Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WIP - Windsor Cardi

Two weeks ago I came upon this cotton-acrylic blend in an absolutely smashing turquoise color. Alas, they had only one skein in the shop, but the owner checked with his other shop and arranged to bring me the last two skeins remaining there. I was so happy, the yarn looked so gorgeous and the perfect choice for the Windsor Cardi I wanted to knit for my daughter. A match made in heaven.
My first misgivings about the yarn came when I returned home - one of the skeins looked much smaller than the others. I measured them and found that I had actually only 270 g instead of 300 g. There was also absolutely no information about the yarn on the labels - no color number, no batch number, nothing. I could only hope that the skeins came from the same batch. Nevertheless to my unarmed eye they looked the same so I decided to knit them without alternating the skeins - I never alternate skeins with solid color yarns (but probably I should from now on?).

The pattern of Windsor Cardi is not difficult to understand and memorize, but for me it turned a bit difficult to follow. I mean I knew what I should knit, but I had to pay attention to every stitch, as I couldn't make my motor memory work with this lace. It often happened that an hour or so into knitting (and watching films - I can't knit without watching films or listening to audio books and I feel like I'm wasting my time when watching films without knitting :)) I would find that I've been knitting two neighboring columns the same part of the lace, instead of alternating them, as the pattern requires. I made the collage below to give courage to all those who might want to knit this cardigan and find a mistake - you can always unravel only the mistaken column and knit it locally, instead of unraveling all those long rows of tedious lace.

The smallest size of the cardi is 34 1/2" bust, but I wanted mine for 31" bust, so I experimented going down a size, based on the proportions between the given sizes.
For size XS (31" bust) I cast on 156 sts and knitted a rib for 22 rows. Then the decrease row reduced my stitches to 137 sts for the lace body (that is two less repeats of the chart, going down from size S). I did not attempt at waist shaping, as the lace is very stretchy and I chose to knit with a slightly positive ease at the waist and negative easy at the bust, hoping that the rib-like structure of the lace will take care of the shaping.
For the sleeves I cast on 58 sts for the rib, which were reduced to 51 sts for the lace body. I decided not to bother to knit them in the round, which is so much more slow and difficult to me and knitted them flat.
So far so good.
And then I came to adding the sleeves to the body and started knitting from the third skein. Some 12 rows into this skein I suddenly noticed that the color was a bit darker.

The difference is not so visible in daylight, but it is especially noticeable under artificial light, as in this latest photo. It turned out that all three of the balls were slightly different in color saturation - I knit the bottom part with the lightest skein, the sleeves with the second skein and the yoke and the half finished buttonband with the darkest skein. Now that I look at that first picture I took of the skeins I actually notice some difference. Nevertheless I doggedly continue knitting the cardigan, so close to the FO moment. I intend to finish it, try it on Gaby and then decide what to do with it - if the skein differences bother me, I'll frog it and (probably next summer) knit something different with the yarn, alternating the skeins. And I might knit the Windsor Cardi again in some other yarn (or maybe not :).

1 comment:

  1. I love great customer service. This ais a fabulous color. The stitch pattern looks good.