Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Three summer top patterns, and what I did with them

I often see posts where people have combed through Ravelry and other websites for  patterns (free and otherwise) and then posted the links to them: voilà, a blog entry! And my brain said:

I Can Do That 2

But I want to put my own little twist on it, and feature patterns I’ve actually made. So I pulled out three favorite warm-weather projects and voilà, a blog entry!

© Schachenmayr

First up is this cute boatneck tank from Schachenmayr. Click here to go to the Ravelry pattern page.

The pattern calls for a 100% cotton sport-weight yarn. It’s knit from the bottom up and employs a unique double cast-on technique that lends a stabilizing heft and substance to the bottom edge.  The front and back pieces are identical and seamed along the sides and at the shoulders. That means there’s no front or back, and whichever way you put it on is the right way.

The lace pattern is charted only, so if you don’t read charts, you’ll have trouble. I should also mention that, although it was free, apparently Schachenmayr no longer supports this pattern and it can’t be found on their website. There are a couple of print magazines that published it (linked on the Ravelry page) if you are fortunate enough to locate one of them. Or if you are extraordinarily gifted with the Internet Archive, maybe you can find a cached page with the pattern.

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© Avantaknits

Anyway, here’s my version, finished in 2017. Click here to go to my Ravelry project page.

I knit this tank with 628 yards of a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend that had a bit of lurex thrown in for sparkle. The larger yarn meant my gauge was different than the pattern gauge, requiring a little math to figure out the right size. Casting on for the small gave me the medium, and I began the armholes at row 120 instead of row 148.

I also knit 4 rows garter stitch at bottom edge before beginning the lace pattern, plus I used 4 rows garter stitch at the neck and armhole edges instead of stockinette. I didn’t turn over the arm and neck edges for a seamed edge.

I wear this tank a lot. It’s comfortable and cool, looks great with jeans, capris, or a floaty summer skirt, and it’s machine washable. To protect the lace from snags, it’s washed in a mesh bag. I usually lay it flat to dry so I can block the lace, although sometimes I hang it to dry, and then use a steam iron to open up the lace pattern.

LovePecan
© Karen Broz

Next up is the Love Pecan top by Karen Broz. Click here to go to the Ravelry page. You can download the free pattern from Karen’s blog, linked above. It’s available in English or Spanish.

This top is knit seamlessly from the top down. It’s designed for a 100% wool light fingering-weight yarn. The eyelet rows begin just under the bustline, so modesty is preserved. Those eyelet rows help keep the wearer cool despite the use of 100% wool, as does the looser-than-usual gauge for this weight of yarn.

Again, no difference between front and back, so no matter which way you put it on, you have the front in front and the back in back. That makes getting dressed easy, and heaven knows we need easy right now. Figuring out which way to put on one’s shirt takes brain power we might need for surviving the pandemic currently raging outside. Or maybe that’s just me.

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Tee shirt for me — ©Avantaknits

All right, here’s my 2020 version, with Covid hair and everything. Click here to go to my project page.

I knit size 1 (small) and used 740 yards of a fingering weight 70/30 wool/silk blend that had been sitting in stash for several years. I thought the colorway was perfect for this top.

After knitting 15 or so rows, I realized I hated the rolled neckline, so I ripped it all out and started over. Instead, using the same stitch count, I knit 2×2 ribbing for 8 rows, and then continued as written, mostly. A few further modifications: knit four rows in stockinette before starting ribbing on sleeves; offset every other eyelet row by two stitches so the eyelets didn’t stack up; added two extra eyelet rows at the bottom; knit two extra rows of stockinette after last eyelet row before starting ribbing at hem.

I love this top. I wear it a lot. In fact, I’m wearing it as I type this post. I wash it in a mesh bag in the machine on the gentlest cycle, using Woolite, and lay it flat to dry. (I should mention I have a front-load washing machine with no agitator. I wouldn’t dare put this top, or any other hand-knit item, in a machine with an agitator.)

