Wrapped in Red

One of my goals was to complete the Effortless Cardigan.  I love cardigans (I think I’ve said that before) and this cardigan is especially fun because of the long front pieces you can wrap around.  I wanted to knit this in alpaca yarn (my current favorite fiber) and my local store had just enough Paca Tweed by Plymouth Yarns in a gorgeous red wine color (I later learned that Paca Tweed is discontinued so I got lucky).

The yarn is aran weight and the pattern called for worsted.  This resulted in the fit being fine but the length being longer than the pattern called for.  This suited me just fine because I was feeling like the body was too short for my tastes.  I feel like the sleeves are too short even though I knitted them an inch longer than called for, but I can’t be bothered to undo all my ribbing.

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Speaking of ribbing…this cardigan had so much of it. I didn’t realize how long it was taking me to do the ribbing until I got to the collar part. Nearly 5 hours for 18 rows of 186 stitches. The bottom ribbing had over 200 stitches, and each side had 46 stitches. Needless to say, I am taking some time to rest my wrists and shoulders before tackling my next knitting projects (hats and cowls for gifts).

Blocking this was…interesting. Blocking always makes my projects larger than intended even when I am on target with gauge. I don’t overly manhandle my knitting either; I roll the project onto itself once to get out as much water as possible, then wrap it in towels and step on it a few times to get out excess water. I never wring or stretch the project while it is wet, and yet it still manages to come out larger than anticipated.  Maybe I should knit a size smaller next time?

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It’s also a bit of a pain to block projects when you have cats.  I love my four legged babies, and Kulin is so good and leaves my projects alone.  But Kuro…if you don’t watch him, he will try to eat the pins and in so doing snags his claws on the stitches.  The night I first blocked this project, he kept me up half the time being a pain in my bum.  The next night I used our drying rack since the cardigan was dry enough not to stretch out.  Kuro has nearly ruined three projects this way.  Our spare bedroom doesn’t get air circulating enough to dry projects, and we hate locking him out of the bedrooms.  Guess I’ll have to keep finding ways to get him to behave (none of the usual techniques work on him).

I still love wearing cardigans, but I think I am done with knitting them. I still have 3 more sweaters on my to-do list but thankfully they are all pullovers.

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