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Simplicity Cardigan

May 22, 2012

Laura’s Blog Entry

I fell in love with this pattern on Ravelry. It’s the Simplicity Cardigan, a featherweight sweater, designed by Mary Annarella. For the in-between seasons. Or to wear in restaurants and movie theaters in the summer. Perfect!

I was naive to the ways of lace yarn. OK I’d heard some horror stories, but since I generally knit socks on size 0 needles I thought how much harder could it be? Turns out it is WAY harder. But we’ll get back to that.

I really liked the drape of the sweater and the fact that it can be worn both open or tied at the waist. The pattern did not seem too complicated. Off I went to the yarn store where the nice lady helped me to select the amazing Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace yarn. Yummy, yum. It is delicious. Figuratively speaking. And on sale. Even better! I went for a taupe. I figured it would go well with all my black. (Color is 4276.)

Before I talk about the challenges let me say that the pattern is very well written. There were a few techniques that were new to me, but a quick trip to Youtube and I was up to speed. Lifted increases and wrap and turn short rows are now part of my repertoire! Everything was very well explained. It’s just that strands of lace weight yarn are next to invisible. Seriously! I had to learn the lifted increases on larger needles in worsted weight to understand what strand to lift. Sheesh! Also, picking up dropped stitches was murder. Murder I tell you! And there were quite a few dropped stitches along the way. The yarn easily slips off and goes unnoticed for rows.

Here are a few things I did to help make it easier:

  • Cast on and knit the first few rows with double pointed needles. This was much more stable and less fiddly. I later moved to a circular needle once the fabric had a little weight to stabilize it.
  • Stitch markers were way too heavy and pulled the fabric too much, so I used short lengths of yarn as markers.

From the back you can get a sense of how light and airy it is. But the alpaca fiber makes it actually fairly warm.

All in all I am pretty happy with it. The size turned out just right. It is fun to wear and looks great over a tank top.

Next up is a slouchy hoodie in a dreamy, heathery olive green. I may be as addicted to knitting sweaters as I am shawls. But I can’t forget the socks… I love them, too… So many garments, so little time…

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