© EweKnit Toronto

Finally, the Striped Tee from Eweknit Toronto. Click here to go to the Ravelry page.  You can purchase the pattern from the website linked above. Kits are also available if you like the pre-selected colors. Otherwise, choose your own and have fun with it! The pattern calls for a DK silk/merino blend.

(Another thing I should mention is I don’t get any kickback if you click these links. All the patterns linked here are patterns I made and loved, not patterns I’m getting paid to promote.)

Anyway, this is another top-down seamless tee, with a nifty wrap stitch detail at the hem and sleeve edges that gives just a bit of pizazz to an otherwise plain striped tee. The raglan sleeve makes a nice sharp corner when worked in the stripe pattern. There’s a small short row section near the hem on the back to help shape the top over the rump area.

Striped Top 1
© Avantaknits

Naturally, my 2020 version (this time with hair that had recently seen a stylist) has modifications. As usual, clicking here takes you to the project page.

The purpose of making this top was to use some single skeins of Rowan Cotton acquired several years ago through a subscription bonus, plus the remainder of some Mirasol T’ika that had been marinating in stash for, um, ten (!) years. So I didn’t follow the striped pattern of the original tee. Instead, because each skein was about the same yardage, I knit until each skein was gone (or I didn’t have enough left to finish a round), giving me stripes of equivalent width. The final skein of the T’ika was used to finish up the sleeves. I added a few extra rounds of stockinette on the sleeves before starting the edge pattern. I made the 39 1/2″ size, and used a total of 695 yards.

I love this top. It’s comfortable to wear, easy to wash (machine wash, lay flat to dry), a little heavy because it’s 100% cotton, but no matter. I pull it out to wear at least once every couple of weeks.

There you go: three summer tops and my personal experience with them. Now go try them for yourself.

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Life in general

*pokes head in* “Hello?”

Good heavens, has it really been over four months since my last post? I’d add a “shaking my head” GIF if I knew how. But this twitter meme pretty much sums it up.

Have to vs Want to

All right, then. Obviously, the world turned itself upside down over the Covid-19 pandemic in the last several months. Life around here did pretty much the same thing.  I’ll catch you up briefly.  I won’t promise a more detailed post any time in the near future because … well, staying at home is harder and more tiring than one would think.

The most important thing: the spouse and I are healthy so far. We minimize going out as much as possible and wear masks when we do. We both carry little hand sanitizer bottles everywhere we go and refill them as needed from the ginormous container of Purell sitting on the kitchen counter.

Spouse’s work has dried up — all those voice actors that ordinarily record in studios with private clients are now competing with him for the few jobs that get posted to the industry websites so he hasn’t had a gig since late March/early April. We’re still waiting to hear if he will get any of the unemployment benefits supposedly available to gig workers like him. Fortunately, my job is ongoing. I have been working from home since March 18. We count ourselves extremely fortunate that my work can be done 100% online through a VPN connection to our office mainframe. We’re not hurting financially. Too many people we know are not as fortunate.

I’ve finished several projects. Here are a few quick pics:

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As you can see from the pics, I’ve got Covid Hair. Oy. I am in desperate need of seeing my hairdresser. And I’ve put on some lockdown weight. Apparently I got more exercise than I realized walking back and forth to the train and while in the office. I get NONE now. Time to find a yoga instructor on YouTube, I guess. Or get off my rear and take brisk walks every day. That’s hard to do…really, working from home and being in front of the computer ALL THE TIME is exhausting. By the time I log off each day, the only thing I want to do is eat popcorn, watch TV, and knit.

Okay, I have been doing a few other things. I planted an herb garden.

Herb Garden

I made banana bread — lots of it, and gave away most of it.

Banana Bread

I learned to make yogurt.

Yogurt

And I usually cook a nice dinner a couple of times a week.

It’s no wonder I’ve gained weight. All my extra activities involve food. Another batch of yogurt is working right now, and I’ve got the ingredients for lemon-blueberry cupcakes set out on the kitchen counter.

