My next project is Berroco’s Cosima.
After the apparent jinxing of my Basic Black cardigan by calling it “Lucky Thirteen”, a cardigan I expected to be a breeze to knit, I’ve decided to pessimistically dub this my “Possibly a Mistake” sweater. Maybe I should call it “Probably a Mistake”.
I liked this really cardigan when I first saw it show up. When I happened to find the pattern booklet for 50% off, I snatched it up. And then immediately bought the yarn when I saw it at my LYS.
Sadly, I had not bothered to look at the projects on Ravelry first, nor had I really taken a good look at the pattern before buying the yarn. So much for impulse purchases.
The pattern is written for sizes XS (32″) through 2X (52″). Yet every single size has exactly the same neckline. The only difference in the sizes is the number of stitches at the side seams of the cardigan, and the width of the raglan sleeves. (And length, of course.) Which means that the neckline will be proportionately much larger on smaller people than on larger people.
If you take a very close look at the photo of the pattern model (photographed in size Small (36″), you can see that the neckline is a little too large and is slipping down a bit off one of her left shoulder (right side of photo as you look at it). Also, it looks as though the cardigan has been pinned back under her right arm. These are not good signs. Especially with a bulky wool/alpaca yarn that will probably stretch.
The neckline can’t really be modified in any obvious manner other than rewriting the entire pattern, although some people have picked up much fewer stitches for the ribbing at the neck to tighten it up a bit. My guess is that it’s best suited for sizes M and up.
Another very weird thing about the pattern is that the measurement of each front piece (in every size) is 4″ larger than half the back. This means the fronts together are 8″ larger than the back. Of course, the fronts are designed to overlap, and since it’s supposed to hang at a bit of an angle, it needs more width than if it the fronts were pulled together “straight”. But still, that seems like an awful lot.
I would normally knit the 36″, but I was afraid it was going to be too big and sloppy. I thought that perhaps knitting the 32″ size would be better, since a number of people said their sweater came out too big. Another idea was to knit the 36″ back, and the 32″ fronts so there wouldn’t be so much fabric in the front. Or to adjust the number of stitches at the side seam to knit something in between the two sizes. I asked a few of the people on Ravelry who had knitted it for some advice, and most were kind enough to respond with their thoughts on it. From what they said, I realized that knitting a smaller size wasn’t really going to change the neckline, but would mostly affect how it fits around the hips. It seems that the best choice is to knit whatever size is closest to your actual bust and hope for the best.
So I’ve cast on for the 36″ size, and I’ll just go for it. I’ll pick up fewer stitches for the neckline, and hope for the best. At least it’s knitted on big needles, so if I have to reknit the fronts, it probably won’t take too long.
Another problem is going to be the sleeves. There were a lot of complaints about them being too tight, and from the schematic, they do look to be a bit on the small size, so I’ll probably make them a bit bigger. The pattern calls for the sleeves to be knit in reverse stockinette, but after seeing the sweater in person at a LYS, I really didn’t like them that way. I was going to do them in stockinette, but then I saw a nice version on Ravelry that was not only in stockinette, but with the lace panel repeated on the sleeves. I liked that a lot, so might do the same.
Yes, I know. The obvious answer would probably be to find a different cardigan to knit with the yarn and save myself the headache. But as evidenced by my experience with the last cardi, I am stubborn.