Sunday, November 05, 2006

Finished! and a Fall Day in Philly to Celebrate.

As promised, a long overdue FO, and, for all of those patient souls who visit this blog full o' unfinished objects, a beautiful fall day in Philly as the back drop for the momentous occasion.

Finished: Inky Blanket Cardigan
Pattern: Sarah Dallas Knitting
Fiber: Rowan Wool Cotton
(11 balls of 908 "Inky" and 1 ball of 903 "Misty")
Needles: size 8 Addi bamboo circular needles
Completed: October 21, 2006
Modifications: I modified a few things related the style of the cardigan, but not the shape. I added a contrast stripe to the left arm to mirror the stripe across the back panel and the stripe on the left front panel. I primarily added the arm stripe because I ran short of yarn (the pattern called for 10 balls of the MC for the size I was knitting and I ended up needing an extra ball) so I had to use a different dye lot for the upper section of the left arm. I thought adding in a stripe would put space (albeit a small one) between the two differing dye lots, which would make it less noticeable if the dye lots didn't match up. In the end, it turned out that the dye lots weren't different enough to be noticeable, but I ended up really liking the look of the extra stripe on the left sleeve. The only other purposeful mod to the pattern was that I made the collar all moss stitch, rather than the called-for garter stitch collar. I am just not a fan of garter stitch, and I wanted the collar to match the moss stitch detailing along the edges of the front panels.

For me, the unique details are the most important aspects of any knit pattern. The details are what make me choose to commit to a pattern. In the case of the Blanket Cardigan, it was the single stripe details in a contrasting color on the body of the sweater. I also really love the contrast color cuff edgings.

As far as my final satisfaction with the outcome of this project, I'd say I'm a bit mixed. The pattern itself was well-written and easy to follow. However, I knit the medium size and, surprisingly, I still found it on the overly large size in the end (and I am by no means a twig!). Granted, it *is* called a blanket cardigan, so I am fully congizant that it was meant to be a comfortable fit, but still, some portions of it just don't lay and hang as well as I would have liked. On the other hand, this sweater is *extremely* comfortable, and it makes for a perfect robe-like garment that I now habitually wrap myself in upon getting out of bed on cold mornings.

This project was made possible by the super-generosity of my sister and her husband, who purchased the sizeable amount of wool cotton needed for this knit over the summer. I am so grateful to them both for doing so, since it kept me preoccupied while my boyfriend was away excavating in France without me. I am all the more grateful because Rowan wool cotton is notorious for never being on sale *anywhere*, so without their intervention, I would have never been able to expand my fiber horizons to include it. It's sale yarn or no yarn, on this girl's measly grad student stipend. I enjoyed the awesome softness and cushiness of the wool cotton immeasurably while knitting with it. I will admit wholeheartedly, however, that I am 100 percent a pure wool kinda gal. I can appreciate such blends as Rowan's wool and cotton, but I really would prefer pure wool fiber (and something with a little tweedy-ness, really). The wool cotton was oftentimes just too slack-feeling and had that laziness about it that cotton fibers tend to have. I constantly felt like I had to make an effort to keep my stitches taut while I knit with it. That said, I enjoyed knitting with the wool cotton, and I *really* enjoy wearing it - no itch whatsoever!

I've also come to realize that this cardigan, while perhaps a little more roomy than I'd like on it's own, makes for a super-awesome layering piece with my favorite old green cargo jacket for extra warmth. I really love the look of the big moss stitch collar.

And an extra special thank you to my photographer (and, incidentally, my boyfriend) pictured below, who happily entertained the idea of partaking in an extended photo shoot for a knit item that involved galavanting all over Washington Square Park in an attempt to capture "the perfect pose."

And now for some gratuitous shots of beautiful Philly fall foliage.

I hope everyone else's Sunday was as colorful as mine.


Blogger Alison said...

Nice! That looks like a very comfy cardigan. I love the big collar, too.

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks great - and I know how soft and comfy it must be. Wool Cotton is one of my most favorite yarns. Thanks for sharing!

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, those colors are great - we're already way past peak here and all the leaves are gone. And the cardigan looks wonderful, especially in the little details!

7:16 AM  
Blogger ShannieKnitChic said...


7:51 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Gorgeous! It looks so comfortable and snuggly. And I love the small contrast details everywhere--they totally make the sweater. Hooray for new sweaters and for perfect fall days in Philly!

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the cardigan! It looks great!

We were in Philly on Saturday night and had a great time! It was gorgeous this weekend. :)

9:09 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Love the cardigan! And now I'm homesick for Philly. Blah.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Your sweater looks great! I've admired that one in the Sarah Dallas book. It seems like the perfect thing for a cool fall day.

I love the photos of Philly too!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sweater is beautiful. It looks comfortable and still really flattering. I also love your photo shoot!

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sweater turned out awesome, and we love the Autum in Philly pictorial. Can't wait to see you guys soon!

9:30 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

What a gorgeous post, and the Inky cardi is a great look. I can only imagine how it feels. Wool Cotton is great yarn!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blanket cardi is beautiful!
I can't tell you how happy I am that someone has actually knit this (and blogged about it)!
I bought the book because of the cover but haven't started yet. Now I will. Thank you.
BTW: I love your blog and will drop by regularly.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, it turned out very nice, indeed--great job! That cardigan has been bubbling around on my second-tier to-do list for a long time.

Lovely pix, too!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Cirilia said...

Okay, I hope you get email notification of this comment since I'm going back in the archives! I've really been enjoying your blog, you and Kate at Zeitgeist really make PA look great!

Anyhow, I have to make a plug for the yarn store I work at when I'm not in graduate school myself--Webs, aka A lot of people think it's a giant corporate-ish place but it's a family business run by a husband and wife. If you didn't need to know that, then you should know about the discount policy--it's 20% off of any full priced yarn purchase over 60 bucks, 25% off of 120. And TONS of sale and closeout yarn. Anyhow, we recently started carrying Rowan and when you're making enough for a sweater, it really makes sense to get it through Webs.

Okay, commercial over. I feel slightly dirty but it's truly awesome for po' grad students.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have this book and have looked at this pattern many times but this is the first one i've seen made up.

it's great to see it modeled and the pictures are fabulous. also an excellent review of the project. thanks for this.

the moss stitch collar is a brilliant improvement.

10:04 AM  

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