4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1 = final satisfaction. This project came to me as I was needing to embark on an easy and lightweight (as in heft) project after the challenging elephant cardigan and the gorgeous, but bulky-to-knit designer tapestry dress. The 4 in my equation stands for this yarn Manos del Uruguay, Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply, that is the number of times I changed how I was going to use this gorgeous yarn. It was originally purchased for another project but a change of mind and insistence that I use it headed me into a cabled project but I fell short on yardage. Then, there was a third attempt but I wasn’t confident that this particular yarn was right so I then settled on this Spring cardigan. The beautiful part about choosing this pattern is that if I were diligent, it could be finished and worn THIS season! As I’ve suggested, or at least for my knitting sanity, I find it emotionally comforting that after a challenging project to follow it up by one that just sings. Easy, no seams, knitted mostly in the round, mostly straight stitch, worsted weight yarn, and minimal fabric. Perfect. Not like those Vogue patterns whereby you have to knit double your body width or double your body length of fabric for that fashion impact.
(Now, you must note my tone of sarcasm as those particular shaped projects are, by far, my favorite.) This pattern from Ravelry designer Cristina Ghirlanda is meant to have a traditional fit and is sized and shaped, accordingly. There is visual impact with a bit of shirring or ruching at the hemline of the body as well as along the bottom half of the sleeves. And, the pattern is well written with a schematic that major publications ought to examine for its thoroughness. All that said, you would think that there would be no issue. And, there wasn’t through the knitting.
Off it came from the needles and that is when the fussing began. As a knitter, I, and I think most knitters, do expect there to be some of this “fussing” as it is my nature to want to wear what I make. But, to wear requires a state of being: comfort, wearability, and styled with what I already own, and, in my eyes, fashionable to make it fun.
The 2 in that equation speaks on the two photo shoots I put my hubby through. I do have a certain guilt when my pickiness on such matters impacts his willingness and time. It’s funny how you see things in a photo you do not necessarily notice in the mirror. (Maybe, I should clean the mirrors…. or put on my glasses when I try these things on…)
The sweater has properties of unfamiliarity (to me). It is more fitted than I normally wear, it is lighter weight and has a bit less body to garments that I tend to prefer. So, I originally fashioned it to make it feel more familiar in style for me. You will not be seeing pictures as when we got home from that photo shoot, and as diligent as the photographer had been, I knew it was back to the drawing board as I did not like what I saw.
Problems/my solutions otherwise known as the +1 + 1 + 1: +1 for the minimal change I made to the sweater, +1 for the fashion change, and +1 for the technology issue I had uploading the photos. The sweater felt billowy, more so than I had expected so I removed the blousy tee I was wearing and replaced with a tight, long camisole. It made the sweater feel tighter at the waist where I wanted. The cardigan style felt formal so I turned it inside out and, using a running stitch, sewed the band together on the inside so it would be a pullover to feel more casual. I also would then not have to worry about pulling, another plus. As a security measure, I strung yarn through the ridges to act as a drawstring in the eventuality I would ever want to make the sweater tighter and the shirring more pronounced. Worked beautifully. I changed my legging type pants to pants that were a bit blousy and tie at the bottom to bring out the fashion detail that originally called me to the pattern. Yes, odd that I would want my pants blousy as I was working to avoid the same in the sweater. But, by being fuller, they filled up the looseness of the sweater and made the entire outfit more cohesive. The photo shoot location is becoming too familiar thus not motivating fun poses and smiles. Oh, dear another +1. So, we ventured to a new spot with a beautiful park like setting complete with waterfall. Perked me right up. A change of shoes from flats to heels completed the fashion solutions. And, of course, to go along with this problematic ending to this project, I had a technical glitch with moving photos from one spot to another. That said, and with the little determination I had, I now have a Spring cardi-pull that I will happily be wearing.