Painless Veggies and Knitting, Too

I just finished another sweater.  This one is called the Artichoke Sweater designed by Marly Bird.  It was a fun sweater to knit up, basically knit in the round from the bottom up so that there are no side seams or shoulder seams to sew up to finish the sweater.  Those are MY kind of sweaters.

The pattern called for Light weight yarn but I decided to go with Cascade 220 yarn, which is worsted weight.  I’m always cold so I figure if I’m going to knit up a sweater, it might as well be one that will keep me toasty.  However, since I made the substitution to worsted, that meant that I had to make a few modifications.  I was getting gauge horizontally but not vertically.  In cases like that, I think you have to decide if you want to keep tinkering with things to get it as “spot-on” as possible or if you are going to go more with finding the “fabric” that you will be pleased with.  I decided to go for the latter.  Plus I think it is easier to make adjustments vertically when measurements are given along the way (and this pattern provides plenty of those as you knit along so that you can double-check yourself) than it is to revise your knitting for width.  All that to say, I switched to a Size 7 needle, cast on, and started merrily off.

Now I had started this sweater as part of a class offered at my local knitting shop.  Our instructor had us do the sleeves first.  Then we went back to following the pattern as the designer had it laid out, casting on for the body of the sweater.  If you look carefully at the picture above, you’ll see that the border of the body of my sweater (at the left of the picture) is not the same as the cable border of the sleeve (at the right of the picture).  There is an extra “bar” between each cable on the sweater border.  Quite a few of us in our class made this mistake, including our instructor.  I THINK now that you are supposed to work the sleeve border using the 8-stitch repeat all around the sleeve as it shows in the chart.  Frankly, I don’t know WHAT you’re supposed to do with the bottom of the sweater.  If you look at the picture in the pattern, it does NOT have the rows of stockinette stitch between each twisted cable.  It looks just like the cabling pattern of the sleeves.  But if I read the chart, it sure looks like those extra rows would be in there.  I guess to make it look like the pattern picture, start the beginning of your row with the K2, P2 pattern on the right side (and conversely the P2, K2 on the wrong side) and then go into your 8-stitch cable pattern which is designated the “8-st repeat” – Sleeve” and repeat that part all the way across until you get to the last 4 stitches and then do your normal ending to keep it in pattern.

The pattern called for you to work the body even in stockinette stitch until it measured a certain length.  I shortened that length (this is where I made one of my vertical adjustments) and only knit it to 14 inches before dividing for the armholes.  I was able to check the length of my sleeves as I went along and didn’t have to make any adjustments for those.  When we got to the yoke, I made another vertical adjustment and worked the stockinette stitch one less inch that my size called for before starting the yoke chart.  Since my gauge was fewer stitches per inch vertically, my yoke was longer top to bottom than the sweater in the pattern picture but I was not unhappy with the look.  If I had wanted to shorten it, I could have left off some of the bottom rows of the chart, prior to the first twist in the cabling and perhaps done less ribbing at the top of the yoke.  Either way, it certainly is a beautiful yoke, isn’t it?

There seemed to be a lot of confusion on the Errata for Row 25 of the Yoke pattern among the knitters working on the sweater up on Ravelry.  I found this post from the designer to be the most helpful to me:

Row 25 (decrease row): Start the row as established thus far…DecC3F, DecC3B; rep from to last 3 sts, p1, k2.
DecC3F: slip 2 sts to cn hold in front; p1 from LHN; ssk from cn. 
DecC3B: slip 1 st to cn, hold in back; k2tog from LHN; p1 from cn 
However, remember that for me, I started my rows with a k2, p2 and ended them with a p2, k2 so in the helpful post above, I would repeat to the last 4 stitches and then p2, k2.

Oh yes, here’s a little tip for the Sleeves:
When you get to the finishing section and join your underarm seams (I used a 3-needle bind off), I think you’ll find that you will have two holes (one on each side of the underarm seam).  Everyone in our class ended up with these holes (the sizes of the holes varied).  I left a long tail of yarn when I finished the seaming and basically “darned” the hole shut.  On the other side, where I didn’t have any tail of yarn, I grabbed some spare yarn and worked it in, weaving it back and forth among the stitches on both sides of the hole to close it up and then weaved it in a little more to hide the loose ends.
The final order of business was to pick up stitches and knit a button band and a buttonhole band.  The designer mentioned up on Ravelry that her original design did NOT have these bands but the magazine folks added it to the design when they published the pattern.  I found (and again, perhaps this was because of my different vertical gauge) that because they have you placing the actual yarnovers for the buttonholes in the first row of the band and then working seven rows after this, that it put the buttonholes way over to the left of my button band.  I would definitely wait until Row 3 of the Button Band to do the hole placement next time.
For now, I just left it as was and am considering it a “Design Element” otherwise known as a “quirk.”
All in all, it was a fun project to do and resulted in a comfy sweater that is perfect for cool Spring evenings and will be one of my “go-to” sweaters for Fall.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • I met Marly for the first time yesterday at Recycled Lamb, my LYS and place of part time employment. We just moved our location to across the street from the site occupied for MANY years. We now have 4 classrooms and it is SO nice! I like the sweater and tahnk you for the corrections. I always appreciate these corrections because it is amazing how many patterns have errors. Hope all is well with you (:

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