Friday, May 2, 2014

Knitting for me: Praline

Pattern: Praline by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: De Rerum Natura, Ulysse in colorway 'Baleine Bleue', 5 skeins
Needles: US 4, US 5
Size: 30
Notions: 5 buttons

I'm finally done! I finished the knitting last Friday and finally got some good photos Wednesday...we've been having misty/rainy weather with just a few moments of sun. Luckily, I managed to catch one of those sunny breakthroughs. From start to finish this sweater took me almost a month but I put it down for about two weeks whilst I had some sewing projects to wrap up, my husband's birthday shirt to make, and then there was a whole week devoted to KCW. 

I'm quite pleased with the result and my husband claimed that it's his favorite of my cardigans. Isn't he sweet? I like the fit very much as it's adjusted without being too tight and I am thrilled with the shoulders. This was a new shoulder construction for me and it fits my wide shoulders really well. The sleeves are knit from the bottom up, joined to the body with decreases on both sides. Once the sleeves have achieved the appropriate height, the remaining sleeve stitches are bound off to be later seamed to the shoulders. (The fronts and back of the cardigan are joined with a clean 3 needle bind off before seaming the shoulder top.) I think I might try to incorporate this construction for other cardigans.
Based on the finished garment measurements and since my gauge swatches were spot on, I decided to make the size 30. Normally, I would pick the size above but it seemed like there was going to be too much ease and I wanted it to be rather adjusted. 

The most obvious modification I made was to leave out the pockets. The pockets were absolutely adorable but I decided against them for several reasons. Firstly, I was concerned about not having enough yarn (now that it's done, I think I would have had enough). Second, I never use the pockets I knit into garments. Lastly, and most importantly, the way the pockets are constructed, one ends up with three layers of fabric and I was not sure that it would be flattering to have that many layers.
I also lengthened the body and sleeves to more closely match my Pretty (me) cardigan. I lengthened the body to about 33 cm and the sleeves to about 35 cm. I made sure to end on the appropriate row of the little bird stitch pattern for both as indicated in the pattern so I could easily continue with the next instructions. 

Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. If I were to make this again, I would make the same modifications again, (no pockets and lengthen body and sleeves) and I would also add an extra button or two. I find the distance between the buttons a bit large, and I would like it better to have a button at the level of the fullest point of my bust to help prevent gaping. That said, I'm toying with the idea of adding gros grain ribbon to the back of the button band to stabilize it a little more. I'm looking at different ways to help stabilize bands and I'm going to be studying the useful information on TECHknitting for bands.

I'm glad I chose a navy as it's my favorite dark neutral color and goes with just about everything I have. I've worn it twice already, including MMM Day 1, and on MMM Day 2, I've chosen to wear my Pretty (me) cardigan. Can't say these cardis don't get worn! Because the De Rerum Natura wool shop is closed until early September, (congratulations, Solenn for your future bundle of joy!) I'll be trying to knit almost exclusively from my stash. I'm currently working on a sweater for L and I'm hoping to make another cardigan for me.

And here we are, out and about enjoying a few rays of sunshine in the park.

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