Ok, so this post is a bit of a cheat. As I have mentioned, I have been a touch busy and my knitting has been focused on ‘Granny’s Garden’ and the stress sock I mentioned in my last post. So I thought I would give a mid-project report on my purple cardi that I haven’t touched since term kicked off.
Knitted out of Rowan “calmer” (DK, 75% cotton, 25% microfibre) bought in last year’s Franklins (my LYS) summer sale – it is based on my first ever cardi.
This first cardi was a disaster in yarn substitution, that resulted in a whole project frog (because I don’t have a Quasimodo style hump and so didn’t need the back to have the room to fit one). It led to my first ever make-it-up-as-you-go-along (but keep meticulous notes) project.
I love that cardi, but I lacked knitter-knowledge about how to care for it.
I started by hand-washing it (and squeezing the water out by using towels and my body weight). Annoyingly it took so long to dry (as I was scared about putting it on a radiator), that it would smell slightly damp when worn.
I then went the other way and machine washed it on a 40 degree wash. Finally I have settled on actually using the 30 degree wool cycle, which unsurprisingly is the best fit. So far so good, but when I stumbled across a ball of the same yarn in a LYS I was saddened to realise that the cardi had lost colour, bounce and softness in my care. So I did what any knitter would do, I am making a new, similar one in a different colour!
The waist decreases went well and I was pleased to see how much nicer they were compared to the original (nope, I’m not going to show you – yes they were that sloppy and a girl has some pride!).
Feeling clever, I decided to have a go at improving the fit around my boobs by using short-row darts to create a pocket of extra fabric in the appropriate place.
After a little trial and error, I managed to get an even increase and made me a little booby pocket. But (and we all knew there was a ‘but’ lurking here somewhere), while trying it on to check the armpit to shoulder length I realised that frogging time was coming. The first issue was that as the yarn had such good stitch definition, the line of increases stood out like a scar which created an odd zig-zag across the front.
In theory the darts worked, in theory they did allow the cardi to have a nicer fit across my body as there was no stretching over my boobs to spoil the drape line. But, if the darts moved, even a slight bit, even by a shrug of my shoulders, then they became freaky little puckers of fabric.
It looked even more stupid when the cardi was allowed to fall open and suddenly the darts became screamingly obviously odd. On the plus side, I did catch it before I finished the back, on the downside I did have to frog 50 rows (including my armpit shaping) *sigh*. So I think this will be more a spring cardi than an autumn cardi afterall.
I haven’t given up on the idea of darts (as they did work when in the right place), but I think I will only try it again on a jumper with a yarn with a halo (ie slightly fuzzy) to hide the line.
Anyone else tried to do darts? Are they worth it, or has everyone else also ended up frogging them?