Lockdown reading: um, I’ve read 13 books, one of which was a “did not finish.” I’m also keeping up with the Shakespeare 2020 project, although I’ve skipped the poetry. Not big on poetry. So that’s six more Shakespeare plays down.

I’m involved in two other play-reading groups — one meets once a month to discuss a play we read on our own time; the other meets twice a week to read plays together. I don’t participate in all of the sessions for the second group because Zoom meetings are exhausting, but once a week, maybe once every couple of weeks, depending on the play. So with those two groups together, I’ve read five more plays.

And yesterday I shot a short scene for an episode of season 2 for the web series Black on Both Sides. That was a trip: hand sanitizer everywhere; cameraman, producer, sound guy, and five actors all masked except for the few minutes we were rolling. Then masked again while we set for the next shot. Masks off, roll, cut, masks on. Lather rinse repeat. It was a short shoot. I got there at 9:30 am, we started shooting at around 11, on my way home shortly after noon. Washed my hands thoroughly before getting in the car because I knew I’d be rubbing my nose or otherwise touching my face on the drive home.

We’re coping.

How are YOU doing?

 

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Life in general, Yarn stash, Year in review

2019 in review: Yarn

2019 wasn’t a terrifically productive year for finished projects, probably due to the fact I did four plays. But I did get some things made.

100_5070 (2)First thing finished was the Lochlan Cardigan in February, briefly blogged here.  I wear this cardigan a lot.  It’s really warm; I often throw a sleeveless vest over it, and away we go on weekend errands. No heavy coat needed unless the wind is really sharp.  This was my first project with zipper installation, and it was easier than I expected.  Fear of zippers will no longer restrain me!  It’s also the first time I doubled a fingering weight yarn instead of using a DK as the pattern requires.  My gauge was a little off, but math fixed that, and the fit turned out great.

100_5139 (2)After getting home from Stitches United in June, also briefly blogged in the link above, I made a swimsuit coverup from a pattern I’d had in my queue forever.  The blog entry for this project is here.  As I suspected it would, the coverup shrank in the wash, and now fits much better through the neck and shoulders. When I wash it, I tumble it until it’s damp-dry and then lay it flat and block out the length.

MicheleMeAtAvilaI took the coverup to California with me in August, completely forgetting how cold Northern California beaches are.  I wore it with my swimsuit, shorts, and a denim jacket against the chilly shore breeze.  Although we didn’t get a picture of me wearing it, the coverup actually got used in the way it was intended when the spouse and I went to Sandestin (Florida) for Labor Day.

100_5168The Cabled Yoke Cardigan, finished in July, was part of a Vogue Knit #19 in 2019 Challenge. The Vogue Knitters group on Ravelry does this challenge every year: knit the corresponding pattern number for the last two digits of the year out of any Vogue Knitting magazine.  The blog entry for this project is here.  I was still mildly unhappy with the size after wearing the cardigan several times. So the other day I ran it through the washing machine in a mesh bag on the handwash cycle, and then laid it out flat to dry.  The sweater did exactly what I thought it would do: felted just the teensiest bit, just enough to make it fit better and not be so loose and long.  Yes, I was gambling.  Yes, I got lucky.  Don’t try this at home, kiddies.  Now I need to re-sew the buttons.

Mom'sPullover1 (2)My mother’s pullover was the final project for the year.  We picked out this yarn last Thanksgiving, and I gave her the finished sweater this Thanksgiving.  I haven’t blogged about it yet, so here are the details.

Pattern: Delsea Pullover by Lisa Shroyer (click here for link to project page)

Size: 56

Yarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Tweed Superwash, colorway 917 Steel Cut Oats, 1143 yards

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars, US size7

Mods: None, except for giving the bottom ribbing the same number of rows as the ribbing on the sleeves.

Satisfaction with end product:  My mother loves it.  She plans on wearing it over long-sleeved tees and turtlenecks to keep her toasty warm throughout the winter.

