Not the best photos, but the cream of the 20 or 30 I took. Black is sooooo hard to photograph, especially in a dark bathroom with a mirror that seems fine, but every time I futz with the photo settings, I find fuzz and spots :P.
Details: Cardigan for Arwen, from Interweave Knits Winter 06, by Kate Gilbert
Reclaimed 100% cotton, black.
Gauge swatch got stated gauge with 5mm (US8) needles.
Due to the growth factor of cotton, and the fact that my “wingspan” was half way between the smallest and second smallest sizes, I went down to the smallest size.
After a heavy steam & pins block:
Then, after wearing it for a couple of days:
I think it’s coming into it’s own. The steam block gave me breathing room, and extra length (it’s now 13.5″ from the underarms, instead of the 12″ I knit it), and with wearing it can now easily go over sleeves. The hood got drapier too – but that’s fine, I like my hoods big and drapey!
Visible – I lengthened the hood an inch, because a comparison with my favourite fleece hoodie suggested it would be tight otherwise. I also tightened the cuffs of the sleeves by a little over an inch by adding 4 more short rows to the sleeves and taking out 8 straight rows in the middle of each (one cable repeat). I left the upper arm width the same, since it’s 2″ bigger than my upper arm measurement (sigh, I used to have muscles!), but with the inelasticity of the cotton I think it could have done with a little more to make getting it on over shirts easier.
Not-so-visible – I started with a crochet-provisional-cast-on and then knit up the hems as I came to them (leaving the last stitch near the side seams free to make seaming easier). I didn’t change it to knitting in the round for two reasons – one, because I thought the cotton could use an extra bit of structure to keep it from creeping indefinitely, and two, because I like the gratification that comes from finishing each piece – it seems to go faster that way than knitting everything at once. I’m not afraid of seaming. I used a twisted German cast-on for the cable panels at the front instead of backwards loop (mostly because I couldn’t get the backwards loop even over that number of stitches). I tried two different “provisional” cast-ons for the sleeves (see earlier post!), and the figure-8 definitely was the better way to go (although the cabled part still wasn’t a walk in the park) – this way I could graft the cuff directly instead of picking up the stitches then grafting them (smoother finish to make turning back the cuffs look nice – theoretically), and I could also do an easy 3-needle bindoff for the bottom of the sleeves instead of mattress stitching head-to-tail stitches. On the second sleeve, I increased one stitch after the shoulder bind off, so that the back-sleeve seam, which eats up a stitch, wouldn’t cause a bubble compared to the front which has no seam.
Lots of little tweaks, some successful, some not quite so much. But I’m very pleased with the result! On top of that, who doesn’t need a black cardigan?