I will admit my last post suggested some foreshadowing regarding gauge and piecing fabric as I am now finishing such a project.
I am talking about Shiri Mor’s Botanica Medallion cardigan as seen in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009, worked in Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed, an organically grown cotton in this marvelous grey color. The quality of Blue Sky Alpaca yarns is difficult to beat.
Now that I write this blog, I am motivated to take pictures of the process of creating such a “masterpiece” as this. I often times marvel at the ingenuity of a designer’s work, you may feel the same. You will see from the first picture, a sample swatch. This is just one of many, always a little larger than 4 inches (10cm) so that I can measure in the middle of the swatch for my gauge. If row gauge matters (sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t according to the project), I knit a bit over 4 inches (10cm) in length for the same reason. According to Finishing School: A Master class for Knitters by Deborah Newton, a 4 inch swatch is NOT large enough for accurate measurement but an 8 inch swatch needs to be worked up. This would give you an even more accurate account of your particular tension. By the way, I needed different size needles than what was recommended and I used the yarn called for in the pattern. This is why one must always TAKE TIME TO CHECK FOR GAUGE.
The following pictures pretty much depict the process. One sets the medallion aside when completed and then works on the border. The border gets sewn onto the medallion at point of finishing. A little crochet around the armholes, slip it on, style it (what many people miss), and ask (or beg) your hubby (or special loved one) for a photo shoot.
NOTES THAT MAY HELP YOU:
- I blocked the medallion BEFORE sewing on the border. It was flat and much easier to be accurate when sewing on that border.
- The length of the border formula: Whatever length you want for the armhole slit, multiply that by 6 to get the total length of the shorter side of the border. The directions just said knit until shorter side “fits”. Well, I think this is fuzzy. And then, because I am a stickler for details, I wanted the SAME number of Indian cross stitches between each point of the medallion so I made sure the number of cross stitches could be divisible by 6 (6 points of the medallion) and then placed markers to insure that equal distribution.
- Because the entire project is symmetrical, you can wear it with that back seam down (as I am doing) or around up under your hair. I have thought long about that seam and like the fact that the back kind of comes to a point with the seam down. You can make this decision after the entire project is done. Put it on both ways and see what you prefer.
- Head’s Up! Is Everyone aware of Vogue Knitting’s website, specially the Directions Corrections Tab? Check it out. It was needed for this pattern.