January 07, 2012
Okay. G has the girls outside on this beautiful day. Let's do this!
The other day Ann was about to blog and she told me she was tongue tied and I said just blog the knits. I'm taking my own advice. It's not that I don't have a lot to say, it's the opposite - I'm not sure I could reign it all in or be in anyway coherent if I don't have a straight forward agenda. The perils of living with an almost 4 and 18 month old - I don't talk to many adults.
Which is a good segue to my first topic: Ravelry. I have been pretty outspoken in the past about Ravelry - I do think it had a large impact on knitblogging - and not in the best way. And I find the whole forum thing pretty scary and not at all necessary. (I was on a few infertility forums a long time ago and I don't care who you are and what you have to say those things get nasty fast.) But I have completely embraced Ravelry when it comes to pattern support. I only have to knit the sleeves on my third sweater in the past four months and they have all been relatively wonderful knits in no small part to all the notes and comments made about the sweaters on Ravelry. That searching by helpful notes? FANTASTIC. It's like having your own old fashioned knit-a-long right there at your fingertips for just about any project you can imagine. I'm sure most of you already know this, but I felt like I had to go on the record since in the past I've been kind of negative about the site. Consider me slapped on the head.
For instance, there's no way I would've knit Aidez without the help of Ravelry. And I certainly wouldn't have knit it in Quince & Company Osprey, that's for certain! Oh my god I LOVE this yarn!
It's light and soft and bulky but not too bulky and so comfortable to wear. Great colors - in fact I just ordered a ton of their Chickadee (sport weight) for a fair isle sweater I'm planning. I would make a million sweaters with this yarn if I could. While I had heard of the yarn, it was the Aidez's I saw on Ravelry that used it that convinced me to try. I'm so glad I did.
Got the yarn and swatched! I've become such a swatcher - who knew? It's easy and you get to play with the yarn and figure out how your fabric is going to feel and then you can have confidence in your numbers! WIN WIN! Again, I know, you already know this but I feel like I have to share. My gauge was pretty off but I crunched all the numbers and ended up with the 40" size which was supposed to give me the ease I wanted given what other knitters had said. I'd say I'm just shy of a 36" bust these days.
I knit the sleeves first and they went super fast. Knit the fronts, again super quick then cast on for the back. I decided immediately to change up the cables as they were written. I swapped out the Right and Left Cross-Cables, which I found to be really loosey goosey, for the Ear of Corn cable. Also, I felt like this substitution gave the back a symmetry with the fronts since as written there are no matching cables on the fronts and the back.
The sweater all came together really really fast. God Bless 10.5s! (Although I don't think I could knit with them all the time. The bigger the needle the more my hands hurt after knitting awhile.) I actually got to wear the sweater to Rhinebeck! A Rhinebeck sweater! Can't remember the last time that happened.
As much as I loved knitting this sweater, loved the yarn and have honestly become a little bit obsessed with it (ask Ann!), I feel like the pattern is inherently flawed. One of the things that disappoints me about this sweater is that the sizing is WAY off. If you look through Ravelry and if happened to see the many Aidezs I saw at Rhinebeck - and I talked to a few knitters about this - is that the sweater hangs way too far open for my tastes. Even though I added maybe 4" of ease to the sweater, it doesn't hang close over my boobs. I want the sweater to hang close over my boobs. I've come to believe that the cables pull in so much that there's no way the sweater has a chance - unless you do what many others have done and knit different size fronts than backs. For instance, if I were to knit this sweater again, I'd definitely knit at least the 44" fronts and the 40" back. That's kind of ridiculous isn't it?
I would love to knit this again, in the Osprey. I absolutely LOVE the idea of the construction of this sweater. The fact that you knit the buttonbands as you go and then extend them beyond the fronts to create the collar is fantastic! I love the look of the sweater - if it closed a bit more. And I really like the combination of sweater and yarn. When and if I knit it again I will be swatching extensively to be sure that I have enough stitches/cables to make the thing hang closer.
All in all a satisfying project because knitting it gave me the confidence to go on to my next sweater. A sweater that is possibly the best thing I've ever knit. I'll tell you about it next time! Thanks for reading!
PS - don't you just love my model?! She was a gift to me from Ann and she's just about my measurements. A very happy coincidence and I love her.