This pattern is easy television knitting, and I would have finished it much sooner had I not gotten bored with the endless endless stockinette and taken time out to make the swimsuit coverup and cabled cardigan mentioned above.  No matter: I always intended to give it to Mom around Thanksgiving and that deadline was met.

100_5146 (2)In the acquisitions department, 2019 was a year of extreme stash enhancement.  I’ve blogged about a lot of the new pretties, but not all of them, and I’m not going to take the time now to chronicle everything I skipped writing about.  Suffice to say, between January 2019 and December 2019, I added 86 new skeins, and a total of 23,468 yards, to stash.  A few (a very few) of those skeins were gifts or prizes, but most of it was purchased. I know I’m lucky and privileged that I can afford to buy yarn of such quality and in such quantities. Believe me, I’m grateful.  And I refuse to feel guilty, but dang, I really need to get to work on reducing this stash.  It’s damn near unmanageable. Especially considering this year I used only 7,122 yards in completed projects.

So, without making any resolutions, because those are doomed to fail, I’m going to set a 2020 goal of using two skeins of yarn for every skein I might buy in the coming year.  So far I have used four skeins (I’m making a cardigan for my sister), so that means I can buy up to two new skeins.  A secondary goal is that any skein I buy will be something really special — like cashmere or silk or some other luxury fiber.  The cost of such yarn will be a secondary deterrent to willy-nilly fiber acquisition.  We’ll see how it goes.  Wish me luck!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Freshly finished: Cabled Yoke Cardigan

A few months back I committed to a mini-knit-along with another Ravelry member.  We both decided to knit the #19 Cabled Yoke Cardigan from Vogue Holiday 2016 as part of the Vogue Knitting forum’s “Knit #19 in 2019” challenge.

Here’s my completed cardigan:

100_5166

Pattern: As mentioned above, #19 Cabled Yoke Cardigan by Kristen Ten Dyke, from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2016. Click here for my Ravelry project page.  This is knit from the top down, with no seaming at all.

Size: 38″

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, colorway 79 Thundercloud (a deep deep gray) (discontinued), 1175 yards

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars, US size 4 and 5; Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina DPNs, US size 4

100_5167

Mods: Not many. The sleeves are an inch shorter than the pattern called for. I also used beads in the yoke instead of bobbles.  I wasn’t happy with how loose the seed stitch cuff turned out on the first sleeve, so when I knit the second sleeve, I went down a needle size when I got to the cuff. That was better, so I re-knit the first cuff.  Otherwise, knit as written.

100_5168

Beads: 32 Toho 6/0 glass seed beads, color Metallic.

Buttons: 7 vintage buttons from stash. Glass/metal/bakelite. Non-matching but similar. Purchased at a Stitches event some years ago.

Hair:  Courtesy of brutal Georgia humidity

We’re always our own worst critics, so when I look at it, I see all the flaws.  For example, the 38 turned out a trifle big, but it’s not so big that it’s unwearable. It’s too long for me because I didn’t shorten the waist shaping to accommodate my height — well, lack of height, to be precise.  And the button band and cuffs are still a little loose and gappy for my taste, despite using a smaller needle. I don’t care, not really. Still, if I ever knit this again, I’ll make it one size smaller, shorten the torso by about two inches, and knit all the seed stitch edgings with a size 2 or 3 needle instead of a 4.

Despite its imperfections, I’m happy with it overall. It’s comfortable, it’s cozy, and it looks pretty good.  The color will coordinate with multiple items in my wardrobe for work and casual wear.

