Sunday, November 14, 2010

FO: Faux capelet cardigan

I just finished this cardigan that is loosely based on the Boho Blouse by Stephanie Japel. I liked that capelet-like look when I first saw the pattern, but I didn't think it was cape-y enough, and I thought the trim hit too high on the bust line. I wanted the sleeves longer, but I couldn't just keep knitting further until separating out the sleeves because I would end up with ginormous armholes. I ended up separating out for the sleeves at the normal place, casting on a few stitches for the body section, then continued knitting the sleeves flat with additional increases. I made the sleeves end at the same point where the body trim ends, but instead of sewing the sleeve sides together, I sewed them to the sweater body itself. This helps the sweater look a little more capelet-like.

The pattern as written calls for a very fast rate of increases on the yoke such that all the increases are completed by 4" of yoke. This would cause the upper part of the bodice to be too loose, which I didn't want. I did the more standard rate of increases. My yarn is a very textured wool blend that I bought on my Japan vacation, so I omitted the cable stitches in the pattern. Finally, I wanted a cardigan instead of a pullover.

That blurriness you see on the sweater is not due to my camera or your eyesight. I partially felted my sweater by accident. My sweater ended up a bit large when finished , so I decided I would soak it a tiny bit, then run it through the dryer to shrink it. I did try this first with my swatch, and it worked well. However, for the actual garment, I decided to try a longer drying time, and I was amazed by how much it felted and horrified by how much it shrank. Luckily, it was still quite damp, so some of the shrinkage was reversible. I ended up wearing it all day, dampness and all, so that it would dry and form to my own body's shape. I also kept tugging at the various hem parts all day to keep the length from shrinking, which must have looked odd indeed. Ah, the things we knitters will do.

In the end, it's a bit shorter than I would like, but the width fits nicely. I lost the lovely yarn texture, but I gained the soft felted fuzziness. I'm pretty happy with the end result.

I have a theory about why my garment kept growing in size. The yarn is heavily textured, and all the texture-y bits don't pull through the stitches easily so the stitches start off fairly tightly knit. As I handled the garment more and more, the little bits of texture worked their way through the stitches and opened them up and the gauge got bigger as did the sweater.


Anonymous said...

I love it. Tres chic!


Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

It's a lovely sweater and looks terrific on you ~ your mod as always are well taken. You are so right about felting - it's the exact opposite of knitting - because if you felt it too small there's generally no going back!

knitseashore said...

I'm so glad that your capelet didn't felt too much! I had that happen with a boiled-wool type cardigan that I made a couple of years ago. It was to be felted on purpose. Kept trying it on and it was too big, too big, too big, and then all of a sudden the sleeves shrunk! It's wearable but I don't love it as I'd hoped to.

Happy Thanksgiving!