Posted by Cara at January 7, 2012 02:47 PM
Oh hooray!! It looks so fantastic on you, Cara - loved seeing it on you in person at Rhinebeck. In fact, I hadn't flipped over this pattern the way so many had, until I saw it on you (and now that you mention it, it was probably party b/c of the too open front). But once I saw it on you, I got it in my head. I just might have to make one.
Gotta say I am super-happy that we are friends on Rav now. ;)
Posted by: earthchick at January 7, 2012 03:42 PM
I'm so glad you're still blogging every once in a while, I missed you! (I almost feel like I'm on the radio...long time reader, almost first time commenter.) That is a beautiful sweater and makes me long to try cables - which for reasons known only to little green goblins scare me, lol. I'm going to start with a smaller, seemingly easier, cable for my first. And...happy belated birthday!
Posted by: Erica at January 7, 2012 04:16 PM
Blog the knits, baby! Good advice. I look forward to seeing what you have been knitting.
Is that you in the last couple photos? Because I hardly recognized you. You look younger and perhaps thinner. Way to go, baby!
Posted by: kmkat at January 7, 2012 04:33 PM
That sweater is yummy! It's driving me nuts though - what does the black shirt say?
Posted by: Kathy at January 7, 2012 05:28 PM
The sweater is beautiful.
Posted by: Kristyn at January 7, 2012 05:50 PM
Oh - The sweater - it's really beautiful. So glad you're back. Do what you do - say what you say - - it's all fine.
Posted by: metta at January 7, 2012 06:12 PM
I actually LOVE the way it looks on you open. Wouldn't change a thing. Beautiful! Glad you are checking in and letting us know how wll you're doing. The girls are beautiful!
Posted by: Kelly at January 7, 2012 07:01 PM
This looked seriously fabulous on you when I saw you in it at Rhinebeck!
Posted by: Julia at January 7, 2012 07:45 PM
You, my dear, look marvelous! The sweater looks great and I'm very tempted by the yarn, given your accolades.
Posted by: margene at January 7, 2012 08:28 PM
It looks great on you. That sweater is on my to do list, but it hasn't made it to the top when I have had hungry needles.
Posted by: Donna at January 8, 2012 08:47 AM
Amazing. I think YOU more than the sweater. You look fabulous, Cara. And I do love your model!
Posted by: Vicki at January 8, 2012 11:41 AM
The sweater looks great! I love the Q&C endorsement, I have hemmed and hawed about getting some yarn from them - I guess I'll give it a go!
Posted by: June at January 8, 2012 01:06 PM
Hoorrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, you are back!!!!!!!!!!! I almost gave up checking but something made me do it!!!! The sweater is fabulous, too bad the pattern is poorly written. With your adjustments, the result looks great on you.
Posted by: Susanne at January 10, 2012 11:11 AM
That looks terrific on you! It's a fabulous color.
Posted by: Lorette at January 10, 2012 06:50 PM
Beautiful! Got to take a look at that yarn as well...
Posted by: Pstty at January 10, 2012 09:12 PM
Ah, neck-down, open-front styling! The best way to achieve a front that closes is to add stitches along the neckline edge - the usual increase rate is a stitch every other row. Work the new sts in pattern to suit. This increase rate makes a sorta high V-neck. Change the rate, the angle and depth of the V changes.
Another way to create a front that closes is to pick-up and knit in pattern of your choice along the entire front, short-rowing the dickens out of the lower portions an option. Works like a dream IF you want a band around your cardi.
Posted by: jdu at January 12, 2012 03:58 PM
The sweater looks great on you, but the sizing does seem odd. All of a sudden, I'm seeing lots of Quince & Co. yarns -- gotta try it! And I'm with you on the Ravelry forums -- even though I moderate one. But mine is the one for librarians, and we tend to talk about professional stuff, so the conversations are always very sane!
Posted by: janna at January 17, 2012 12:43 AM
I'm so glad you are blogging again. The girls are adorable. Thanks for writing about your Aidez. I've been wanting to knit that one so it's good to know about the fronts. I love Ravelry but sometimes it's a chore reading through the project notes. I would love to see some photos of your project spectrum blocks.
Posted by: Daisy at February 4, 2012 06:01 PM