Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fleurette Cardigan (was Big Swatch)

It started back in  April as a small swatch of the Fleurette stitch from Barbara Walker using KPPPM Koigu on 3mm needles. I was trying out the yarn in various open stitches to see if I could up with something that would break up the colour pooling in an interesting way. I'd been able to buy 9 skeins of the same dye lot in the sale at KnitnPurl before they closed.

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.

Meanwhile I'm so thrilled that I'm posting this without a good picture of it in action. Here's one of it on the back porch. Click to make it bigger:



5 comments:

shandy said...

Lovely cardigan. I do sometimes try to wing it on a pattern, but that's a lot of knitting time to go wrong with an adult-size cardigan. I've finished the mitts now and will post them very soon.

Anonymous said...

It looks like it will be a good colour for you. Perfect for chilly summer evenings.
-daughter

shandy said...

I've posted the mittens, but by surface mail, so it may take up to a month, but was half the price.

Helen said...

That's lovely, a total success.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous cardigan. Worth all the effort you put in to it. And it should suit you well
- sister