Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reluctant Sweater Set

The problem with the Sprinkle Lace Cardigan's low neckline has been solved, thanks to the generosity and ingenuity of several knitters on two different knitting group lists who offered suggestions after my last post. Suggestions ranged from varying degrees of major surgery to adding additional edging to the neckline or just wearing something else under it. Probably the most clever was to lace ribbon all the way around the neckline (instead of just as a tie, as suggested in the pattern) to gather and pull it up. Since that solution required the least effort, I decided to try that first... but I had already started a matching shell with the remaining cone of yarn. So I now have a beautiful sweater set:

Pattern: Sprinkle Lace Cardigan by Natalie Wilson
Yarn: 100% cashmere DK from Colourmart - color China Blue - approx. 400 gm
Needles: Denise US #8 and #7
Modifications: Additional crocheted edging on neckline; eliminated waist shaping on body but knit bottom 4" on larger needles

Pattern: based on Quick & Easy Shell by Kate Winkler
Yarn: 100% cashmere DK (see above) - approx. 180 gm
Needles: Denise US #8 and #7
Modifications: Added Sprinkle Lace pattern to match the cardigan

Here is a somewhat blurry picture of it on a reluctant model (but the only one available):

Despite all the crises, I am delighted with the final product. The advantage for me, the wearer, is that I get to feel how lovely and soft it is; everyone else just gets to see it.

I have learned a few lessons from this experience. One is to try on the item as y0u go. I didn't do that because I had allowed for shrinkage, and as long as the gauge was still on track I thought it would be okay. But that didn't allow for errors in the pattern or errors in following the pattern. If I had even tried it on just before doing the 3-needle bind-off at the shoulders, it would have been easy to make adjustments before assembling the whole sweater.

AND... I learned how to crochet!


AlisonH said...

It's beautiful!!

Judi P said...


Your sweater set looks great. Would you mind answering a question about the "tough love" technique? Am I right in understanding that you swatch, treat it to the tough love treatment (washing up liquid and hot water and dry in the dryer for 15 mins. and then air dry the rest of the way) and then measure your gauge? And so, as your post says, trying it on while knitting doesn't really work because it will change during the tough love treatment? I'm interested in giving this a try, but want to make sure I totally understand the concept!

Judi P in Cleveland

Reluctant Penguin said...

I wouldn't say precisely 15 minutes in the dryer... I got it fairly dry first and then put in the dryer on low - I don't remember how long but I checked it every few minutes. Remember that the sweater will take longer to dry than the gauge. It is definitely nerve wracking, but the final results are worth it if you have the guts to do it.