Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dollar and a Half Cardigan - Finished!

She’s finally done! This was the hardest project I’ve ever taken on but after pulling on the sleeves and buttoning up the front, it was 100% worth it.
This is the first sweater that I know I’m going to put into a frequent rotation.
I give you, Dollar and a Half Cardigan, by Veronik Avery for Interweave Knits, Spring 2007

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!


Macoco said...

Your cardigan is beautiful and it looks like a great fit as well! I am amazed at the amount of notes you take. I always think "oh I really should make a note about this..." but then never do. There have been countless times when a note would have helped me a lot.

amanda said...

Looks great! A really nice fit and color on you.

Girl Kae said...

looks great on you! I've seen some that are very illfitting, but this one's perfect :) Love the colour as well!

An Abundance of Lisa said...

Wow. The cardigan looks simply stunning on you. It fits you so well and the color really makes the detail pop out. Way to go!!!

booge said...

THANK YOU! I'm just starting this cardigan a year after it's been published and the lace pattern was driving me out of my ever loving mind. The ladies at the LYS today gave up as well when I showed them the stitch pattern. I'm a good knitter, and the FOs online show me it can be done, but you were the first person to fully explain WTF was up with the issues, in clear and concise English. Thank ye kindly, Miss. Much obliged. And it looks smashing! I will not lose heart. I will have another gray sweater.

robyn said...


I LOVE LOVE LOVE your cardi!

You have done an amazing job and really inspired me!

I have tagged you in my blog as todays inspiration!


Mary said...

Hey-a bit late, but I just found your blog after searching around the internet for some info on this pattern. Just doing the gauge swatch has been frustrating the &#*($@ out of me. Since I offered to trade a knitted sweater with a co-worker for a handmade quilt, and she picked this pattern, I really was wondering what I was getting myself into. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the info and the great Flickr tutorial. My confidence in my abilities is restored!


Oh, and by the way--the sweater looks great!