Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cotton Candy Bobbles Cardigan

Someone recently complained that I always promise pictures of finished objects, but never deliver them - which is true and absolutely not good. I'm not sure I will be able to show all of the knitting I've finished since then but let me start with showing you the finished Cotton Candy Bobbles Cardigan that has been in several Yarn Along posts.
The cardi was my first Raglan piece and it was quite a challenge when it came to joining the sleeves. They were knit in the round and I already had a lot of stitches on my needle before adding those tubes to the whole piece. I nearly broke my wrists trying to knit the sleeve stitches, so I used three (or four?) circular needles to cover the length of the very long rows and magic looped the sleeve parts like I usually do when knitting in the round. This technique created a bit of uneven knitting at the needle junctions but that's better than stretched stitches and broken wrists...
The cardigan is a bit roomy around the armpits and upper arms, which leads to occasional bulking up in that area but that's ok. It's knitted in Cascade 220 wool, colourway "Tutu", a worsted weight and will therefore mostly been worn in Autumn and Winter, so a little bit more room around the arms might not be too bad when I want to wear blouse or a long-sleeved top underneath.
If you've read my Yarn Along posts, you know how much pain the curling of the stockinette parts gave me. A good blocking totally helped in that area but to be sure I added a crochet border (and for decorative reasons, too) which consists of double crochet stitches (or for US residents: single crochet) all around every hem. I thought that the lower edge could use even more reinforcement so I added another row of crochet which is a variation of the Bobble-shell Edging of lovely Lucy from Attic24. It looked so nice that I gave the neck opening the same treatment =)
I wanted to have a longer cardigan than the pattern suggested so I added a bit of length and another pattern repeat - which wasn't enough. I should have added two repeats but there was no way I could have faced another ripping back and I was slowly but surely running out of yarn! Eeek!! The front panels now had a couple of rows of plain garter stitch on top and just looked wrong. Luckily I had recently found little transparent butterfly buttons and decided to sew them on those garter stitch sections. Now tiny lovely butterflies dance around the bobbly vines and I'm pretty much in love with them.

The pattern originally suggested a big button for closing the cardigan but I didn't even have enough yarn left to create a button loop. Furthermore I would have found a button too much and too busy for an already very frilly cardigan. I then sewed on 4 hooks and eyes (and that was very fiddly and tedious work!) and find that solution very nice. It didn't turn out as neat as I would have liked, there's still a bit of a gap but I was definitely out of yarn by then and quite honestly very tired from all the deciding and trying out and what not... I hope I never have to darn this cardigan because I truly have no yarn left!! I even had to use spit-splicing in order to felt yarn scraps together and used every bit of fluffly pink fiber =) The hooks add a bit of weight to the front panels, maybe I should have used 4 small ones instead of 2 small ones and 2 rather big ones. Coulda, shoulda, woulda - I will leave it as it is now or I'll surely go nuts.

The pattern is the Bobble-Vine Jacket by Edie Eckman and per se very pretty and a good idea. I found the sizing a bit off (I knitted the smallest size and it's not really that small) and the chart was so small and blurry that I had to blow it up a couple of sizes on the copier. That didn't take care of the blurriness but helped a bit with the size. The sleeves are way too roomy although I cast on less stitches than the pattern said. I had to go up to the stated amount eventually though because I am too much of a rookie in knitting raglan-shaped cardigans and there was no way I could have altered the sleeves and raglan sections and still keep the bobbly pattern and neck shaping in order.

To sum it up: I was at the same time loving and doubting this cardigan during the whole process and when I tried it on before blocking it looked horrible and wonky. After blocking it I was so surprised and pleased and now I love this piece and look forward to wearing it on colder days =) Never, NEVER judge a piece before blocking!

2 comments:

  1. Oh my this is so beautiful!! such detail!! I think the colour and length are just perfect. Well done.

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