I KNIT A SWEATUUUUUR!!! *

* The title of this post must be read like this

Pattern:  Manayunk Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn (from Knitscene Spring 2012, bought as PDF here)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Merino Cool Wool Merino Big in Green (939)
Grams used: about 8 skeins
Alterations: – left out the stripes
– went a bit adventurous and got lucky: knit size 2 (38″) despite having the wrong gauge
– ignored all the instructions on length up until the armhole and adjusted the lengths to my body measurements as I went. As a result the cardigan might be slightly longer than average (I have a long torso and long arms)
Needles: 4 mm (US 6/UK 8)
Make Again? Haha, maybe. It’s a great basic pattern, but I wouldn’t dare using any other yarn. AND I would definitely try to knit the back and fronts as one piece.

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Guys, I’m so insanely proud. After all the trouble with my Snowflake sweater, I finally finished plan B, the green cardigan. I don’t know whether to be surprised or shocked, because IT FITS PERFECTLY!!!

Actually: When I finished this one and put it on for the first time, I did a little happy dance in front of the mirror. Okay, more like an extensive happy dance around the entire apartment. And then, for a brief moment, I considered texting everyone I ever knew to tell them that I just made a perfectly fitting sweater.

A perfectly fitting sweater! I am THRILLED!!! So much, that the use of three exclamation and a meme pic seem appropriate. There you go:

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So how did this odd mix of miracle and coincidence happen? Well, after my Snowflake Desaster, I was left with 6 skeins of green yarn and the plan to knit a cardigan. I spent a whole night on ravelry browsing patterns, eager to make no mistakes this time: I matched as many components as possible from gauge to yarn weight to needle size. And then after buying the Manayunk pattern, I realized that there was one component that didn’t match: My body.

The sizing of that cardi turned out pretty weird. There’s a 4.5″(11,5cm) difference in the bust from one size to the next. That’s a lot. And I was exactly in between sizes. On top of that, I couldn’t match up my gauge. It was slightly too small (20×28 instead of 19×27) and bigger needles didn’t work since the resulting fabric would have become too loose. So I decided to knit the bigger size with the smaller gauge and match up the length of the sleeves and body pieces as I knit along. My torso and arms are longer than average anyway.

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On every knitting blog I ever read, this approach has always been talked about as somewhat „playing with fire“. Haha, whatever, it’s not like I already wasted time knitting two ill-fitting sweaters – let’s knit this thing with the wrong gauge in a bigger size and hope for the best. I’m an optimistic knitter.

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The only mistake I made was to measure my swatch without washing and blocking it first (talk about optimistic – blocking is only recommended by every single knitting blog out there). So when I washed all my cardigan pieces the yarn somewhat stretched and both sleeves became longer than expected.

I already pictured myself ripping all the pieces up down to the waist and going again (which, let’s face it, I would’ve put off until at least March or so), when this video by Cheryl Brunette came to my rescue. Did you know that you can cut up you knitting in the middle of a piece to add or remove rows? I didn’t. But it saved me. This method is pretty time consuming, but it needs far less time than ripping up and reknitting two entire pieces. I took out a total of 11 cm (4.3″) on each sleeve, evenly distributed between the upper and under arm.

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And now the whole thing fits perfectly. I’m impressed. Even the waist shaping is exactly where it’s supposed to be. It’s a great basic piece, much like those thin basic v-neck cardis from H&M, only much more suitable for cold weather. It got a lot of wear this winter.

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The buttons are from my grannie’s stash. I love to have all these things in my closet that remind me of her. Even if it’s just a few buttons on a cardigan. If you are knitting your first cardigan with a button band I highly recommend checking out this knit.fm episode on buttonholes and bands. I learned so much from it. My buttonband turned out a liiittle bit too tight – you can see that the edges curl to the inside when the cardigan is worn open. I don’t mind, but would probably pay more attention to this next time.

In other news, I thought I’d make the best of my current living situation and take my blog photos outside for a change (something I never dared to do while living in the city). It was so much fun! Temperatures were around 5°C (41°F) and by the end of the shoot, my hands were freezing, but luckily the cardi and the scarf kept me warm for a long time.

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