I blocked it and checked the gauge. I ended up knitting a bigger swatch the size of the back of a cardigan up to the armholes. I blocked it and checked the gauge again. It was consistent: 5 stitches and 8 rows per inch. I contemplated copping out and just doing a drop shoulder pattern, but something drove me on to conquer the set in sleeve.
I grew bold. I calculated the armscye using the instructions in Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book. Knit her up and blocked again. The armhole depth was 7 inches. Maybe a bit shallow I thought, but the stitch is an open one and I thought it better to underdo it on such a stretchy fabric. I had this crazy idea that this cardigan was going to turn out to be huge and baggy.
I began to feel a bit nervous but carried on and cast on for the fronts continuing to use a seed stitch border all around. Knit a V neck because I like them and put off thoughts of a collar for later. I told myself I could always rip out the armscyes and revert to the drop shoulder pattern if necessary. One of my sisters (you know who you are) called the Big Swatch a rude name (use your imagination).
I put it aside and started all manner of other projects large and small, trying to avoid the moment of truth. I avoided thinking about why I was publicly knitting a sweater with no pattern and expansive yarn all the while knowing that I could well run out of yarn before I finished and embarrass myself royally. I avoided knitting the sleeves. I tried to think of a new name... I was channelling our Auntie Jean toward the end. She would have liked these colours. How about the Fleurette Cardigan?
In the end, the deadline of a baby shower on July 17th for the Cobweb Crepe and a bunch of other deadlines at work spurred me into action. I got into gear and started finishing projects off: the Cobweb Crepe, the February Lady, a pair o socks. Funny how knitting can distill one's personality. We knit as we live.
I lucked out this time, people. I made it up as I went along and I took my time. This cardigan fits perfectly. It is close fitting without being tight. It has 3/4 length set in sleeves and a shawl collar. It measures 14 inches from armpit to waist. I'll post a photo of it on me but it could take me a bit to get good shot.