Come on, autumn weather!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

It’s A Blue, Blue Summer

I finished my beach tunic in plenty of time for the scheduled trip to California. Take a look!
100_5139 (2)

Pattern: Summer on You by Svetlana Volkova. Click here for my Ravelry project page.
Yarn: Isager Strik Japansk Bomuld, colorway 10. No actual color name, so I’m calling it Sea Glass. Used just under 2 skeins (630 meters/689 yards, total).  This is a 100% cotton laceweight tape that feels almost like paper.  It’s really cool and crisp and a little hard on the hands, but it has amazing texture.
Needles: US 6 and US 7, Addi nickel-plated circulars
Size: 41.3″ bust
Satisfaction with end product:  Mostly good.  It turned out larger than I expected, but I knit it three sizes larger than I usually wear, because I was using laceweight yarn rather than the sportweight the pattern calls for.  I also didn’t do a gauge swatch.  Oops.  So I’ll consider this my bi-annual reminder to NEVER SKIP THE GAUGE SWATCH, ANGELA!

100_5137 (2)

So, yes, it’s big, but big isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a beach cover-up, which should be loose and light and breezy. Achievement unlocked. Now, it may shrink some once I’ve run it through the washer and dryer, but if it doesn’t, I’m still okay with it.

100_5136 (2)

I added a few extra rows of stockinette and eyelets for length, since I was going for coverage to about mid-thigh.  Other than that, knit as written.  If I make it again, I’ll definitely do a gauge swatch and I’ll take a good hard look at that neckline, since it turned out so wide and deep (again, that may be due to the size I chose, but some mods may be in order).

I have two skeins of the yarn left, and the yarn store where I bought it is closing, so they’re not taking returns.  Thus, a summer tee or tank may be forthcoming to use up the rest of the yarn.

Okay, ready for my trip to California now!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Freshly Finished: Silver Marigold

Silver Marigold 1

Pattern: Marigold by Marie Wallin (from Rowan 45)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Spa, colorway 0008 Misty Taupe, approximately 836 yards

Needles:  Addi Turbo circs, US 5 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US 3 for the ribbing of the neck and button band; Karbonz DPNs, US 3 for the ribbing on the sleeves

Size: 36″

Satisfaction with end product:  I love this.  It’s light and drapy. It fits and feels great.  Click here for my Ravelry project page.

The pattern calls for US 2 (for ribbing) and US 3 (for body) needles, but I couldn’t get gauge with the US 3, so I went up to a US 5 for the body and saved the US 3 for the ribbing.

Silver Marigold 3The raglan shaping gave me fits.  I had to rip out the shaping on the back three times before finally figuring out the pattern instructions. The pattern reads like there’s an extra decrease on each knit side. Nor does it make clear not to decrease on the purl side as previously established for several of the sizes. Reading through the pattern, this language is repeated for all raglan shaping. To be clear, the raglan shaping is as follows: Dec 1 at each end of each right (knit) side row as established (that is, k6, ssk, k to last 8, k2tog, k6; follow instructions for eyelet row as established); do not dec on back (purl) side.

Silver Marigold 4And it wasn’t just the shaping on the back.  The sleeve gave me fits too. After tearing my hair out and then letting sleeve #1 sit overnight, I re-read the shaping instructions for the top bit. I guess the designer condensed the instructions for publication due to Rowan space restrictions. I wrote it out line by line for clarity.

This isn’t the first Rowan pattern I’ve made, but it’s the first pattern that wasn’t an accessory, like a hat or a scarf.  The, um, brevity of the instructions gives me some pause about tackling other cardigans and pullovers.  I mean, I muddled through, and the sweater turned out fine, but it was a headache for a while.  I don’t knit to give myself headaches.  Knitting is my soothing activity.

Regardless, the knitting was finished sometime in May, and then the sweater sat in pieces for months.  Well, it did get some use as a prop in Evelyn In Purgatory, but mostly it sat.  Finally, in early September, I finished the seaming, added the front and neck bands, sewed on the button and called it good. I opted out of the embroidery after realizing how easily this yarn snags.  I’ve already worn it a couple of times.  It’s suitable for casual weekend wear and for the office.  So, I love it, despite the PITA it was to make.

