FO: Amiga Cardigan

The Amiga Cardigan and I have a long history together. My notes tell me that I cast on January 21, 2014, but it seems like so much longer because I originally cast on for a bolero with the same yarn. I fell out of love with the first sweater (and all my mods) and ripped out all my work. Life’s too short to knit sweaters you’re never going to wear after all. 

Amiga is a simple stockinette raglan. Knitting the giant Norma Blanket was more complicated than this, but the Amiga is special because it’s the first sweater that I’ve ever finished. I’ve swatched and cast on for others but this is the only one I’ve ever been able to wear. So, I’m happy with it even though it turned out completely different than I thought it would. 

It wasn’t that my swatch lied to me, per say, but that it didn’t have all the information it needed to tell the truth. When I swatched over a year ago, I cast on just enough stitches to measure 4” between a garter stitch border. Then I washed and dried it the same way I would the finished sweater. The stitches evened out but the gauge didn’t change. I even hung and weighted it to see if the fabric would stretch. It didn’t and and I got started. 

After the initial excitement of casting on for THE first sweater again wore off, I worked on it here and there. Somewhere in the middle I bought 2 extra skeins which took some doing since the color had been discontinued. The off and on knitting might have something to do with why the sweater grew or it might not. I’m not really sure. Eventually an overwhelming urge to finish all the things took overand I finally bound off the collar, weave in all the ends, and blocked the sweater 20 months to the day after casting on.

The first sign that the sweater wasn’t the same size was when I pulled it from the soapy water of the sink. It definitely looked longer when I laid it out. I measured to make sure everything was even but I didn’t compare the measurements to the schematic. I know you should, but I didn’t want to know for sure. There was no denying it though when I tried it on. Instead of ending mid back, the sweater hung inches lower. The previously three quarter length sleeves were full length. The carefully placed button holes had moved several inches down to my belly button.

Disappointing? Yes, but I also wanted to make myself a light, flowing sweater with plenty of drape. I ended up doing  just that so I’m not going to complain. Next time, though, I’m knitting a bigger swatch.

The Specs

Pattern: Amiga by Mags Kandis

Yarn: 5 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - Thunderstorm

Needles: US 10 (6 mm) circulars 

Dates: January 21, 2014 - August 21, 2015


Knitting Fail

I had to count on my fingers to figure this out, but I have been knitting for about 10 years. Over those 10 years I have learned a lot about the art of knitting and worked with a lot of yarn. I’ve knit small things, big things, geeky things, comfy things, and completely frivolous things. I’ve also knit things that I am incredibly proud of. Even with all that experience under my belt I still make silly mistakes. Example A, these socks.

They look the same, right? The stripes match, except for the heels. They’re the same length from cast on to bind off. But they’re different.

The first sock I knit on a 2.5 mm needle. I knit the second sock on a 2.25 mm needle, thinking that it was the 2.5 mm needle. I didn’t realize the difference until after the bind off when I had to cajole it on to my foot. The first sock is a half inch larger and much more cooperative. 

This week’s knitting public service announcement: If you ever have to snag your sock needles for another project between the first and second sock, do yourself a favor. Use your trusty needle gauge to make sure you’re using the same size needle for both socks.

After leaving the pair to its own devices for a night, I came up with two options for how to fix it. Option 1, unpick the bind off and rip right back to the toe. Nope. Option 2, wash the socks and stretch the second sock into shape over a sock blocker. That’ll happen as soon as I get my hands on my blockers, but it’s not as necessary as I’d first thought. In the few minutes I wore the socks to photograph them, the tighter sock (on the left) relaxed enough to be comfy. Snug, but comfy. All those stitches were not in vain and I still get a pair of socks!

So this knitting fail wasn’t a complete lose. Plus, I’ll get the added bonus of seeing how long each sock holds up. Will the looser knit but better fitting sock outlast the stretched sock with the tighter gauge? Only time and steps will tell. 

Pattern: Full pattern notes on the Ravelry page.

Yarn: 2 balls Patons Kroy Stripes - Spring Leaf Colors

Needles: 2.5 and 2.25 mm circulars

Date: January 29 - May 27, 2015