After a day of rain, windy sweater weather has returned to the Bay Area, a good reminder that I had never gotten around to posting pictures of the China cardigan after I finished it. Why, you ask? because I was in no hurry to pose modeling it. Don't get me wrong, I have worn the cardigan in public (in knitting class, even) but the photographs where I take the place of the Rowan model don't do much for either China or myself. Hence the photos on the hanger, a much better option at this point.
To recap: China is a pattern from Rowan magazine, issue #28. The pattern, by Kim Hargreaves, is still available from the Rowan site. Even though Rowan is notorious for pulling its yarns out of the market at a maddening pace, Felted Tweed, the yarn called for, is still being sold in yarn shops.
So much for the stats. Now for the finished sweater; I love the design, I love the wide self-border in seed stitch, I love the collar. I love the feel of the yarn, I love its tweediness...but I am not too fond of how it behaves once knitted. You see, felted tweed is a blend of wool and viscose. The viscose gives it its light weight and its softness, but to my taste, a little bit more heft would be a good thing. It would help the cardigan fall right upon my shoulders. As it is, I spend a good amount of time adjusting that shoulder line when I put the sweater on. I also discovered that felted tweed isn't all that warm. It adds a light layer which is pleasant inside a building, but I wouldn't grab it for a stroll out and about, even in California, even in the Springtime. Besides, if I grabbed it, the wrinkles would probably show. That's another side effect of viscose.
Enough of blaming the yarn: I am also annoyed at myself for not adding another inch to the length. I wanted boxy. What I got is the usual, riding up in the back, result. It would have been so easy to fix that. I should have been a bit more finicky and not followed the pattern so blindly.
I am pleased with the two changes I made, however: I knitted the set in sleeves from the top, with short rows, and got that neat "seam" at the armhole as my reward. And I modified the collar instructions to incorporate the neat tricks taught by Maureen Mason-Jamieson. She teaches them in a terrific class called "Collar Obedience Training." She also wrote about them in two recent articles published in "Knitters." These modifications resulted in a not-too skimpy collar that looks good on the inside and out.
I have a few leftover skeins of Felted Tweed but I am puzzled over how to put them to good use. Maybe a baby sweater? A couple of scarves? I truly love the tweedy color line and the cozy feel of this yarn, but it just seems a bit too flimsy for the kind of sweater I enjoy wearing.
A brief "Corner to Corner" update: I absolutely love this project. Why did I ever judged it to be boring? I am hooked. At around row #200, I finally manage to commit the lace pattern to memory. I still carry the chart along but only as a security blanket. In my heart of hearts, I know where each double decrease and yarn over belongs, and I am only using the row counter for positive reinforcement. I haven't figured out how long I want the final rectangle to be. The instructions suggest 60". We'll see.
If I can snatch myself away from the airy kid mohair, I'll return to the mitered jacket. I had set that one aside to resolve gauge issues, but it appears that I didn't have to worry. To quote a favorite song (bonus point if you can identify it), Oh well! we'll catch up some other time...