I am discovering that blogging provides just the right amount of incentive for taking a project all the way to completion. Pre-blog, I could procrastinate for months before sewing buttons on a cardigan. Forget months -- the Enchanted Forest cardigan sat nearly finished for two full years before I got around to knitting the collar, and another two years or so before I finally sewed buttons on it. In the meantime I hunted for the right buttons, bought them, lost them, bought a new batch, sewed it on, and finally wore the cardigan. Needless to say, I found the first batch of buttons soon afterwards.
Post-blogging, I am a reformed procrastinator. Kind of. It took me a while to return to the Grace cardigan, but once I did, I knitted the two sleeves in two consecutive days; on the third day, I seamed the cardigan and on the fourth, I sewed the buttons on. On day Five, I took my cardigan out for a spin.
The stats: Grace, pattern designed by Kim Hargreaves, from Rowan #27. I used the yarn called for, Rowan All Seasons Cotton, which is really a 50-50 blend of cotton and acrylic. The cardigan took exactly ten skeins. In order to get gauge, I had to go down to #5 needles and I followed the instructions given for size Small in order to end up with a fairly generous Medium. Ah, the alchemy of knitting...
Final thoughts on the pattern: I am partial to Kim Hargreaves's sense of proportions and her taste for slightly shaped waists. You can't tell from the photographs, but the body has a slight hourglass shape which is flattering for just about anybody, and very easy to execute. Since the yarn is a light worsted weight, the shaping really helps to prevent that baggy effect I often get with basic cardigan shapes.
That said, I am reminded once more that worsted weight of all kinds, even a light cotton blend, is never all that flattering on me. I couldn't resist this yarn when I stumbled upon it in the yarn shop. The peachy pink attracted me like a magnet. The color spoke of beaches at sunset, of the softness of a summer evening. I kept it in my stash for two years before settling on the right pattern for it. A cardigan is just right for this weight. The All Seasons Cotton booklet features a few patterns for close-fitted sweaters and sleeveless tops, but these were clearly not meant for me. Besides its gauge, this yarn also has a feel that makes it just right for sportswear.
Still on a finishing roll, I'd rather not cast on for something new right now. I am making good progress on the Learn-To-Knit afghan squares -- another batch of five squares and I'll be done. This needs to be finished by October in order to meet the deadline for the current afghans For Afghans drive. I have also made a dent in the never-ending log cabin blanket: only four more logs before I add a slim edging and bind off! Since this one was knit on size 3 needles and should take a smidgen less than one year from start to finish, I consider it a pretty fast project by my own, very skewed sense of time.