Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Na Craga Cardigan: Part III

The continuing saga of my Na Craga-inspired cardigan.

Once the sleeves were knit, I picked up the left front stitches from their holder, picked up and knit the stitches under the left arm (the stitches added with the flat section of the sleeve), picked up the back stitches from the yarn holding them, picked up and knit the stitches under the right arm, then picked up the right front stitches from their holder. In picking up and knitting the stitches under the arm, I again used the FLAK pattern's recommended three stitches in every four (which, as discussed in the previous post, I shouldn't have). The result was far more stitches than necessary for the circumference I wanted.

One of the advantages of the FLAK method of construction is that you can try on the sweater as you knit. Unfortunately, my longest circular needle at that time was 40 inches, and anyone slightly larger than 40 inches in circumference attempting to try on the sweater loses stitches right and left. I realized that before I lost too many and gave up trying to check the fit. (Another mistake I won't make again. I now have a longer circular needle, so losing stitches while fitting a sweater won't be an issue.) Confident in my math and measurements (see first post), I knit on, finally reaching the ribbing.

When the ribbing was finished, I knit the neckband. I tried the sweater on the judge the length of the neckband, but my husband, who took the photo below, didn't comment on the sleeves or the circumference. (Have I mentioned that, although great with details at work, he's pretty oblivious to them at home?)

After finishing the neckband, all that remained were the button band and buttonhole band. I tried the sweater on after I finished knitting it, but before sewing on the buttons. Since I took the photo standing in front of a mirror, I could see the problems with the sleeve and the circumference. 
The lovely pewter buttons I bought for this sweater have not yet been sewn on. I intend to rip back to the start of the sleeves and re-knit it. I just haven't been able to face all that ripping.

The sweater was a surprisingly fast knit. I started it on 12 January and finished on 11 February. If I'd knit a sweater of the proper circumference, I'd have finished several days sooner.

The moral of this sad saga is to start with reliable measurements---measurements taken by someone who knows what they should be measuring---and check the fit as you go, even if doing so is tricky. And if something looks like it might not be right, stop and double check.

If not, you may end up with a sweater large enough for your brother-in-law, if only he'd wear that color.

The photographs were taken at various times of day and in different lighting. The third photo (the one of the neckband) shows the sweater's color accurately.


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