Pattern: Dollar and a Half Cardigan by Veronik Avery – Interweave Knits – Spring 2007
Started: July 2007
Break: September – November
Finished: Knitting was finished October 17- all blocked and sewn up – Jan 1st 2007
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Misti International Alpaca Worsted in 4388 – about 9 skeins. I love this yarn – it is incredibly soft yet incredibly warm. The drape is amazing.
Needles: Used US 5 for the stockinette and size 7 for the lace pattern.
Size: I knitted the smallest size and blocked to a 36 – I wanted this to be tight fitting and after reading so much about how this ran slightly big and knowing I could block it slightly larger – it was the best bet.
Modifications: Not much. The only major change I made was to make the arm length shorter. To do so, I knit 1 ½” of rib (vs 2”) – and started decreasing after a total of 4” (vs 6 ½”)
First, this is definitely a project you want to swatch for. Trust me.
Second, one of the things I covet about knitting blogs and Ravelry – is that you get blow by blow details – telling you what to watch out for, how to approach a stitch or row that only when you get to it do you realize how unbelievable helpful those notes were. This has always been incredibly helpful to me, and I always try and return the favor.To this end, check out my checklist for a lot of details I have since blocked out. Also, click here if you want the blow by blow on my progress.
This project took its toll on me – no matter how much I love the end product. I will say that without a doubt, the part that threw me over the edge was decreasing in the lace pattern. I invested hours upon hours in trying to get it to work for me but after getting nowhere, I actually had to take a 2 month break from the sweater all together. When I came back, I didn’t nail it the first time – but it started falling into place after about the 5th try. I would recommend checking out details in Ravelry, and there were some helpful tips on the Knit Along.
I will also say that that thing that helped me the most is my notebook. Here is a picture of the two things that I found comfort in, throughout the process:
Every time I start a project I take copious notes – whether it’s the needle size, when I switch balls (so that on the second sleeve, I know how much I’ll need after writing it down through the first). I never remember any of these details so I write it down. With this project I literally wrote down almost every row and what to expect. This is particularly important when doing the lace decreases. Forgetting about decreases, in the lace pattern each row you do ends up with a different number of stitches. When decreasing comes into play – it was CRITICAL for me to know how many stitches I should end up with. Again, there are a lot of tips on how to deal with the decreases in patterns but frankly none of them gave me what I needed. I think I just needed to try, walk away, and come back. Finally it worked.
Finally, I love my mom to death for getting me a blocking board for Christmas. If you don’t have one – I highly recommend it.
Viva La Veronik!