 

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Yarn stash

Freshly finished: Piney Woods Tunic

Glacier 6Pattern: Glacier by Joji Locatelli
Size:  Medium (38″ bust)
Yarn: Newton’s Yarn Country Merino Nylon Superwash, in colorway LB Print, 1422 yards
Needles: Addi Turbo circs, US size 6 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US size 2 for the ribbing
Mods: Only 6 decreases on the sleeves, because going the full 10 as called for by the pattern would have made the sleeves way too long; ended mitered knitting approximately 1 inch sooner than called for by the pattern
Satisfaction with end product:  Quite happy indeed.  Now if it will just get cold enough in Atlanta to wear it.

By the way, here’s the link to my Ravelry project page.

Glacier 7I was working from the paper book (Interpretations 5) rather than the e-book, and I was a little flummoxed when the pictures of the tunic showed ribbing at the bottom edge, but no instructions for the ribbing were included in the book.  Because of the way the garment is constructed, stitches for said ribbing had to be picked up after the rest of the garment was finished.  A post in the Ravelry Interpretations forum quickly resulted in a private message from Interpretations pattern support with the missing instructions.  Kudos for the prompt response!

The yarn is some deeeeeep stash that I bought at Stitches South in 2010.  It’s actually a wool/nylon sock yarn, and I had something like 1600 yards of it.  It was a bulk purchase in an absolutely HUGE skein.  Over the years, I’d occasionally pull it out and look at it, then put it back because I just couldn’t imagine what I was going to make with 1600 yards of fingering weight sock yarn.  Finally, this tunic pattern came along: a perfect match.  So, the moral of the story is don’t despair!  Even the oldest yarn in your stash will find its project.  Eventually.

Posted in Finished object, FO Fridays, Knitting

Freshly Finished: Out of My Head Shawlette

100_4988 (2)Once upon a time I was not a shawl person. That changed. Behold the latest finished shoulder warmer:

Pattern:  Out of My Head Shawlette by Mona Mono

Yarn:  Cherry Tree Hill Broad Band Supersock Silk in African Grey, 354 yds; Cascade Heritage Sock in Real Black, 132 yds

Needles:  Addi Turbo Lace, US Size 6

Satisfaction with end product:  LOVE!  It’s colorful and lightweight and so versatile.

I’d been holding onto that Cherry Tree Hill yarn for a while, waiting for just the right inspiration.  The Out of My Head pattern was exactly suited to my internal vision for this yarn.  Because I wanted to use every single yard, I kept knitting in 100_4989 (2)stockinette with the established increases long after the pattern called for beginning the lace.  Once I reached the last color change, then I started the lace edging.  The Cherry Tree ran out about halfway through the lace; I was expecting that and pulled out some leftover Heritage Sock to finish up the edging and bind off.  I think it worked out just fabulously.  The extra knitting  made the finished shawl an extremely long crescent shape, one that can be wrapped around me completely and tied in the back for an effortlessly wearable colorful accessory that also keeps my shoulders warm in an overly air-conditioned office.

You can find my Ravelry project page here, with lots of other pictures.

Posted in Crochet, Finished object

A blanket for a friend

I finally finished that damn blanket that I’ve been making for, um, over four years…

Orange Sampler Afghan 1It started out as a way to use up skeins of yarn that had sat in my stash forever because there was no way I was using them to make anything I would wear. I mean, I like orange, but I don’t wear orange, generally speaking. So I decided a patchwork crocheted sampler afghan was the perfect way to get rid of… I mean, put to good use all this bulky orange yarn that had been sitting here unused and unloved for close to ten years.

So I made 11 squares.  And they sat around my craft room, waiting for the last square to be completed.  They sat around my craft room for four years.  A good portion of that time, they sat on the floor, just like this.  Waiting.

100_4674 (2)But when one of the dogs started thinking they were her personal cozy space, I picked them up off the floor and stacked them on a table. Where they waited again.

And waited.

And waited.

In January, I was in California for my annual girls’ weekend.  The husband of one of my dearest friends is suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and all the rest of the unpleasantness that goes along with cancer treatment.  And that’s when it struck me: this blanket belongs to him.  So I came home and finished the last square.

