Sunday, October 2, 2011

FO: Hale and Hearty Cardi

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Nothing says happy belated birthday like finally setting in the zipper for a sweater-jacket!

It is just sick that the only local place I know to get zippers (or any notions) in St Louis is 15 miles away, and not open past 5pm (Not exactly catering to the employed crowd). So today, after 2 weekfuls of late work nights, I finally went to a chain store today to get a zipper--20 miles each way! Please, please, please, somebody, open a notions store in St Louis proper! I set in the zipper and then covered the edges with quilt binding tape, for smoothness. A bang up job if I say so myself!

The pattern is East Hale Cardigan, by Alexis Winslow, from the fall 2011 issue of Knitscene. I don't subscribe (yet) but this issue was chock full of fabulous, knittable, and wearable patterns--this is the first of several I plan to knit. The body is knit in one piece with an i-cord and garter stitch border, and goes very fast. The design is very clever because there are short rows on the border so that it is the same length as the stockinette main part, thereby avoiding the bunching and puckering that this type of edge usually creates.
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The shoulders are very cool and fit perfectly, with the seam a couple inches back;  the garter border expands and wraps around to complete the shawl collar in the back. The sleeves are then picked up and knit top-down with short row shaping for the shoulder cap, which is my favorite method.
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All in all, this was a well-thought-out and smart design that was a delight to knit. There were no errors for the size I knitted, and I made no mods except shortening the sleeves!

I used the yarn called for in the pattern, Cascade Eco. It's super sheepy and sproingy, and should hold up well in this seamless garment. Also, it is bulky weight so the knitting goes very fast--a treat after a lot of small-needle lace projects. This yarn absolutely must be wet-blocked, not just steam blocked, because a LOT of dirt came out of the yarn (opacified 2 sinkfuls of water). Here is the sweater before: the shoulder seams pucker all funny and the whole thing looks a little sad.
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Here it is after: smooth and happy! DH is quite pleased and gave it 5 stars. The weather is perfect for wearing this, a clear and crisp autumn--look at that blue sky!
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ETA: With 17 projects on Ravelry, this is #8 for my 12under43 resolution for the year.