Friday, December 1, 2017

White Pebble and beige Moonshine

I am a terrible multitasker. Doing several things at once is not my forte. That is why I usually work on one project at a time. Yet, last month I managed to juggle three projects simultaneously. Highly unusual for me and a bit stressful, but let's talk about the results and then discuss the process.
Arboreal got a separate post because it was finished first and was the fastest from the three.
Pebble is a fitted cardigan from the last Kim Hargreaves' book Grey. I had 10 balls of Rowan Cocoon in my stash - the same yarn that was used in the original pattern.
Pebble's construction is kind of unusual: you make the back and two fronts, then combine them creating side vents.
After few rows the work is divided in three parts again and they are finished separately. The main pattern - lace - is explained only row by row for this design but there is a similar cardigan in this book - Drizzle, also with lace and vents. On page 81 of the book you'll find a chart for the lace pattern that is almost identical to the one used for Pebble.
While knitting the back I became too confident and stopped reading the row by row instructions for the lace because it seemed to be pretty easy to memorize. Who wants to look up every row in a book, right? Well, I finished the back, then the left front, and was almost done with the right front when suddenly I looked closely at the pattern and saw the difference in the upper and bottom parts. The lace pattern wasn't that easy to memorize after all. And I had no one to blame but myself.
Can you see the difference?
I unraveled everything down to the joining of the sections but instead of keeping working on Pebble I started two more projects - Arboreal and Moonshine. Arboreal - because it is a top-down, working in the round pattern and could be finished quickly giving me some sense of accomplishment. And Moonshine - because it is all plain stockinette stitch and could be done while watching TV or traveling, or reading, or whatever you want to do while knitting lots and lots of stockinette stitch.
As soon as Arboreal was finished I started working on Pebble again, this time using the chart on page 81 and paying extreme attention to the pattern. The fact that I have already made all the parts once helped to speed up the process. While working on a project I count all the rows and take notes so the right and left, back and front are the same length and width. Using my notes I promptly finished the body, washed it, and blocked. And that was when I got the second blow - both vents on the bottom of the cardigan were looking in the same direction (see here).
If you check the book you won't find any photo of this pattern showing two vents at the same time. Maybe this is the way Kim Hargreaves wants them to look, I don't know. But I don't like it and I think it is wrong.
You cannot even imagine how hopeless I felt at the moment - the only way to correct this vent problem was to unravel the whole thing AGAIN. No, I didn't cry - I don't cry easily. I decided to try my best to fix the vent's direction without unraveling anything. I was even prepared to cut the yarn with scissors if needed (!!!!) but fortunately one of the vents was the place where I had joined another ball. It wasn't hard to unravel just 8 stitches of the vent, change its direction and knit them together again. Sewing 8 stitches back took some time but it wasn't very difficult either and you cannot even see the difference between the vents. Problem solved:)))
Sleeves were made in record time, as you can imagine. I got REALLY tired of this cardigan that initially looked easy and a fast knit and turned out to be full of pitfalls.
I made size S (34) and it took about 7 balls of Rowan Cocoon (the pattern asks for 8). The yarn is luscious and fluffy, I hope it wears well (I am not sure and I never used this yarn before).
I modeled Pebble to take pictures of it but the sleeves are awfully long for me (or my arms are awfully short). Either way, it will look better on a taller person with normal arms.
Meanwhile I kept working on Moonshine.
It was my refuge, my safe ground, my go-to-when-you-are-sad-or-upset project.
The pattern asks for Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace. I used Swans Island Natural Colors Merino fingering and Cascade Kid Seta. After making Ebony I bought more of Swans Island yarn because I loved working with it so much (and it wears well) and was dying to use it again. My gauge was exactly the same - a little miracle - so I didn't have to recalculate or change anything.
Other then the yarn and the sleeves (picked them up around armholes and decreased gradually, more details here) there are no modifications to the pattern.
I love the end result - this cardigan is almost weightless and covers you like a warm cloud. It is cozy but doesn't look like a bathrobe. The only problem - its wearer should be taller than me, or, if I want to wear something like this it must be shorter. These proportions are wrong for me.
I tried my best with the photos, hopefully, when my kids come, I'll be able to take more. But for now, just trust me - it is a great pattern, very simple, and you'll be wearing this thing all the time.
In conclusion - surprisingly enough, I loved working on three projects at the same time. It was fast and not too boring (even though I would have preferred to get a little bit more bored while making Pebble). Will I do it again? Probably.
But my next post will be about calculations and sizes trying to answer this question: what to do if your gauge is different from the pattern gauge?  Till next time then.

Happy knitting!