I was rejoicing in getting the knitting bag down to four items and then suddenly it was down to three. I wish I’d pulled my finger out and finished this sooner because I like it. There are three things that I would rather have done differently now that I’ve seen the results but they didn’t offend me enough for me to think about ripping back to the underarms to fix them. The first thing that I should have sorted out is that splay at the centre back neck but as I’ve only just seen that it is staying. The main thing is that it fits. Those of you who have seen me in person will recognise that this is no mean achievement, the difference between my bust and hip measurement being something of a fitting challenge. I usually have clothes that bury me around the shoulders so that they don’t gape horribly around my bum. This fits me all the way down. I like the sleeves the most, these are now the sleeves against which all others will be judged. They’re the right length and they just feel good.
I ripped out the bottom band and replaced it with a facing. This was in part because of one of my errors. I put all of the increases at the sides and this has made it flare a little there. It’s less noticeable with the facing than with the seed stitch band I had originally (or at least I think that it is). Another time I’d distribute the increases more evenly around the row and avoid concentrating them in one place. I did actually consider doing that but I didn’t really know whether it would make it stick out at the back. Now it sticks out at the sides instead. It doesn’t flare out all around like the pink hat does because with this I thought about what I was doing and used a smaller needle for the facing. I’d like to say that I’d learned from my experience with the hat but that would be a big fat lie, I’d sewn up the facing on the cardi before I’d even cast on for the hat.
The seed stitch band on the fronts is much better now that it’s worked on the smaller needle but I left off the buttonholes because of my other error. This was just a flat out error in principal. When I drafted out the pattern I had to remember to allow for the width of the band which would be added when the garment was complete. I got really carried away with adding an inch and a half here, there and everywhere and I added it where I shouldn’t have done. The result is that the top buttonhole (placed at the bottom of the V) was an inch and a half lower than where I wanted it because the bottom of the V is an inch and a half lower than I thought it would be. Now I’ve looked at no end of hand knits on Ravelry and lots of them have buttons that start under the top of the bust but that’s not where I wanted mine. I don’t want to be looking at this every time I wear it and fiddling with the top button so to avoid that I’m not having a top button at all. Don’t ask me why having a clasp in exactly the same place makes this any better, it does to me and it’s me that’s wearing it. I bought three clasps but at the moment I’m still uncertain whether I’ll put the other two on or not. I have been wearing it with no fastening at all so one clasp is a step forward.
Was it worth the effort? Yes it was. It feels like your favorite sweater that you’ve worn for years, the one that you know you should bin because it’s too shabby to be seen in but you keep it because it just feels so right. To knit one of your very own I’d suggest a yarn that stripes, a copy of Maggie Righetti’s “Sweater Design in Plain English” and a tape measure. I’d also suggest that you sew in the ends as you go along and use wider bands of colour so that there aren’t as many ends to deal with. Sewing in the ends and avoiding sewing in the ends took about a quarter of the time spent on this.
This weighs 590g, much less than I had anticipated. I have 240g of leftover yarn and another 100g of leftover fibre so I could have probably gone for knee length with a third arm if I’d wanted to. I have learned that it takes less yarn to cover me than I thought. I have also learned that the self timer on the camera resets itself after every shot.