Trying to warm up

by exercisebeforeknitting

There’s really no reason a knitter should ever be cold, is there? And yet, I feel as if I have been frozen since August. Last month, I decided to take action. I cast on for two plain, stockinette sweaters in my battle against winter.

By the numbers

I knit this cardigan without a pattern, using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in “Mist”, a tape measure, and a well-worn Wool of the Andes sweater as a gauge swatch. The result is utterly uninspiring. Wool of the Andes is such a mediocre yarn. The more I use it, the less I like it. I find it wildly inconsistent: some dye lots bleed profusely, some skeins are riddled with knots, and most egregious of all, I cannot make a consistent gauge from lot to lot (my gauge ranges between 18 and 20 stitches over 4″ on size 8 needles). It is the only yarn I have encountered with which I cannot make the recommended gauge every time I use it. So, you ask, what is the difference between 4.5 stitches/inch and 5 stitches/inch? Take a look at the shoulder line of this cardigan. It falls over my shoulder. I hate that.

Made by gauge swatch and tape measure

If I did not loathe this yarn so much, I would reknit the armholes with far more rigorous shaping. However, this is a plain, simple, quick, and cheap cardigan (can you argue with $14?), knit for warmth around the house more than anything else. My time is better served with the Skye Tweed sitting in my stash, wouldn’t you agree?

Wool of the Andes is a worthless yarn

The second sweater is one I started in early November, Beth Silverstein‘s Francis Revisited (Ravelry link), recently knit by Lolly and Parikha and Sarah. I decided to make the sleeves longer and use garter stitch in place of the seed stitch.
Francis visited, revisited, and revisited

Unfortunately, I cannot settle on a satisfactory bottom hem. At first, I knit garter stitch rows but they looked too loose and sloppy so I ripped them out. I tried again with a purl row followed by a rolled edge. This one strikes me as awkward (and still sloppy) with the long garter stitch sleeve cuffs. Perhaps I will try garter stitch knit on smaller needles? You will see more of this next week. I am not done with it yet!

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