up with the rest. Fortunately, I think they're hidden by the collar, but it irked me a bit that the numbers did not work out at the end.

My final set of modifications was to pick up fewer stitches than called for on the button bands (I made sure that I had a multiple of four so that the ribbing would work, though) and, because there were fewer stitches with which to work for the collar, eliminated one set of short rows for the shawl collar. The short rows covered enough of the button band stitches, though, that there was really only room for three buttons in the end, which I think is perfectly acceptable in a baby sweater (fewer buttons = less work for the parent). I also did (k2tog, yo) buttonholes instead of the one-row buttonholes called for in the pattern; the buttons I used are on the smaller side and didn't really need the wider holes.

Despite the challenges and frustrations, I'm really happy with this little sweater. This is a gift for for my best friend -- a friend I've known my whole life -- who is expecting her first child this fall. I am unfortunately not able to make it to her baby shower out of town, so I will be sending this down to her and hoping that it will be well received.


  1. Adorable! Love that shade of blue.

  2. Your Gramps is so cute, and yes the blue looks wonderful!

  3. Love this sweater - the color and the pattern. I've added it to my queue. I am always amazed at how quickly you manage to finish things too!