… a.k.a Getting Married, I managed to finish this:
My first thoughts on seeing the pattern were:
Pros: Cropped cardigan! Sideways! Perfect for showing off ‘long’ patterns! Great for creating a dramatic collar!
Cons: Cropped cardigan – what on earth was I going to wear it with, and would it require a whole new wardrobe of tunics and dresses? Calculating bust shaping sideways – oh dear! Developing a suitable stitch pattern in the first place. Did a tiny cardigan really need a dramatic collar?
Eventually, it turned out to be not that complicated. The Ravelry project page showed a lot of people got baggy underarms. To avoid those, I started knitting a sleeve exactly as if it were going to be set-in, and then, instead of gradually increasing at the underarms, I cast on enough stitches over the next two rows to create the front and back side selvedges. It was a very dramatic increase – abrupt and 90 degrees instead of the gentle taper in the pattern schematic. I was fully prepared to knit a separate gusset to make it all hang correctly; but it fit perfectly when worn!
This was rather amazing since the sleeves are knit to stick out from the body at right angles. Shouldn’t this make for an uncomfortable garment? But no; all is well. Which leads us to the interesting question that, given the stretchy and accommodating nature of knitting, are we being Too Fastidious when calculating armscye decrease and agonising over sleeve cap shaping? The mind boggles.
The completed body was a rather shapeless thing, with pointy fronts which almost seemed to dangle to my hips. Scary! But I calculated how big the fronts actually should be, picked up that many stitches (according to my gauge) and so wrestled them into submission.
Overall, I’m still not a fan of the cuff-to-cuff construction. It makes bust shaping – which I really need – more difficult. But it is beautiful for showing off a long-length stitch pattern, which would otherwise need a really long cardigan body to display best.
Pattern: Sideways Spencer by Annie Modesitt
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Vintage in ‘Filigree’, 730m (800 yds)
Needles: 4mm for everything, 3.5mm for part of the the ribbing.
Mods: Changed stitch pattern, arm shaping, neckline.