And then that blanket sat around again while I finished up rehearsals and performances for Old Love.  And started and finished a cardigan for me, because I’m a selfish bitch.  But I finally sewed the squares together last week, took a few photos, and now I’m ready to send it off.  I’m holding this blog entry until I receive word from my friend that they’ve received the package.

Peter Blanket 1

Peter Blanket 4

Peter Blanket 7

Pattern: Sampler Afghan by Darla Sims, 12 selected squares
Yarn: Rowan Plaid, colorway 154 Spicy, 7 skeins; Patons North American Shetland Chunky, colorway 03520 Russet, 7 skeins; a total of 1610 yards
Hook: Boye, size K
Size: Roughly 36 inches by 48 inches, just big enough to cover one’s lap and legs
Satisfaction with end product: I like it. It’s cozy and warm and machine washable. I hope they like it. (And yes, I washed it to get rid of any dog hair.)  Click here for the Ravelry project page.

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

New FO: V-Neck Cardigan

Ravelry sometimes chooses my next project for me.  Such was the case when the Vogue Knitters group decided that, for 2018, we should knit pattern #18 from any Vogue Knitting magazine.  As it happened, I had a couple of #18s in my queue, so I picked one and cast on.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 1

Pattern: #18 V-Neck Cardigan by Anniken Allis, from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2016
Yarn: Naturally Caron Country, colorway 0017 Claret, roughly 750 yards (4 skeins and maybe 20 or 30 yards from a fifth skein to finish the button band)
Yarn notes: Super splitty, and definitely not an Aran weight. More like a DK or sport weight. Discontinued. I wouldn’t buy more even if it weren’t because the splitty nature was a real pain. But it knit up with nice stitch definition that made the lace pop.
Needles: Addi circulars, US 6
Buttons: Resin buttons from stash, purchased at a Stitches South booth so long ago I can’t remember the vendor
Mods: No waist shaping; shortened sleeves by 1 inch; shortened body by 7 inches. My gauge was slightly larger than what the pattern calls for, so a little bit of math resulted in casting on for the 38” and expecting to get the 39.5”. My bust is 37”, and the pattern calls for 2-3″ of ease, so we’re good there.
Satisfaction with end product: I love it. I’ve already worn it to work. It’s perfect for this cool spring weather, even if it is sort of an autumn color. It will be useful when autumn rolls around again, of course.  By the way, here’s the link to the Ravelry project page.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 2

The knitting of this little cardigan was a bit of a chore. The body to the yoke is all one piece; the sleeves are knitted separately and joined to the body at the yoke; then the whole thing is knitted as one piece.  I got to the sleeve/yoke join and was merrily knitting and decreasing along.  Nearing the end of the decreases for the shoulder, I suddenly noticed the front edges between the lace charts weren’t matching up: one was considerably wider than the other.  Vogue errata, grah! On the VK site, I found the error.  Unfortunately, to fix it, I had to rip back nearly a week’s worth of knitting, all the way back to the joining of the sleeves, and start that whole section again.  Frustrating.  But I may have finally learned to check EVERY SINGLE VOGUE PATTERN for errata before casting on.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 4

Another issue with the pattern is it doesn’t really explain how to manage the continued decreases across the lace once the lace charts meet up at the top of the shoulder.  So I muddled through by studying the magazine photos thoroughly, and then decreasing across the front edge charts and maintaining the stitch count by doing plain stockinette when I didn’t have enough stitches to make the yarn over and its accompanying decrease.  It worked out, so I was happy about that.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 6

The last real struggle was with picking up the stitches for the button band and neck edge.  Because I shortened the cardigan by 7 inches, the pattern instructions for how many stitches to pick up went right out the window.  So what I did was fall back on the standard method when you don’t know how many stitches you need.  I picked up 3 stitches for every four rows as follows: 89 from cast on edge along right front edge to marker, knit according to pattern to next marker, from marker pick up 89 down left front edge to cast on edge.  Perfect!

And now, one last photo.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 3
The cheesecake shot