Crochet, knitting, astronomy & life in general.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A beautiful cabled sweater

My last couple of posts have been real downers, so I think I'll have to write about something super awesome and happy. How's about a new sweater that I absolutely LOVE. Way back in March, I started the Cable Luxe Tunic from Lion Brand, and I just finished knitting it, weaving in the ends and blocking it about a week ago. And it turned out wonderfully... really, I couldn't be more happy with it!

Before I get into the long technical details of how I made this sweater, I'll just say that it was knit with 3.75 skeins of Araucania Nature Wools Solid in the smoky purple colourway. It's a very nice yarn to knit with and the finished product isn't too itchy, even though it's 100% wool. One complaint would that even skeins in the same dye lot didn't have the same range of light to dark, some having very saturated dye and others with a smaller gradient. Not a big deal, I guess... it certainly felt organic and unpredictable.

Now, I made a LOT of changes from the original pattern. The thing is worked more or less in one piece, starting with the cabled yoke which is worked flat with the two short ends sewn together. Then, stitches are picked up for the body and arms, which are knit downwards, and then more stitches are picked up from the other side of the yoke to knit up a collar. The first change I made was to knit these picked-up pieces in the round instead of flat.

For the body, I knit the back up to where the armhole shaping ended, put it on waste yarn and then knit the front to the same spot and simply joined them together on a circular needle. This meant I didn't have to pay as much attention to keeping my gauge even or pay as much attention to the waist shaping. The fact that the pattern says to knit the front and the back flat and then seam them together actually seems pretty retarded to me. I also did the sleeves in the round, using the magic loop technique for the first time. All this meant was that the only seam I had to sew was under the arms. Woohoo!

I also added a considerable amount of shaping. The original pattern actually calls for increases to make it look more like a dress or something, and I wanted it to look form-flattering. I decreased 16 stitches for the waist, and then increased 12 stitches for the hips, skipping three rows between each decrease round. I did this in the reverse stockinette section under the arms, and decreases barely show. I also decreased 20 stitches for each arm to have a fitted sleeve, and did 2x2 ribbing at the end of the sleeves and at the hips. The original pattern just has a rolled hem. Finally, instead of the garter stitch collar, I did a k2 p3 ribbing, decreased every other p3 section every 6 rows until it was 2x2 ribbing.

In conclusion, my sweater is way more awesome and pretty than the original pattern!